• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

Countdown to the Clash: Harrison Burton looks to make noise in year two

ByMichael Manny

Jan 16, 2023

Photo courtesy of Sean Gardner | Getty Images

Harrison Burton, the NASCAR Cup Series’ youngest driver in 2022, is back for his second season driving the No. 21 car for Wood Brothers Racing, the Series’ oldest active team. 

The Son of former Cup Series winner and current NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton, Harrison has made history multiple times during his time at the national level. In 2016, Burton and Kyle Donahue became the first two drivers born in the 21st century to race in any NASCAR national series race. 

Burton made his debut in the Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports at Martinsville. He started 16th but lost ground and finished 22nd.

The younger Burton continued to race in the truck series and made his debut in the Xfinity Series as an 18-year-old with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019. Burton earned five top-10 finishes and a fourth place at Iowa Speedway in his nine starts that season.

In 2020, Burton had a breakout campaign replacing Christopher Bell, who moved up to the Cup Series, in the No. 20 car. 

Burton won his first two Xfinity Series races and made the playoffs for the first time, but was eliminated after the Round of 12. After being eliminated, Burton won two of the season’s final three races, earning consecutive victories at Texas and Martinsville. And his win total could have been higher. He finished second at Daytona and Phoenix early that season. 

After finishing 12th at the inaugural Clash at the Coliseum, Burton’s first Daytona 500 with Wood Brothers ended on an ominous note. On Lap 63, Burton was spun by Brad Keselowski and flipped on the back straightaway. 

Burton was again involved in a multi-car accident the next week at Auto Club. 

Burton had an up-and-down remainder of his rookie campaign, mixing a third-place finish at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and other solid runs with finishes near the back of the pack.  

Entering his second season in the Cup Series and still only 22, Burton will look for consistency in year two.