Defending NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Harrison Burton scored his second straight top five in the series this season, this time at Bristol Motor Speedway where he and teammates Anthony Alfredo and Tyler Dippel competed in the Zombie Auto 150 Saturday evening.
Burton, 17, again chased Todd Gilliland right to the finish line but fell just a little bit short. He had mixed emotions after the race was over.
“I’m happy about our run but mad at second. But that’s not a bad thing, either. I just wanted a shot at Todd,” Burton said. “I thought our Dex Imaging, Safelite Auto Glass, Mobile 1 Toyota was the best car after the first couple of laps of a run, but I just couldn’t fire off on restarts with him and the race was all short runs in the second half.”
Burton’s crew chief Shane Huffman was pleased overall. “I really think we had the best car once we got past the restarts,” He echoed. “The DGR cars were just so strong on the restarts. I am proud of Harrison and all the guys for competing so hard week to week. The wins are coming.”
Dippel, 18, qualified second in his first race with the team, driving the Tycar Trenchless Technologies, D&A Concrete Toyota No. 41. He never fell further back than sixth, which is where he would up at the finish line.
“We had a really solid day,” Dippel stated. “I felt like we were just as good as Harrison but needed a little bit more to be with Gilliland. I’m a little bummed we didn’t finish a little better but Jeff (Stankiewicz) and the MDM guys gave me a shot and that’s all I can ask for.”
Crew chief Stankiewicz had nothing but good things to say about his first race with Dippel when it was over. “Tyler did a really excellent job for us all weekend. We just couldn’t get going as fast as the 98 and I think that’s what hurt us the most. I’m proud of the whole team. We ran up front all day and Tyler showed a lot of speed.”
Alfredo showed a great deal of toughness all weekend, rebounding from a qualifying crash to be racing in seventh when he was hit by another competitor and taken out in a crash on lap 137. He knows that sometimes lady luck can deal a cruel hand, but until she got him he had his Ceco Building Systems, Oxford Energy Group, Meccanic No. 40 Toyota racing toward a top five finish.
“It sucks to get that close to the end and have it end up like that,” he said. “We were having a strong run all-around coming from the back, and we used some strategy trying to get up into the top three at the end. We just got run into after a restart and ended up in the wall. I cannot thank my crew chief Robert Huffman and this team enough for all their work this weekend. We’ll regroup, go to Langley and go for a win there.”
Huffman was pleased with the team’s resilience. “I think we had a top five car. Anthony and the guys did a terrific job rebounding from the incident in qualifying. They never gave up. Restarts are tough at the end of these things and sometimes you just get the raw end of it. On to Langley.”
MDM Motorsports will begin preparing for race three in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, which will take place on Saturday, April 28 at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia.
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