LOUDON, N.H. — New Hampshire Motor Speedway hosts a hefty NASCAR lineup this weekend, which includes competition from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, XFINITY Series, Whelen Modified Tour, and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
Harrison Burton, a 16-year-old K&N East regular, sits in the midst of the quadruple on-track action, but feels little pressure as he heads into a busy weekend.
“I like to be laid-back. I think if you get too uptight, you can kind of hurt yourself by overthinking everything,” Burton said.
Burton is having a productive run in his sophomore season, and he will have the opportunity to showcase his dominance in front of experienced drivers and fans across the sport.
But going into competition at New Hampshire, Harrison Burton, son of former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, finds that as a driver, his image is clouded by his father’s success at NHMS.
“I’m ready to try to add to my own name. Everyone always tries to relate me and my dad,” Burton said. “Everyone in the autograph line is like, ‘You’re Jeff’s son, right?’ I want to change that. I want to be Harrison.”
Coming off a rough rookie season, Burton, a member of the 2017-18 NASCAR Next youth initiative class, is reeling in numbers atop the charts. This season, Burton holds an average finish of 2.9 with four wins. He’s finished in the top 10 in all eight races thus far and in the top five in all but one — he finished sixth at Berlin Raceway in Michigan.
The No. 12 Dex Imaging driver was winless last season and had an average finish of 9.5. Now, Burton leads the K&N East series in points with 347, which is 22 more than second-place driver and last year’s champion, Todd Gilliland.
Looking ahead, Burton says he feels comfortable heading into the latter end of the K&N season.
“I’m really pumped for going into Iowa. I have truck experience there,” Burton said.
“I feel like the road courses are (tracks) I feel like I’m going to perform better than last year. I feel like I’m pretty confident going into the road course races, and hopefully surprise everyone with a win.”
In the meantime, Burton has his own recipe for posting a better finish than last year’s (seventh) at NHMS.
“Unload fast,” he said. “Get off the trailer fast and do my job early as far as being in the right lane and having speed on my part. That makes our job so much easier as a race team to work on the car instead of working on myself.”