Harrison Burton and his crew chief Brian Wilson are hoping to end their rookie seasons in the Cup Series with a strong run in this weekend’s season finale at Phoenix Raceway.
Burton, Wilson and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team are coming off their best overall weekend of the season, at Martinsville Speedway, where they qualified 10th and finished 11th. Other recent races also have seen improved performances by the Wood Brothers team.
“Everyone on the No. 21 team is extremely proud of the competitiveness that we’ve seen over the past month,” Wilson said. “As we head into Phoenix to wrap up our rookie season, it’s a little bittersweet since we seem to be turning a corner as a team.”
Wilson said he was especially proud of the team’s most recent performance.
“This past race in Martinsville was what I consider our most complete weekend,” he said. “We had competitive speed in every session and Stage in the schedule.
“Practice was very strong, qualifying in the top 10 was a great result, and we were able to start and finish the race with competitive speed. Finishing 11th shows that our process is starting to pay off.”
Wilson said he expects the challenges at Phoenix will be similar to Martinsville as far as how the team will prepare the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang.
“The first [Phoenix] race was so early in the season that you wouldn’t be able to bring the same setup and be competitive,” he said. “We’ll look at recent trends to put together another complete weekend.”
And the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team will be keeping an eye on the championship battle as Mustang driver Joey Logano is among the final four who will contend for the Cup Series championship.
“Also, through our alliance with Team Penske, we’ll try to gather as much information as we can to help ensure a Ford championship at the end of the weekend,” he said.
Practice at Phoenix is set for Friday at 5:05 p.m. (8:05 Eastern Time), with qualifying on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. (3:30 Eastern).
Sunday’s 312-mile race on the one-mile oval is scheduled to get the green flag just after 1 pm. (3 p.m. Eastern) with TV coverage on NBC.
Stage breaks are planned for Laps 60 and 185.