Harrison Burton Becomes Youngest Martinsville Winner
MARTINSVILLE, VA - OCT 31, 2020 - RIS) Harrison Burton led the final 52 laps of the Draft Top 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Martinsville to become the youngest driver to win in the series at the half-mile paperclip. His father, Jeff, had previously been the youngest to take the victory. The four drivers going to next weekend's final race of the season with a chance at the season-long championship are Ryan Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier and Alex Haley.
Front row occupants Austin Cindric and Noah Gragson headed the first Xfinity race at Martinsville in 13 years to the green flag with only two racers who have contested a series race at the track before: JJ Yeley and Carl Long.
Gray Gaulding's car stalled in the first turn after only one full lap to bring out an early caution. He restarted and the field went back to racing with Cindric again on the inside of the first row, flanked by Gragson.
Lap 25's competition caution restart looked like the other two starts, with Cindric and Gragson in the first row, Cindric jumping out to a one-length gap immediately. Just a handful of laps later and Gray Gaulding spun when a three-wide move didn't work to bring out another caution. Ryan Vargas stalled straddling the inside curb and had to be pushed off, adding a lap to the caution. Cindric and Gragson stayed side by side with Gragson taking the lead with an outside move, then Harrison Burton got around into second place before Cindric could drop into line on the inside. Harrison Burton and Gragson ran in a tight single-file race for the lead while AJ Allmendinger has moved from 33rd to sixth at the end of Stage One. The green and white checkered flag flew over Gragson, Harrison Burton, Cindric, Ross Chastain and Justin Haley to end the first stage.
Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson, JJ Yeley and Austin Cindric headed the field, then Donald Theetge slid across the inside curb, dragging a long trail of mud and grass onto the track and blocking the paths of Stefan Parsons and BJ McLeod, starting another caution. Track cleanup looked like the zoo was in town, with large shovels and brooms being utilized to scrape up the mud under a red flag with the cars parked on the back straight. After the heavy mud got shoveled off, a rotary brush tractor came out to finish the job.
Cleanup completed, the field had Burton and Gragson on the front row again, Gragson using a better drive off of the outside line to take the lead, then Burton repaid the compliment and took the lead with an inside pass. Ross Chastain, Justin Haley and Justin Allgaier all forced Cindric to settle for dropping into sixth behind Allgaier as the field settled down.
Chastain made a clean inside pass for the lead with 28 laps left in Stage Two, pulling ahead by nearly a second in just a few laps.
Matt Mills' car dropped a long stream of fluid behind it, along with a brief and spectacular flame, before stopping and getting out of the car. Chastain led the restart, flanked by Gragson, heading to the end of the second stage. Chastain, Gragson, Haley, Allgaier and Cindric were the top five to end the stage, with Allmendinger, Harrison Burton, Herbst and Jeb Burton the top four approaching the choose for the restart.
Allmendinger pulled away from Harrison Burton, with Jeb Burton and Ryan Sieg next and most of the field behind them running two wide with a few three-wide moves for position, then JJ Yeley spun and brought out caution number nine of the race. Once again, Allmendinger leapt out to a lead, with the Burton cousins side by side for second, trailed by Ryan Sieg after he took fourth from Myatt Snider. Harrison Burton eventually got the position from Jeb.
A long green flag run ended with a hard hit into the wall by Bayley Currey when a failure sent the No. 78 sliding.
Harrison Burton's crew got him out of the pits first and into the lead ahead of Allmendinger, who headed Jeb Burton. Ryan Sieg, Justin Allgaier, Riley Herbst, Noah Gragson, Austin Cindric, Ross Chastain and Chase Briscoe held the top ten positions heading to the choose.
Battling between Allmendinger and Harrison Burton early in the run cut down 'Dinger's left rear tire, eventually sending him to the pits with a shredded tire and three laps down. This let Justin Allgaier move to second, chased by Gragson.
Myatt Snider and Brandon Brown made contact in the third turn, sending Snider into the wall and bringing out yellow flag number 11.
At the restart, Harrison Burton continued to lead, followed by Allgaier, Gragson, the other Burton and Chastain. Burton's lines in the turns appeared to be easier on the tires. Combined with slightly quicker lap times, he gradually opened up the gap over Allgaier, with close to a second opening between then at the ten laps left point.
Harrison Burton's father Jeff was previously the youngest driver to win at Martinsville, but 20-year-old Harrison Burton. "I got the best team in the garage," said a joyous Burton after the race.
"It was a really fun race," added the winner. "Martinsville is one of those places that's really cool to win at for me in particular because my family is from here. There's a guy in a hot dog for Halloween. The fans here are awesome. It's amazing to win here at what is one of my home tracks I would say and do what my dad did. I think it was his first Xfinity win was here.
"It's probably one of the coolest trophies in the whole series that we get. It's pretty hard to describe how exciting this is. My race team worked their tails off on this car expecting us to have to fight to get into Phoenix to win a championship and we got knocked out, but we've proven people wrong. We won two in a row in this round and we're going to go try to make it three at Phoenix.
"I think the schedule got released and it's the same round going to Phoenix next year. If we can come and perform next year and make it through the first round, we're going to be fighting for a championship and that's an amazing feeling. I'm really proud of my race team. They work their tails off on this race car and our DEX Imaging Supra was pretty bad to the bone."
Allgaier, Haley, Cindric and Briscoe go to Phoenix as the championship 4 with a shot at the season championship.
