Burton, Wooden Brothers discover one thing to construct on at Darlington

Harrison Burton is aware of {that a} 14th-place end at Darlington Raceway being the season-high for Wooden Brothers Racing can’t actually be described as a superb factor, however he’s seeing it as a small victory.

“And greater than end, I believe the velocity we had in that race,” Burton mentioned. “There was part of that race the place we got here out after a pit cease and hadn’t been actually good to start out the race, after which the automobile wakened. We made the appropriate adjustments on pit street. Joey and Denny had been second and third, and I ran them down and caught them. I believe Joey had one-lap older tires, so we had been fairly even to them. I caught them and was like, ‘OK, now we’re rolling.’

“Wanting on the lap time knowledge, that was our strongest race for positive in comparison with the leaders and that individual phase, we matched the chief’s lap time. So, it’s like, ‘OK, we’re entering into the appropriate path there.’ We’ve got the velocity at occasions to be a top-five automobile, we simply must go and execute a complete race now. We had one phase the place we had been actually good, after which we tuned ourselves out of it some. I believe that was a giant victory to run with these guys — catch Denny, catch Joey.”

Burton wasn’t on the identical lap as Logano or Hamlin when he caught them as a result of he was racing Brad Keselowski for the free cross. However the rookie nonetheless felt it was nonetheless the most important victory of the day to indicate the No. 21 Ford had velocity.

“Then the end was really in all probability worse than what we had lap time sensible,” mentioned Burton. “It was not consultant of our greatest runs. We had flat-spotted tires after the large crash, needed to pit and misplaced some monitor place there. So the end quantity was not that thrilling, however I believe the velocity we had was extra thrilling.”

Saying it’s been a tough begin to the 12 months for Burton’s staff may be an understatement. In a matter of moments, he went from main the Daytona 500 to flipping on the backstretch. There have been errors from the staff and the motive force and the misfortune of being caught up in another person’s incidents.

Darlington was Burton’s first top-15 end and simply his fifth top-20 end in 12 races. He has three DNFs.

Each week is a brand new probability to be taught, and Burton has stored his head excessive whereas committing himself to getting higher. Crew chief Brian Wilson, new to the Cup Sequence himself on this place, has preached the significance of scoring factors and giving Burton a automobile he might be assured with within the pack.

“I instructed Brian, once we had that run at Darlington I discussed earlier, that I felt comfy,” Burton mentioned. “That was the primary time the place I wasn’t uncomfortable on this race automobile, which is fairly wild when you consider it. This can be a exhausting race automobile to drive, which is nice for our sport, I believe. However once you hit it proper, it drives very well.

“We’ve got some notes to construct off of now of issues that I like, particularly primarily based off that run. Some adjustments I like. Hopefully that may carry over. For me, it was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can lastly go be aggressive with this automobile.’ I hadn’t felt that, and now I really feel like we’ll be capable of replicate that and go get after it extra.”

Burton has additionally realized one thing about himself by the rising pains and appreciating the small victories.

“I received’t give up,” Burton mentioned. “I’ll by no means give up. I believe a few of the good issues about this begin is you construct confidence in your work ethic and want. When issues are unhealthy, that’s once you discover out who you’re. You undergo adversity in life — everybody has it — and I really feel prefer it makes you higher.

“The schedule is as exhausting because it’s ever been for me personally. The Cup schedule is fairly grueling. So, I’m studying about myself in a piece ethic capability. My love for the game is as excessive because it’s ever been as a result of I admire what Cup is all about, and I’m on the point of hopefully begin succeeding in that. That’s thrilling.”


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