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What a finish! Check out how the K&N Pro Series East opener ended (Video)

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Todd Gilliland passed Harrison Burton on the final lap to win the NASCAR K&N Pro  Series East opener Sunday night at New Smyrna Speedway.

The 17-year-olds dueled the final two laps with Burton taking the lead before taking the white flag. Gilliland applied pressure and got back by him to win. Cole Rouse nipped Burton for second. The New Smyrna 175 will air at 6 p.m. ET on Feb. 27 on NBCSN.

Gilliland will compete for rookie of the year honors in the Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports this season. Burton will be at teammate at KBM and is scheduled to run nine Truck races this season.

Watch the final two laps of Sunday night’s race:

Harrison Burton’s 2018 racing schedule includes Trucks, K&N and more

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Harrison Burton will run nine Camping World Truck races along with partial schedules in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and ARCA Racing Series in 2018.

Burton, who will compete for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series, is limited in what Truck races he can run because he doesn’t turn 18 until Oct. 9. NASCAR restricts drivers under 18 years old to tracks 1.25 miles or less in length or road courses.

Burton is scheduled to compete in Truck races at Martinsville (March 24 and Oct. 27), Dover (May 4), Iowa (June 16), Bristol (Aug. 15), Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (Aug. 26), Texas (Nov. 2), Phoenix’s ISM Raceway (Nov. 9) and Homestead (Nov. 16)

MORE: Harrison Burton rocketing to success

Burton, the reigning K&N Pro Series East champion, will fill out his remaining schedule this year with K&N and ARCA races for MDM Motorsports and also plans to run various super late model races.

“Just one year ago, I couldn’t believe the tremendous opportunities I had been given with Kyle Busch Motorsports and MDM Motorsports, as well unbelievable corporate partners who stepped up to the plate to support a young driver,” said Burton, son of NASCAR on NBC analyst Jeff Burton. “We all clicked so quickly that it was hard to believe it was our first year together. I can’t wait to see how a little experience and familiarity with each other pays off in 2018, and I couldn’t be more proud to represent DEX Imaging, Toyota, Morton Buildings, Hunt Brothers Pizza, RUUD, and Sports Force Parks.”

“DEX Imaging couldn’t have been more proud of Harrison Burton last season, not only in becoming a NASCAR champion but because of what an upstanding young man he is,” said Dan Doyle, DEX Imaging CEO, in a statement.  “He represented our company and the future of NASCAR well, and we are thrilled to extend our partnership with him in 2018.”

Burton, a member of the NASCAR Next class, finished seventh in points in 2016 in K&N Pro Series East before winning the championship last year and five series races. In the Truck Series, he posted a career-best fourth at Martinsville in October.

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NASCAR announces 2018 K&N East Schedule

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NASCAR K&N East Pro Series teams will run 14 races at 12 venues in 2018. The season begins Feb. 11 at New Smyrna Speedway and ends Oct. 5 at Dover International Speedway.

South Boston Speedway will host a pair of 100-lap features on May 12. New Hampshire Motor Speedway will host series races July 21 and Sept. 22.

K&N Pro Series East teams will run at tracks during Cup weekends at Bristol (April 14), New Hampshire (July 21), Watkins Glen (Aug. 3) and Dover (Oct. 5).

Harrison Burton won the 2017 K&N Pro Series East championship.

2018 NASCAR K&N PRO SERIES EAST SCHEDULE
Date Track Location
Feb. 11 New Smyrna Speedway New Smyrna, Florida
April 14 Bristol Motor Speedway Bristol, Tennessee
April 28 Langley Speedway Hampton, Virginia
May 12 South Boston Speedway* South Boston, Virginia
June 2 Memphis International Raceway Millington, Tennessee
June 16 New Jersey Motorsports Park Millville, New Jersey
July 14 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, Connecticut
July 21 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, New Hampshire
July 27 Iowa Speedway** Newton, Iowa
August 3 Watkins Glen International Watkins Glen, New York
August 24 Gateway Motorsports Park** Madison, Illinois
September 22 New Hampshire Motor Speedway Loudon, New Hampshire
October 5 Dover International Speedway Dover, Delaware

100-lap twin features
**Combination event with NASCAR K&N Pro Series West

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West to race together at Gateway and Iowa in 2018

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The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West divisions will add a second combined race to the 2018 season.

Gateway Motorsports Park, located near St. Louis in Madison, Illinois, will host the race on Friday, August 24. The other combined race for the season will be held July 27 at Iowa Speedway.

The race at Gateway will be named the “Midwest Melee,” and will be part of the Bonmarito Automotive Group 500 IndyCar race weekend. The IndyCar race will be ran on Saturday, August 25.

The Midwest Melee will have an interesting twist: it will be a 150-lap event (187.5 miles) around the 1.25-mile speedway, including a break at the halfway point of the race.

Defending NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Harrison Burton, son of former NASCAR Cup driver and current NASCAR On NBC analyst Jeff Burton is expected to take part in the Gateway race.

Also expected to compete is Todd Gilliland, who has won the last two K&N Pro Series West titles and finished second to Burton in the East Series. Gilliland, who ran both the East and West Series in 2017, is the son of former Cup Series driver David Gilliland.

Others expected to compete include former NASCAR Mexico Series champion Ruben Garcia Jr. and NASCAR Next driver Chase Cabre, as well as rising young talents Cole Rouse and Derek Kraus.

Harrison Burton claims K&N Pro Series East championship with Dover win

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DOVER, Delaware — Harrison Burton pulled away from Riley Herbst on an overtime restart to win Friday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race and the series championship. 

Burton led the final 17 laps at Dover, taking the lead from Ruben Garcia Jr. in a spirited side-by-side duel that went more than two laps. Burton then held the field off in overtime, which extended the race three laps to 128 laps.

The victory marked Burton’s fifth of the season. Eddie MacDonald finished second. Tyler Dippel was third.

Burton, the 16-year-old son of NASCAR on NBC analyst Jeff Burton, is the youngest champion in series history. Joey Logano had been the youngest series champion at 17 when he won the 2007 title.

In victory lane, Burton embraced his mother, Kim, lifting her off the ground, and then hugged his father.

“We’re a racing family,” Harrison Burton said. “To share a championship with the people that love you the most is pretty cool.”

Burton entered the season finale eight points behind Todd Gilliland but Gilliland’s title hopes went away when he blew a right front tire and hit the wall on Lap 56 of the 128-lap race. He finished 13th in the 15-car field.

“It was kind of tight, but I just went in there and the right front just blew,” Gilliland said. “It just popped. I could hear it. It’s basically been our season story. Been running up front and had tires go down. It took us out of the first half of the season. In the last seven races, we finished first or second in all of them and really got us back in this thing. For it to end like this is heartbreaking. We’ll have to move on and I learned a lot this year.”

The 17-year-old son of former Cup driver David Gilliland sought the K&N Pro Series East title after winning the K&N Pro Series West championship last year. Todd Gilliland finishes the season with four wins.

Todd Gilliland’s focus turns to the Camping World Truck Series. He’s run four races this season for Kyle Busch Motorsports, finishing a season-best third at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Former K&N Pro Series East champions include William Byron (2015), Kyle Larson (2012) and Logano.

Now add Harrison Burton.

“It’s a good list to be on,” he said. “To be a champion is huge for me.”

This race will air on NBCSN at 10:30 p.m. ET on Oct. 6.

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