DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Parlay Game) – Harrison Burton opened SpeedWeeks at Daytona International Speedway with a win in the inaugural game of the ARCA series.
Burton turned 18 in October to meet the age required to race on NASCAR's fastest and largest tracks. Venturini Motorsports has signed an ARCA contract for five races, Saturday's opening event being the first of its program.
He was the leader when an accident with 10 remaining laps caused a caution and set up two final reboots, one in overtime. Todd Gilliland was second and allowed Burton to restart the overtime recovery, which sealed Burton's victory. Burton and Gilliland will be teammates in the heavyweight series this season for Kyle Busch Motorsports and will once again participate in the first of this series on Friday.
"I knew I wanted Gilliland behind me," said Burton. "We work well together."
Burton, the son of Jeff Burton, a former NASCAR driver and current NBC analyst, was hoarse with his celebratory cry when he reached the track of victories. He was welcomed by his father, the Cup winner at Daytona in 2000, while Jeff Burton was the first to look inside Burton's window.
"I lost my voice. I screamed and screamed for a long time. I do not even know where it is in my life. I can not put it into words, "said Burton. "I'm ready to have more."
Burton made a special note to sponsor Dex Imaging, who has been supporting him since he started racing at the age of 12.
"And now we are putting them on the road to victory," said Burton.
Burton went through the NASCAR NEXT program, won the 2017 NASCAR K & N Pro Series East Championship and two previous ARCA races.
The pre-race series announced a several-year extension with Menards, which elevated the company to sponsor status with the renown name ARCA Menards Series.
NASCAR bought out ARCA last year and series president Ron Drager said the move strengthened his ability to land at Menards.
"We would not be sitting at this table and making this announcement if we had not been a NASCAR property," Drager said.