Harrison Burton Steals the Xfinity Series Win at Texas

Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Harrison Burton claimed his third checkered flag of the season in the Xfinity Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 Saturday evening at Texas Motor Speedway. After fighting for several laps to pass third-place finisher Anthony Alfredo, Burton ran down Noah Gragson on the last lap, then passed him on the bottom of the track in Turn 4. 

There were no fans in the stands to cheer for the young Joe Gibbs Racing driver, but in the broadcast booth overlooking Victory Lane, Harrison’s father and NASCAR on NBC commentator, Jeff Burton, celebrated. The elder Burton won the first race at TMS in 1997 and Harrison’s victory makes them the first father-son pair to have national series wins at the track. Also, cousin Jeb Burton’s first and only win in the Truck series came there in June 2013.

“We had such a fast race car. I’ve never driven anything harder than that last corner in my life. I don’t know how it stuck,” Burton said, hoarse from shouting on the cool-down lap. “My team had talked to me about what the other guys were doing through (Turns) 3 and 4 to get speed, and I kinda (multiplied) that by 3 or 4 and it stuck. I don’t know how. Hats off to the 9 (Gragson) for racing me clean today. Hats off to the rest of the competitors, man. That was such a fun race. What a cool place to win it. Now we get to go home with cowboy hats. That’s awesome.” 

Gragson, who was visibly shaken in his post-race interview, took the lead from Austin Cindric on Lap 186 after a four-car crash and held what appeared to be a comfortable lead until that final lap. He said his car had been tight all afternoon, but it still surprised him that Burton got to him so quickly. The win would have guaranteed Gragson passage into the Championship 4. Instead, he goes into Martinsville 24 points behind Justin Haley, whose seventh-place finish in the race has him in fourth place in the standings. 

Cindric wound up fourth on the day, which moved him from fourth in the standings to second. "I have no idea what emotion I’m supposed to feel right now. Obviously, it was a grind all day,” he said. “I thought maybe the 7 and the 10 were gonna race it out for the win, and we obviously got great track position there. And I had to drive through the river of speedy dry up top and about crashed, lost the lead, and then looked like the 9 was gonna win, and then I have no idea how Harrison won, but points-wise that does a lot for me. Good job to him. I don’t know whether to be disappointed, upset, happy I’m out of here, but we’re up in the points a lot more than what we came with, so I’ll sleep with one eye open and go to Martinsville.”

Brandon Brown finished in fifth, his first top five in the series. In sixth was Michael Annett, while Ryan Vargas in the TikTok Chevy took eighth place, his series-first top ten. Josh Williams came home ninth, and Tommy Joe Martins earned his first top ten in the series as well. 

Next week sets the Championship 4 at Martinsville Speedway, the first time the series has visited the paperclip-shaped track since 2006. Only last week’s winner, Chase Briscoe, is guaranteed to advance. 

Here's a rundown of the championship standings heading into the Martinsville 250, which will be televised on NBC Saturday, October 31 at 4:30 p.m. ET:

1.Chase Briscoe3133
2.Austin Cindric3103-30
3.Justin Allgaier3097-36
4.Justin Haley3093-40
5.Brandon Jones3089-44
6.Ross Chastain3078-55
7.Noah Gragson3069-64
8.Ryan Sieg3050-83
Harrison Burton Steals the Xfinity Series Win at Texas Harrison Burton Steals the Xfinity Series Win at Texas Reviewed by Janine Cloud on Sunday, October 25, 2020 Rating: 5

1 comment

  1. If you really think Harrison "stole" that win you have no business writing about racing.