Harrison Burton captured his first ever CARS Tour Super Late Model victory on Saturday in the Circle Track Warehouse 200 but it was far from a flawless victory.
Burton committed a key pit road penalty and had to drive all the way back through the top-10 after entering a closed pit road on Lap 33. He was forced to restart 12th when the race resumed but was quickly inside the top-10.
He took the lead with 30 laps remaining and never looked back. Burton has now won four times in seven starts this season — including the prestigious World Series of Asphalt championship at New Smyrna Speedway.
“Man, I’m just excited to be in Victory Lane,” Burton said. “It took us a while to get one in the CARS Tour, but man oh man, it’s good now that we got here.”
As for the pit road mistake, Burton just didn’t hear spotter Braden Lines correctly. The veteran eye in the sky said ‘don’t pit,’ but Burton only heard half of the command.
“I made a mistake coming down pit road, obviously,” Burton said. “I felt like my heart sunk to the bottom of my stomach there. Honestly, I almost thought that our race chances were over, but you have to stay calm, cool and composed in that scenario, and we ended up having two great pit stops in a row and picking up a lot of spots on those.”
The whole scenario was set by a Lap 32 caution when Tate Fogleman spun down the backstretch.
For the first time in series history, the CARS Tour attempted a modified live pit stop procedure. The top-12 cars pitted in the first cycle then the rest of the field followed. That’s what allowed Burton to restart 12th instead of at the tail-end.
Matt Craig led for much of the first half, but there was no denying Burton, who took second by Lap 65 and was around the 54 for the top spot.
“I was going pretty hard the whole race, really,” Burton said. “I wish I was saving (tires), but you know I feel like we had a car that was good enough if I hadn’t made that mistake, we would’ve – If I wouldn’t have made that mistake, we would’ve been able to save a lot longer, but since I came back from the rear, I had to go pretty had from the beginning.”
The final caution flew on Lap 70 when Dan Speeney and Austin Thaxton spun entering Turn 3. Burton surged ahead on the restart and never looked back. He won over Christian Eckes, Cole Rouse, Craig and Cole Timm.
The complete results can be viewed below.
1.) #12 Harrison Burton
2.) #15 Christian Eckes
3.) #51r Cole Rouse
4.) #54 Matt Craig
5.) #57 Cole Timm
6.) #16 Lucas Jones
7.) #6 Brandon Setzer
8.) #77s Zane Smith
9.) #56 Gus Dean
10.) #58 Tyler Ankrum
11.) #57t Austin Theriault
12.) #34 Nolan Pope
13.) #37 Dan Speeney
14.) #15t Austin Thaxton
15.) #66 Steve Wallace
16.) #29 Spencer Davis
17.) #55 Spencer Bayston
18.) #8 Tate Fogleman
19.) #53 Jerry White