Burton Wins ARCA Season Opener at Daytona

Making his superspeedway debut, Harrison Burton was able to hang on to the lead¬† in overtime to win his 3rd career ARCA race. “I knew I wanted (Todd) Gilliland behind me.” said Burton. During the final lap, Burton was being pushed by his NASCAR Truck Series teammate Todd Gilliland to create a gap ahead of the rest of the pack. Gilliland tried to make a move around Burton, but the pack caught up and Burton held on to win. Pole-sitter Christian Eckes was teammates with Burton in the race, but when the one-lap overtime was set to begin, it became every driver for themselves. He didn’t have much pushing help from the outside line and it allowed Gilliland to shove Burton to the front.

“I was going 110% in every lane I could.”¬† said Todd Gilliland. He was involved in the incident that created the overtime situation. With just a few laps remaining, we saw a glimpse of some tandem racing. The Top-5 racers had broken away from the back and Gilliland locked up with Brandon McReynolds to shove them both up to the front. ARCA, like NASCAR, doesn’t allow locked up fenders in superspeedway racing and ordered the two to split up. The complied and found themselves running in the Top-5. On the backstretch, Gilliland began pushing again and hell broke loose. McReynolds got turned into 3rd place runner Bret Holmes, and wrecked the two cars. Gus Dean, who led a good portion of the event, was wrecked further back when trying to avoid the carnage.

Grant Quinlan finished 3rd, Christian Eckes finished fourth and was a clear threat to win until the very end. Sean Corr finished fifth. Natalie Decker started out her packed 2019 schedule on a positive note finishing 6th. She briefly led the outside line and contended with the leaders in the Top-5 for a majority of the event. She’ll be splitting a schedule in ARCA, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

One of the favorites of the race, Michael Self, was wrecked out early in the race, very similar to how McReynolds day ended much later. Self, the 2018 winner of the race, was being shoved by Willie Mullins on the backstretch and went airborne after a case of bump drafting gone wrong.

A rare instance of green flag stops at a Daytona ARCA race seemed imminent shortly after halfway. However, when the first batch of cars came to make their stops, Eric Caudell was punted from behind and slammed the inside wall extremely hard. The caution gave everyone the chance to make their pit stops, and thankfully Caudell was alright.

In a special show of talent, Connor Hall blew a tire in the middle of Turns 3/4 and he drove it all the way onto the front stretch before finally spinning out, making a very great save in the process.

Thad Moffitt, the grandson of Richard Petty, started out racing with the leaders. When he was in a 5-car breakaway, he was black flagged because his window net fell down, a huge safety hazard. He had to give up his 5th place running spot and fell a lap down to fix the issue. Through the cautions, he was able to make his way back up into one of the lead pacls, but with 10 laps to go, he blew a tire and wrecked out of what could have been a strong performance for the 4th generation driver.

The next time the newly named ARCA Menards Series will race will be March 9 at Five Flags Speedway for the ARCA Pensacola 200.

Full Lucas Oil 200 Results:

FnSt#DriverTeamMakeBehind
1520Harrison BurtonVenturini MotorsportsToyota
2184Todd GillilandDGR-CrosleyToyota-0.112
32530Grant QuinlanRette Jones RacingFord-0.200
4215Christian EckesVenturini MotorsportsToyota-0.212
52243Sean CorrEmpire RacingChevy-0.293
6754Natalie DeckerDGR-CrosleyToyota-0.330
7157Codie RohrbaughGrant County Mulch RacingChevy-0.442
8827Travis BradenRFMS RacingFord-0.504
9902Andy SeussOur MotorsportsChevy-0.634
101718Riley HerbstJoe Gibbs RacingToyota-0.744
111022Connor HallChad Bryant RacingFord-0.760
121252Tyler DippelKen Schrader RacingFord-0.800
13245Bobby GerhartGerhart RacingChevy-0.910
14331Chuck HiersFast Track RacingToyota-1.173
15355Leilani MunterVenturini MotorsportsToyota-1.529
163111Jason WhiteFast Track RacingChevy-2.312
172629Derrick LancasterOn Point MotorsportsToyota-10.261
181423Bret HolmesBret Holmes RacingChevy-1 Lap
193448Brad SmithBrad Smith MotorsportsChevy-1 Lap
202763Dave Mader IIISpraker RacingFord-2 Laps
212077Joe Graf Jr.Chad Bryant RacingFord-3 Laps
223506Con NicolopoulosWayne Peterson RacingChevy-3 Laps
233010Tommy Vigh Jr.Fast Track RacingFord-4 Laps
241309CJ McLaughlinOur MotorsportsChevy-7 Laps
251128Brandon McReynoldsKBR DevelopmentToyota-8 Laps
261632Gus DeanWin-Tron RacingChevy-8 Laps
27246Thad MoffittEmpire RacingChevy-16 Laps
282961J.J. PackJ.J. Pack RacingToyota-36 Laps
291935Brenden QueenVizion MotorsportsToyota-37 Laps
302336Paul WilliamsonVizion MotorsportsToyota-38 Laps
31625Michael SelfVenturini MotorsportsToyota-38 Laps
322869Scott MeltonKimmel RacingFord-41 Laps
33322Eric CaudellHixson MotorsportsFord-46 Laps
342144John FerrierEmpire RacingChevy-51 Laps
3543Willie MullinsMullins RacingFord-83 Laps

 

Author: Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey (@TomBaileyScoop) grew up in the backyard of Chicagoland Speedway, making a passion for all motorsports inevitable. Tom is entering his first full year of racing coverage in 2020 as the owner and founder of InfieldScoop.com. You can contact him at [email protected]

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