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Harrison Burton. (Toyota Racing photo)

Harrison Burton’s Solid Iowa Double Dip

NEWTON, Iowa – Harrison Burton put together an impressive Sunday at Iowa Speedway, completing 450 laps between two different race vehicles and scoring top-five finishes in both the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Though he started 10th in both races, Burton didn’t stay mired in traffic for very long all day.

He cracked the top six by the end of the second stage of the Truck Series event and ultimately crossed the line fourth at the checkered flag, elevated to the podium after apparent race winner Ross Chastain was disqualified for failing post-race inspection.

The third-place run matched Burton’s best Truck Series finish of the season, and coupled with Chastain’s issues, allowed him to strengthen his hold on the eighth and final spot on the provisional playoff grid.

However, Burton – ever the racer – wanted more out of a short-track event he felt he could have capitalized on.

Harrison Burton (18) battles Kyle Benjamin Sunday at Iowa Speedway. (Toyota Racing photo)

“We had a tough race because we had really high expectations for Iowa. We had a chance to win last year and ran fourth this year, which isn’t bad, but it’s not what we come here to do,” noted Burton. “It was a good points day overall; we just really had to battle there. We really struggled firing off and couldn’t get spots on restarts, but over the long runs we could maintain and get better and better.

“Iowa is pretty fun. I love this race track,” Burton added. “It’s a lot of fun to pull slide jobs on people and things like that – it’s like a dirt track sometimes. I’m proud of the way we fought and had good pit stops and made it work to come away with a good result.”

Burton was also pleased to have the amount of options that he did, particularly in the Truck race, where the groove widened out dramatically as the afternoon progressed.

“I think no matter where you are, it’s all about clean air – like at a mile-and-a-half – because there are just so many options for lanes,” Burton noted of Iowa. “The top and bottom were just as good for me in one and two … either way in the truck.”

In the Xfinity Series race, Burton showed quickly that he was going to be a threat for the long haul, and made plenty of noise in the No. 18 DEX Imaging Toyota Supra.

The second-generation driver cracked the top five within 20 laps and remained there for nearly the rest of the distance, snagging stage finishes of fifth and third before slotting into fourth following the final restart of the day with 10 to go.

Harrison Burton (18) leads Zane Smith (8) and Austin Cindric Sunday at Iowa Speedway. (Toyota Racing photo)

It marked Burton’s best-career finish in his young Xfinity Series career and backed up the top-10 effort he run in during his series debut at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in April.

“I wanted to win one of these things, but we had a really good run and I had a lot of fun doing it,” said Burton. “Me and (Justin) Allgaier had a really fun race there at the end. This place is so hard to pass and he did a really good job of blocking, to where I just couldn’t necessarily give him a slide job. He drove it in deeper than I thought I could because he was on the top and kind of blocked that for me, so he did a good job holding me off there.

“I just had a lot of fun driving this Xfinity car. These cars really match my style and this race track matches my style,” he added. “I had a lot of fun today and I hope to be able to come back and do it again soon.”

Despite nearly 400 miles of racing in an eight-hour time span, Burton still flashed his trademark grin after his second race of the afternoon, as well.

“I feel pretty good,” he noted. “This was a great day, all around.”