Author: Jon Johnston
Date: March 18, 2018
KINSTON – Harrison Burton made a move to win the 42nd Annual Rattler 250 that would surely make his father, former NASCAR driver Jeff Burton, proud.
His mother’s excitement was visible for all to see.
Burton, 17 of Mooresville, N.C., made contact as he made an aggressive move inside of Jeff Choquette of Acreage, Fla., on the final lap to take the lead in the Southern Super Series’ Super Late Model race Sunday. It helped him take the checkered flag.
Shortly after the win, Burton found his mother and picked her up with a big hug as they continued the celebration in Victory Lane.
“This is what you put your whole life into,” Burton said. “I’ve given up so much, my family’s given up so much, all these guys behind me (crew) have given up so much.
“And your whole passion is about winning – it’s not about driving for me, it’s about winning. So when you can go out and accomplish that, it’s awesome.”
A year ago at the Rattler 250, Burton finished runner-up to Ty Majeski after leading in the late stages of the race. Majeski’s winning move came on a restart with 19 laps remaining when Burton, in the lead at the time, spun his tires.
“It’s important to me,” Burton said of returning and winning this year. “I’m hard on myself and I made mistakes and lost it (last year) because of a late restart like that, and hard racing like that. Now I’m excited that I have redeemed myself. That’s what it’s all about.”
This time, it was Burton making a winning move to get past Choquette in what became a two-car race following a restart with seven laps left. Choquette had moved in front of Burton on a restart with 15 laps left.
“I got a good restart the first time and he had to do what he had to do to get by me, then I had to do what I had to do to get back around him,” Burton said. “It was crazy. I knew Choquette, he’s kind of struggling in the center of the corner, so I would try to get that run on him there and it worked out going into (turns) three and four.
“I came out side-by-side and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do when you’re side-by-side for a win. We’re out here for four days working our butts off to do that, so I’m willing to do that at least to win.”
Choquette doesn’t blame Burton for making the aggressive move.
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