nascar

Harrison Burton set to make Cup Series debut

Harrison Burton is set to make his NASCAR Cup Series debut in next Sunday’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway with Gaunt Brothers Racing.

Gaunt Brothers Racing, which failed to qualify for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway with Ty Dillon behind the wheel of the #96 Toyota, are set to return to the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway for another shot at a superspeedway event next weekend.

Harrison Burton, who competes full-time for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series, is set to make his debut in this race for Marty Gaunt’s team.

Burton is set to pilot the #96 Toyota in this 188-lap GEICO 500 around the four-turn, 2.66-mile (4.281-kilometer) high-banked oval in Lincoln, Alabama next Sunday, April 25.

His #96 Toyota is set to carry primary sponsorship from DEX Imaging.

Here is what Burton, who is set to make his 50th career Xfinity Series start the day prior in the Ag-Pro 300 at the track, had to say about the opportunity in a team release.

“I’m incredibly grateful to DEX Imaging and Toyota for providing this opportunity with Gaunt Brothers Racing. From the moment I started racing, the Cup Series was always the goal. In everything I’ve done, I’ve been working toward this moment. I saw how hard my dad worked to get to Cup and how hard he worked to compete and win races. He instilled that same work ethic in me and I’m just really proud and honored to have the chance to do what he did and compete with the best of the best.”

Here is what Gaunt had to add.

“We’re proud to represent such an innovative brand in DEX Imaging and equally proud to have Harrison make his first NASCAR Cup Series start with us. As a Toyota team, we’ve seen firsthand how well Harrison has developed. He’s been racing and winning in Toyotas for years, and yet he’s still only 20 years old. He has a very bright future ahead of him and we aim to make his Cup Series debut a successful one.”

Gaunt Brothers Racing’s only two starts so far this season came at the Daytona International Speedway road course, where Dillon finished in 19th place, and in the dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway, where he finished in 26th.

In 49 career Xfinity Series starts, Burton has four victories, all last year — third most in the series — en route to an eighth place finish in the championship standings as a rookie. In two starts at Talladega Superspeedway, both of which came last year, he has finishes of 32nd (DNF) and 23rd place. He also made 38 Truck Series starts and finished in 11th in his lone start at the track in October 2019.

Tune in to Fox at 2:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 25 for the live broadcast of the GEICO 500 from Talladega Superspeedway.


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