THOMPSON, Conn. (WWLP) – Harrison Burton led the final 25 laps to score his fourth win of the season in the NASCAR Busch North Throwback 100 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. The series is making back-to-back appearances here in New England as they will head to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Overton’s 301 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event this weekend.
Chase Purdy started on the pole after breaking the track record in qualifying. Purdy led the first 16 laps in the race before Todd Gilliand would take the lead on lap 17. Gilliand led a race high 58 laps before Burton knocked on the door to take the lead away from Gilliand in the final 25 laps
Burton talked to 22News about the battle with Gilliand for the lead.
“It was a lot of fun. Me and Todd (Gilliand) knew lap count was winding down, and I decided it was time to go. Just drove it in there one time and made it stick. It was a pretty clean pass. Once we got side by side, it was kind of back and fourth drag racing down the straightaway. It was a lot of fun, that’s for sure. Just pretty proud to be here with the MDM guys and putting on a good show for the fans.” Burton said
Todd Gilliland out of Sherrills Ford, NC finished second and told 22News he wish he had a little more for Burton.
“Overall, it was a great weekend for everyone on the NAPA Auto Parts team. NAPA had a lot of people here. Its also when sponsors can introduce new fans to NASCAR. We definitely put on a good show for them. We got to move on from here to Loudon next week.” Gilliand said
Ronnie Bassett, Jr out of Winston Salem, NC finished third in the 100 lap race. Bassett, Jr told 22News he enjoyed running on the 5/8 mile oval.
“We qualified sixth. The racing was really good, I thought. We got up to the top five and kind of maintained a little bit and picked off the 31 (Ryan Preece) and the 17 (Chase Purdy). We stayed about anywhere from a half straightaway three quarters shortly back behind the two leaders. I realized we weren’t going to catch them under green so I had to keep the rear tires on.” Bassett, Jr Said
The series will race this Saturday in Loudon, NH for the United Site Service 70 as they will race with the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Xfinity Series. Burton will carry a 22 point lead over Gilliand heading into Saturday. Burton is really confident heading to the Magic Mile on Saturday. It will be the first for him at Loudon driving for his new team MDM Motorsports. He drove for HScott Motorsports last season. MDM Motorsports did win at Loudon last year with Corey Lajoie taking down the win.
Burton’s father, former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, is a multi-time winner at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and is a current commentator on NBC. Harrison told 22News that is father has given him plenty of advice.
“A ton. He obviously knows what he is doing up there at Loudon. Led every lap in one race up there and he is very proud of that. Something I got to do is relay information to him. We’re ready to go to Loudon for sure.” Burton Said
Gilliland thought he was fast in practice last year, but wasn’t race able fast. He knows what he needs now to race a little bit harder in an actual race. He will see how it works out and hoping to get another shot at it on Saturday.
Bassett, Jr did not make it to New Hampshire Motor Speedway last year. He raced there in 2015. His crew chief has some notes from there from last year.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will race this Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with two practice sessions on Friday at 4:00 P.M.-4:30 P.M and 6:00 P.M.-6:45 P.M. followed by qualifying. The United Sites Service 70 lap race will be held at approximately 6:45 P.M. on Saturday.