BRISTOL, Tenn. — Harrison Burton has been to NASCAR’s Victory Lane before. But that was when his dad, NASCAR on NBC analyst Jeff Burton, raced.
Saturday, Harrison Burton was in Victory Lane after winning his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race. Both his mom and dad were there to celebrate his first NASCAR win.
The 16-year-old Burton dominated Saturday’s rain-shortened Zombie Auto 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway, earning praise from current and former NASCAR competitors.
“One of my favorite races I can recall of my dad winning was here at Bristol,’’ Harrison Burton said of his father’s victory in 2008. “Me and my sister were jumping up and down when he won. I was really, really excited to win, and I’m sure he was excited to watch me win.
“It was really cool for me and him both to share a moment like that together. Obviously, my mom, as well, who has traveled the country with me while my dad was racing.’’
So what was the family celebration like this time?
“I didn’t say much,’’ Harrison Burton, a sophomore in high school, said. “I was just kind of laughing and smiling. I gave my mom a big hug and my dad a big hug as well. I think I lifted my mom off the ground. We were just pretty excited.’’
Harrison Burton led 68 of the 70 laps run before rain ended the race early. Ruben Garcia Jr. finished second. Spencer Davis was third, Hunter Baize placed fourth and Chad Finchum was fifth.
“Me and my crew chief were kind of talking like we wanted to run the whole race and win it that way,’’ Harrison Burton said. “We were confident enough to where we felt like our car was good enough that we could win the race. I felt like it would have been kind of cool to cross the line under dry conditions and do it that way. (But) I’ll take it. I was pretty happy when it started raining to be honest. I never wanted it to rain so bad in my life.’’
Harrison Burton leads the series standings with 129 points. He’s followed by Baize (114 points), Todd Gilliland (113), Ronnie Bassett Jr. (111) and Garcia (105).
The race will shown on NBCSN at 11 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 27.