Unofficial results, Draft Top 250, Martinsville Speedway
Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 10, Harrison Burton #, No. 20 DEX Imaging Toyota, 250, 2, 9, 5, 81, 5, 51, Running
2) 6, Justin Allgaier (P), No. 7 Unilever United For America Chevrolet, 250, 8, 4, , , , 45, Running
3) 2, Noah Gragson (P), No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber Camo Chevrolet, 250, 1, 2, 2, 23, 1, 53, Running
4) 8, Jeb Burton, No. 8 State Water Heaters Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 33, Running
5) 4, Ross Chastain (P), No. 10 Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet, 250, 4, 1, 1, 31, 1, 49, Running
6) 24, Riley Herbst #, No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota, 250, , , , , , 31, Running
7) 5, Chase Briscoe (P), No. 98 HighPoint.com Ford, 250, 10, , , , , 31, Running
8) 11, Michael Annett, No. 1 TMC Chevrolet, 250, 9, , , , , 31, Running
9) 7, Brandon Jones (P), No. 19 Menards/Jen Weld Toyota, 250, 7, 6, , , , 37, Running
10) 1, Austin Cindric (P), No. 22 Pirtek Ford, 250, 3, 5, 1, 42, , 41, Running
11) 9, Ryan Sieg (P), No. 39 CMRRoofing.com Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 26, Running
12) 3, Justin Haley (P), No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 250, 5, 3, , , , 39, Running
13) 14, Brett Moffitt(i), No. 02 Destiny Homes Chevrolet, 250, , 7, , , , 0, Running
14) 39, JJ Yeley(i), No. 17 WORKPRO Ford, 250, , , 1, 5, , 0, Running
15) 23, Jeremy Clements, No. 51 One Stop Convenience/ASE Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 15, Tommy Joe Martins, No. 44 AAN Adjusters Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 34, Timmy Hill(i), No. 13 RoofClaim.com Toyota, 250, , 10, , , , 0, Running
18) 12, Brandon Brown, No. 68 Solid Rock Carriers Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 13, Josh Williams, No. 92 Sleep Well/Alloy Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 38, Mason Diaz, No. 26 Prince William Marina Toyota, 250, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 25, Joe Graf Jr #, No. 08 EAT SLEEP RACE Chevrolet, 250, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 19, Jesse Little #, No. 4 Tufco Flooring Chevrolet, 249, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 22, Myatt Snider #, No. 21 Tax Slayer Chevrolet, 249, , , , , , 14, Running
24) 35, Stefan Parsons, No. 99 Springrates Chevrolet, 249, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 27, Colby Howard, No. 15 Guy Roofing Chevrolet, 248, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 36, AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet, 248, 6, 8, 2, 68, , 19, Running
27) 16, Alex Labbe, No. 36 rousseau/Prolon Controls Chevrolet, 247, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 20, Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 0 Forever Lawn Chevrolet, 246, , , , , , 9, Running
29) 26, Kody Vanderwal #, No. 52 BrilledLighting.com Chevrolet, 246, , , , , , 8, Running
30) 33, Kyle Weatherman, No. 47 Chevrolet, 246, , , , , , 7, Running
31) 28, Donald Theetge, No. 90 Theetge Chevrolet Chevrolet, 245, , , , , , 6, Running
32) 37, Carl Long, No. 66 CrashClaimsR.US Toyota, 244, , , , , , 5, Running
33) 29, BJ McLeod, No. 78 Koolbox Toyota, 239, , , , , , 4, Running
34) 17, Ryan Vargas, No. 6 TikTok Chevrolet, 233, , , , , , 3, Running
35) 30, Gray Gaulding(i), No. 07 Panini Chevrolet, 230, , , , , , 0, Electrical
36) 21, Bayley Currey(i), No. 74 You Are Not Alone Chevrolet, 178, , , , , , 0, Accident
37) 32, Chad Finchum, No. 61 American Dream Toyota, 120, , , , , , 1, Engine
38) 18, Matt Mills, No. 5 JF Electric Toyota, 103, , , , , , 1, Oil Line
39) 31, Josh Reaume(i), No. 93 Colonial Countertops Chevrolet, 62, , , , , , 0, Suspension
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie, (P) Playoffs qualified
Time of Race: 2 hr, 7 min, 56 sec
Race Length: 250 laps, 131.5 miles
Average Speed: 61.673 mph
Margin of Victory: 0.355 seconds
Stage 1 Top 10: 9, 20, 22, 10, 11, 16, 19, 7, 1, 98
Stage 2 Top 10: 10, 9, 11, 7, 22, 19, 02, 16, 20, 13
Comments: Harrison Burton won the Draft Top 250 at Martinsville Speedway, his fourth victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Prior to the start, two vehicle(s) dropped to the rear of the field under penalty for the reasons indicated: Nos. 47, 93 (driver change).
Caution Flags: 10 for 63 laps;
Laps: 5-8 (No. 07 Stalled On Track [None]);
27-31 (Competition );
37-42 (No. 07 Spin Turn 2 );
62-68 (Stage 1 Conclusion );
74-80 (No. 5, 90, 99, 78 Incident Turn 3 [Red: 00:07:02] );
106-114 (Possible Fluid On Track From No. 5 [None]);
122-127 (Stage 2 Conclusion );
133-138 (No. 17, 11 Incident Turn 1 );
183-189 (No. 74 Incident Turn 2 );
215-220 (No. 21, 68 Incident Turn 3 ).
Lead Changes: 11 among 6 drivers;
A. Cindric (P) 0;
A. Cindric (P) 1-42;
N. Gragson (P) 43-63;
H. Burton # 64;
J. Yeley(i) 65-69;
H. Burton # 70-80;
N. Gragson (P) 81-82;
H. Burton # 83-92;
R. Chastain (P) 93-123;
A. Allmendinger 124-184;
H. Burton # 185-190;
A. Allmendinger 191-197;
H. Burton # 198-250.
Mobil 1 Driver of the Race: Harrison Burton, No. 20
Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Harrison Burton, No. 20
Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.