Harrison Burton, the son of former Cup driver and current NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton, will drive full-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports next season in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, the team announced Wednesday.
Burton, 18, has competed part-time for KBM in the Truck Series since 2016 with 14 starts. He has four top fives, seven top 10s and one pole in that time.
He tied his career-best result last weekend at ISM Raceway, placing third.
Burton won 2017 K&N Pro Series East championship off five wins.
He also has two ARCA Racing Series wins since 2017.
Burton will be sponsored by Safelite AutoGlass in 19 races.
“I’ve worked really hard the last few seasons driving a limited schedule for KBM to prove that I’m capable of running full-time in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2019 and I’m excited for the opportunity to do so with Safelite AutoGlass as my primary sponsor,” Burton said in a press release. “By using all of the resources that I have available at KBM, with the support of Toyota and Toyota Racing Development, I know that I’ll continue to improve as a driver and I’m confident that I’m capable of competing for wins and being a legitimate contender for the Truck Series championship next year. Obviously, to get to this point in my career it has taken a lot of support from a lot of different people, so I can’t thank my parents enough as well as companies like DEX Imaging, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Morton Buildings, RUUD and FIELDS for being great partners.”
Burton’s crew chief and further sponsors will be announced at a later date.
“Harrison has done a great job of balancing being a high school student, as well as a student of racing since making his first Truck Series start for KBM shortly after turning 16 a few years ago,” Kyle Busch said in the press release. “The results of his hard work are starting to pay dividends and we’re confident that his first Truck Series win will be coming shortly and he’ll be able to be in the mix for the championship next year.”
Kyle Busch led a Joe Gibbs Racing juggernaut in Friday’s first of two NASCAR Cup practices at Daytona International Speedway.
Busch paced the 40-car field with a top speed of 200.285 mph, followed by JGR teammates Martin Truex Jr. (200.200) in second, Erik Jones in fourth (200.156) and Denny Hamlin was seventh-fastest (200.044). Ryan Preece was third-fastest in a Chevrolet at 200.169 mph, while Ryan Newman rounded out the top five at 200.093 mph.
Now, KBM has gone north of the border for its latest addition to the fold, 17-year-old Canadian teenager Raphael Lessard.
Lessard, a native of Saint Joseph de Beauce, Quebec, is slated to drive the No. 46 Toyota Tundra in three Gander Outdoors Truck Series races for KBM this season: Martinsville (March 23), Dover (May 3) and Bristol (August 15). He turns 18 in July.
“Driving for KBM I will be assured of having one of the best vehicles in the Truck Series and that will allow me to go for the win every time out,” Lessard said in a media release. “KBM is a team of winners, and I intend to take full advantage of the great situation I find myself in.”
The move to Trucks is a promotion for Lessard, who competed for KBM’s Super Late Model Program in 2018. He captured two wins: the Short Track U.S. Nationals at Bristol last May, and the Red Bud 400 ARCA/CRA Super Series race at Anderson (Indiana) Speedway last July.
In 16 combined starts for KBM last season, Lessard recorded two wins, three poles, seven top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in 2018 across the CARS Super Late Model Tour, the Southern Super Series and the ARCA/CRA Super Series.
“Raphael was really fast in our Super Late Models last season and added a couple of marquee wins to KBM’s resume,” team owner and NASCAR Cup driver Kyle Busch said in a media release. “We expect that he’ll be able to step right in and be competitive as he makes the jump to the next level.”