Harrison Burton heads to the Round of 12 elimination race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs as the first driver on the outside looking in.
Along with trailing Ross Chastain by seven points for the final transfer spot, Saturday’s Drive for the Cure 250 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval could present an extra challenge with a chance of rain in the forecast.
“It will be definitely be fun either way,” Burton said. “As a team we are really excited to go to the Roval with our backs against the wall and try to make something awesome happen. It’s an opportunity to be great and we’re all excited for it.”
Burton has made four road course starts in the Xfinity Series with three of them coming this season at Indianapolis, Road America and Daytona. This year marked his first time racing an Xfinity car with Goodyear’s wet weather tires.
“The only experience I have is earlier this year Road America,” Burton said. “Some at the Daytona road course but that was kind of a damp situation, which was way different than completely wet.
“My confidence level I need to say yeah, it’s gonna be awesome and fun if it rains, right? Because it looks like it’s probably gonna rain, but my experience level is pretty low. My competitors experience level happens to be low, I think as well, to which kind of helps some but it’s a challenge for sure.”
Burton is coming off his best road course finish, eighth at Daytona that included a third in the second stage. His first series road course start came in this event last year where he finished 13th.
The Playoffs for Burton started with a ninth place-finish at Las Vegas, but he failed to record any stage points. He did score stage points at Talladega before getting swept up in a last-lap accident that dropped him outside the cutline.
“Talladega I looked at it as we control what we can control and we got in a crash that was kind of an innocent bystander deal for me and I can’t hang my head on that,” Burton said. “What I can do is think man if we would have been better in Vegas that wouldn’t have mattered as much.
“You have to you have to win. You have to run good. You have to win stages and that’s what we look to do hopefully at Charlotte. Then the next round I think if we can get there is some really strong race tracks for our race team.”
With so much at stake in the postseason, Burton forgot his 20th birthday is Friday.
“I’m so focused on the Playoffs that my girlfriend was like, ‘hey, it’s almost your birthday.’ I was like what? No it’s not, there’s no way and then yeah sure enough she was right. So I didn’t even know about it.”
A Charlotte trophy or advancing into the Round of 8 would be the perfect way to celebrate.
“That’d be the best birthday present ever,” Burton said. “That would be the best one I could think of for sure, win and you’re in right? So that would be amazing for us and hopefully we can do it.”