One year ago Harrison Burton was racing in the World Series of Asphalt at New Smyrna Speedway 13 miles from Daytona International Speedway.
Saturday night he was standing in Victory Lane at Daytona.
In his first start on the famed high banks of the 2.5 mile track Burton went to victory lane and got a kiss from Bill Venturini. Just something about that Venturini and Daytona.
Burton and teammate Christian Eckes exchanged the lead for most of the 80 lap race. Gus Dean in the #32 made his case for victory but was ultimately ARCA’d by someone else’s mess. For the most part however it was the Venturini cars pacing the field.
Eckes came home 4th Saturday night, for a kid racing for a championship it was a solid points night. Especially when you consider defending race winner, teammate and main rival for the Championship Michael Self had an awful day.
Self got turned 3 laps into the race by Willie Mullins who attempted to channel his inner Dale and “rattle his cage a little.”
It was rather tame for an ARCA race all things considered. Sure we had a back marker fail to check up coming to pit road and ran over a fellow competitor. And maybe we had one car drift like he was DK and
The #61 when high to avoid the drifting #22 and collected another car. Typical ARCA crash no spotter, just drift up until you hit something.
Richard Petty’s grandson Thad Moffitt cut a tire down late and spun his #46 Empire Racing car out. Shame because FOX was all queued up to do a “Moffitt restores Petty name to victory lane” but will have to wait another year.
Todd Gilliland was noticeably absent for much of the race. Maybe not even noticeably because if you didn’t look at the lineup beforehand you didn’t know he was even in the race. He made sure everyone knew he was there at the end. With three laps to go he hooked onto the rear bumper of Brandon McReynolds, Larry’s kid, you know the one. Anyway they locked bumpers and blasted to the front like this was a 2011 Cup race. One the backstretch this happened with 2 to go.
And that was that.
ARCA changed their G-W-C policy for 2019, thankfully. No longer does the series have unlimited restarts until the leader takes the checkered flag under green conditions on super speedways. The new procedure is a one lap shootout. Green and White flags at the same time followed by the checkered. If there’s a caution scoring goes back to the last timing look.
There was no caution and Harrison Burton took a huge push from Todd Gilliland to victory lane.
ARCA is back in action March 9th at Five Flags Speedway in Pensecola, FL.
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