Waiting Game Pays Off For Burton
Kicks Off New Smyrna’s World Series With Super Late Model Win
NEW SMYRNA, Fla. — Patience paid off for Harrison Burton Friday night.
The 14-year-old son of former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton made his pass for the lead with 10 laps to go and held on to win the 35-lap Super Late Model feature on opening night of the 49th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway.
“It means the world to me,” Harrison said of his first NASCAR Super Late Model win. “I’m just so glad to race clean and have fun with it. We’ve been kind of hunting our way in. We’ve been third, second, third and fourth. We’ve been all up in there, it’s about time we got one. Hopefully more are coming our way.”
Burton spent a number of laps riding on the back bumper of Paul Schafer Jr. before making his move on Lap 22. It took several more laps before he was finally able to make the pass.
“It kills you because you hear ’19 to go’ and the leader is in front of you, and each lap that goes by you know your chances to pass him are getting slimmer,” Burton said. “But once you get past them, or even next to them, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. Here it’s pretty hard to pass, so even getting beside them or even down beside them means so much. It makes you feel invincible.”
Said Jeff Burton: “It’s funny, when you’re outside the car talking to him he’s a normal 14-year old. But once he’s in the car he drives like 20-year old.
“He’s a fun kid to be around, he’s committed to this, he’s dedicated. We don’t do this because of me, we do it because he wants to do it. He’s impressed me as a driver and as a young man. It’s fun to see him and all his hard work be rewarded with a win here tonight.”
Friday was the first of six Super Late Model races during the nine nights of NASCAR Whelen All-American Series racing at the .48-mile high-banked oval just south of Daytona International Speedway.
Shafer, who originally took the lead on Lap 2, settled for second Friday night. Spencer Davis was third, followed by Tyler Dippel and Austin Nason.
Bobby Wilberg, Ty Majeski, Joey Mucciacciaro, Gus Dean and defending World Series winner Steve Wallace – son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace – rounded out the top 10.
Open-wheel dirt standout Rico Abreu finished 23rd, one lap down, in his second asphalt stock car start.
A multi-car wreck on the first lap took out six cars, including defending track champion David Rogers and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East driver Scott Heckert.
Derek Scott (35-lap Pro Late Model) and Justin Bonsignore (35-lap Modified) picked up opening night wins after the drivers that crossed the finish line first — Davis and Ryan Preece, respectively — were disqualified during post-race technical inspection.
Tim Moore won the 35-lap Florida Modified race to kick off the evening’s racing. In the final feature of the night, Michael Burns won the 25-lap Pro Truck Series feature.
The World Series continues Saturday and runs through Saturday, Feb. 21. Sunday’s schedule includes the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season opener, the Hart To Heart Breast Cancer Foundation 150.