Harrison Burton sets Cup debut

Gaunt Brothers Racing announced Thursday that Harrison Burton is scheduled to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut April 25 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Burton is in his second full season with Joe Gibbs Racing’s efforts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he has four career wins – all recorded last season on his way to Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. The 20-year-old driver currently ranks third in the series standings.

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Burton is the son of former racer and current NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton, who collected 21 Cup Series wins and 27 Xfinity Series victories in his career.

DEX Imaging will sponsor the Marty Gaunt-owned entry at the 2.66-mile Alabama track. The race weekend will also mark Burton’s 50th career start in the Xfinity Series.

“I’m incredibly grateful to DEX Imaging and Toyota for providing this opportunity with Gaunt Brothers Racing,” Burton said in the team’s news release. “From the moment I started racing, the Cup Series was always the goal. In everything I’ve done, I’ve been working toward this moment. I saw how hard my dad worked to get to Cup and how hard he worked to compete and win races. He instilled that same work ethic in me and I’m just really proud and honored to have the chance to do what he did and compete with the best of the best.”

The No. 96 team has made two starts this season, both with Ty Dillon behind the wheel. Gaunt Brothers Racing failed to qualify for the season-opening Daytona 500 but raced at Daytona’s road course and Bristol Motor Speedway’s dirt-track event.

“We’re proud to represent such an innovative brand in DEX Imaging and equally proud to have Harrison make his first NASCAR Cup Series start with us,” team president Marty Gaunt said. “As a Toyota team, we’ve seen firsthand how well Harrison has developed. He’s been racing and winning in Toyotas for years, and yet he’s still only 20 years old. He has a very bright future ahead of him and we aim to make his Cup Series debut a successful one.”