Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Young Burton Excited About Chance To Add Another Family Member To South Boston Speedway’s Win Column

Young Burton Excited About Chance To Add Another Family Member To South Boston Speedway’s Win Column Harrison Burton always looks forward to visiting his grandparents. He’s a little more excited than usual to go see them this weekend, though.

Young Burton Excited About Chance To Add Another Family Member To South Boston Speedway’s Win Column

Burton’s grandparents live in South Boston. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Series makes a stop at South Boston Speedway Saturday for the Twin 100s. For Burton, the K&N East Series’ most recent winner, it’s the best of both worlds.

“It’s really like going home because we have so much family that lives there, family and friends that we have known for so many years,” said the 16-year-old Burton. “South Boston is a really important part of our lives. My grandparents are there. My aunts, my uncles, really most all of our family.

“That’s where they all are. It’s pretty cool to go there because everyone is just five miles away. You can go to one grandparents’ house and walk to the other ones’. It’s really cool. It’s like home to me. I’m really excited about going to race there.”

Racing at South Boston Speedway is a Burton family tradition. Both his father Jeff and his uncle Ward began their racing careers on the .4-mile oval before heading off to NASCAR Cup stardom. His cousin Jeb, who now races in the Xfinity Series, also started at South Boston. His dad will be the grand marshal for Saturday night’s race.

Because he grew up in the Charlotte area, Harrison didn’t get his racing start at South Boston Speedway. But he has raced super late models at the track several times and he tested there along with several other K&N teams last week.

“The test went really well. The new surface has different characteristics from the old surface for sure. It kind of threw me for a loop for a little bit when we first unloaded,” said Burton. “But we got it figured out and got our car better every single time we went out. I was really, really happy with the test. I learned a whole lot and the guys learned a whole lot. I feel like we’re going back to South Boston well-prepared for what could be a turning point in the season for points.”

Why does he think it could be “a turning point in the season for points?” The unique race format. Each of the two 100-lap races is a separate, points-paying race, which basically makes it a double points night. Finish in the top-five in each race, it will be a big night. Finish in the back-of-the-pack each race and suddenly you’re in a deep hole. 

Burton heads into the weekend atop the points standings with 15-point lead over Hunter Baize behind a solid start to the season with a win and three top five-finishes in the first three races of the year.

“I’ve never done twin races in a K&N race for sure. It kind of brings you back to when you first started Late Model racing and we ran some twin races,” said Burton. “It’s different. It’s a race you go into that very well could change the outlook on the whole season … two races back-to-back on the same track. It could change a lot in a hurry.”

Burton is coming off his first K&N East win at Bristol Motor Speedway two weeks ago. “That was huge,” he said of his Bristol win.

He’s done his best to put the excitement of that victory in the rear view mirror and concentrate on a race that has been circled on his calendar for quite a while.
Burton is coming off his first K&N East win at Bristol Motor Speedway two weeks ago. #nascar
“This is a big deal. You always want to perform well in front of family and friends, show them what you are capable of and what you’ve been doing,” Burton said. “We’ve been all around the country but never really get to showcase what we’ve been doing to the hometown crew. We’d like to go and hopefully show them we’re doing great things.”

You would think stepping out on the home stage with the highest expectations would bring some added pressure. Not for this 16-year-old. He considers this Saturday night’s event a comfort zone.

“I don’t think there is any pressure. Actually, I think it alleviates some of the pressure,” said Burton. “I look up in the grandstands and there’s a Ward Burton Grandstand and a Jeff Burton Grandstand and it’s pretty cool.

“I come in here and feel like it is my stomping grounds. My family has run this race track for years and we all know it’s little tricks. Even with the repave, it’s still South Boston and it’s still home. That makes it good.”

In addition to the two 100-lap K&N East races, there will be a 20-lap race for South Boston Speedway’s Budweiser Hornets Division and a 25-lap race for the regional touring Southern Ground Pounders.

Grandstand gates open at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

An autograph session for all drivers will be held trackside from 5:40 p.m. until 6:40 p.m. Pre-race activities start at 6:45 p.m. and the first of twin 100-lap races for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East competitors will get the green flag at 7 p.m.

Advance adult general admission tickets priced at $10 will be available at the South Boston Speedway office until 5 p.m. on Friday. Adult general admission tickets on race day will be $15. Admission for youth ages 7-12 will be $5. Kids ages six and under will be admitted free with a paying adult.

Also on May 6, the 14th Annual Halifax County Heritage and Antique Machinery Festival will be held at the Halifax County Fairgrounds adjacent to the speedway. Anyone presenting a wristband from the Heritage Festival will receive $5 off the cost of admission to the Twin 100s.

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NASCAR Race Mom remembers interviewing Harrison’s mom in 2009.

Question – Has either Paige or Harrison shown in interest in following in their father's footsteps?

Kim Burton - Paige is completely immersed in her equestrian pursuits. She wants to become a grand prix rider one day. Harrison is currently competing in national quarter midget events and locally at Bobby Labonte's quarter midget track in Salisbury, NC. (quarter midgets are quarter scale race cars similar to sprint cars) He loves to race and loves to compete. But, he also loves to play basketball, to ride skate boards and participate in many other sports. He loves to race right now, but he is only 8 years old and who knows where his interests will lie later. We will have to stay tuned to see what he will decide to pursue.

Click here for that complete interview.

The Burton Family (Jeff, Paige, Harrison, & Kim)

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