Burton Wins Race and Championship

Harrison Burton

"It’s what I dreamed to do as a kid, win races at tracks like this and win NASCAR championships. To come out and do that is pretty surreal." (Photo: Getty Images)

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DOVER, Del. – Harrison Burton came to Dover International Speedway hoping to win both the race and the 2017 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship on Friday and he did just that.

The Huntersville, North Carolina, native passed Ruben Garcia, Jr. with just 16 laps to go in the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation 125 presented by Carl Deputy & Son Builders and pulled away before a late race caution set up an overtime finish. On the restart, Burton was able to pull away and score the victory.

By virtue of his win, and Todd Gilliland’s mid-race misfortunes, Burton clinched the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship.

“What an honor to win both the race and championship at Dover, it’s pretty freaking cool,” Burton said. “It’s what I dreamed to do as a kid, win races at tracks like this and win NASCAR championships. To come out and do that is pretty surreal. I’m pretty pumped up about it.”

Burton had an eight point deficit heading into the series final after misfortunes at Virginia's Langley Speedway. However, the 16-year-old from Huntersville, North Carolina, refused to give up even when things looked insurmountable.

“This race kind of caps it all off for this team,” Burton remarked. “A bunch of guys who never quit and I’m glad I fit into that system where people that put everything we got into what we’re doing. Now that it’s all come to fruition and we got to bring home two trophies, it’s a big relief and we’re going to go have fun now.”

The victory at Dover International Speedway was Burton’s fifth win of the season. Burton is the first driver to win the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship and the season finale in the same season since Mike Stefanik wrapped up his 1998 title with a win at Connecticut’s Lime Rock Park. Burton is also the first driver to cap his championship season with a win at Dover.

Burton also became the youngest champion in series history. Prior to Friday, Joey Logano, held the record with his 2007 K&N Pro Series East championship at 17-years-old, 3 months, 28 days.

Gilliland entered the race with the advantage over Burton and looked like he had the championship wrapped up until lap 56 when he blew a tire, sending him into the wall in Turn Two and ending his day.

“This one is really disappointing,” Gilliland said. “I felt like we had pretty good control of it going in here. We were just as fast as Burton in the race. Just having a tire go down like that is heartbreaking for sure. I’m really proud of everyone at Bill McAnally Racing. We’ve had the fastest cars here all year, just didn’t have the luck to go along with it.”

Eddie MacDonald finished second in the race while Tyler Dippel, Sheldon Creed and Jay Beasley rounded out the top-five.

Enrique Baca, Riley Herbst, Collin Cabre, Ronnie Bassett Jr and Ruben Garcia Jr. completed the top 10.

The Fallen Firefighters Foundation 125 presented by Carl Deputy & Son Builders will air on NBCSN, Friday, Oct. 6 at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Harrison Burton will be honored at the NASCAR Touring Series Champions Banquet in Charlotte this December.

Related Topics:

KN Pro Series East

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