SOUTH BOSTON, Va. – Hometown favorite Harrison Burton was in the right place at the right time Saturday night at South Boston Speedway, taking advantage of a chaotic final restart to win the second whosyourdriver.org Twin 100.
Burton was third with three laps to go, behind leader Todd Gilliland and second-place Chase Purdy, when Purdy jumped the restart and left Gilliland scrambling on the bottom of the race track.
At that point, the battle for second became the battle for the win, with Burton moving to the outside lane on the exit of turn two and surging past Gilliland to take command for the first time all night.
While Purdy reached the line first, he was black-flagged and penalized to the tail of the lead lap, while Burton received the checkered flag and the spoils of victory.
“I knew when Purdy jumped the start that it wasn’t necessarily intentional,” said Burton, whose win was his second in the last three NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races. “I saw the 16 (Gilliland) … he played it smart and didn’t speed up any, so it ended up being me and him racing for the win.”
“I didn’t know how to play it, because I didn’t know how I’d be judged or penalized if I beat the 16 to the line. I think I could have run up and been inside of him going into Turn 1, but I’m glad I didn’t because it worked out in our favor. I got to set him up the way that I wanted to and was able to make that pass off of (Turn) 2 to get it done.”
Burton put Saturday night’s win right at the top of his career accomplishments list, tasting victory at the same facility where his father Jeff won a NASCAR XFINITY Series race in 1991 and his uncle Ward cut his teeth at the start of his racing career.
“This (win) is probably (ranked) number one,” the younger Burton grinned. “Every win is my favorite … because I like winning a lot, but this is super-special. All my family and friends – we had a section on the backstretch – and I knew when I won and went around backwards that I was going to stop there and see them.”
“I’ve never had an experience like this; I’m just so happy. This is something that I’ve wanted for my whole life, is to be successful in a NASCAR series, and it’s starting to come to me. … I’ve never been that emotional inside a race car. Winning here almost brought me to tears tonight. I’m at a loss for words, but I’m so pumped.”
Purdy said after the checkered flag that he simply “made a mistake,” and stood dejected beside his No. 17 Bama Buggies/Textron Off-Road Toyota as he talked about what happened.
“I just jumped the restart, plain and simple,” said Purdy, who was relegated to 11th in the final rundown. “I went way too early.”
“I have to learn from tonight, because everything (that happened at the end) was on me. Everything was in our favor, except for what the driver did. I hate it for my guys. They worked so hard today and we had the fastest car here. It’s something to learn from, like I said, and definitely something I won’t do again.”
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