There was an eight-car invert, but that posed no issue for pole-winner Harrison Burton who deftly navigated through those seven other cars in 35 miles to take the checkered flag.
And he had a chip on his shoulder when he did it. The last two nights have been a storm of drama for Burton and fellow-driver Ty Majeski. After some bumping and running Monday, Majeski made a comment that he wasn’t certain about the chain of events that night. “I’m sure if we check out his mom’s Twitter, we’ll find out the truth,” he said.
Majeski of course alluding to Kim Burton, Harrison’s mother who is very active on social media during her son’s races.
That comment didn’t sit well with Burton, who took umbrage with Majeski the following night, making contact again. This time, Burton crashed, and he blamed Majeski, who won the race. “He talks crap about my mom and then wrecks me,” he said after the race Tuesday. For his part, Majeski denied intent and said it was just hard racing.
Still, it set the tone for another battle Wednesday night at New Smyrna. The pair qualified first and second, nose to tail.
That wasn’t the story that dominated night six, and Majeski didn’t even crack the top 10.
Stephen Nasse and Steven Wallace fiercely battled to remain in the top 5 while Nasse tried to cling on to his points lead for the week. Wednesday was Wallace’s first night at New Smyrna this week. The two traded paint on almost every lap, on the verge of crashing until the last ten laps when Ryan Moore passed Wallace and then bumped right into Nasse, who wheeled the car straight and avoided a wreck.
Post-invert, Derek Griffith led until he was overtaken by 14-year-old Sam Mayer who was second in the point standings. But Burton was behind him, inching closer and closer to the top spot.
With just a handful of laps left, Burton seized his opportunity and passed Mayer.
Mayer, while able to overtake the points lead, was visibly disappointed that he was unable to seal the deal. He told reporters that the track was slick at first due to the weather, but it wasn’t much of a factor for the rest of the race.
Burton, on the other hand, was exuberant to the point of losing his voice. “That was one of the most exciting moments of my life, taking that checkered,” Burton said. “That felt really good after last night.” He said the team stayed at the track until after 1 a.m. Tuesday night getting their damaged car back into racing shape.
He said he might lose his voice because he yelled so loudly in excitement. The reigning champion reduced the points deficit to 11 points, but still needs a big break to win.
For now, the 14-year-old newcomer, Sam Mayer, holds the top points spot over 22-year-old Stephen Nasse.
But the week ain’t over yet.
The complete results can be viewed below.
- Harrison Burton
- Sam Mayer
- Derek Griffith
- Ryan Moore
- Stephen Nasse
- Derek Kraus
- Matt Wallace
- Brad May
- Tyler Dippel
- Carter Stokes
- Jerry Artuso
- Joseph Graf
- Gabe Sommers
- Darrell Gilchrist
- Ty Majeski
- Justin Ashburn
- Steven Wallace
- Steve Weaver Jr.
- Anthony Sergi
- Russ Shaw
Read more Short Track Scene:
- PASS to promote new Late Model event at Richmond Raceway
- CARS Tour offers souped-up loyalty program for LMSCs in 2018
- Lee Pulliam retires from full-time racing