Freightliner 21 Render

Burton, Freightliner Team Hoping To Turn Their Season Around at Texas

As Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Freightliner team head into this weekend’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at Texas Motor Speedway, the team’s focus is on digging their way out of an early season slump.

After eight races, the biggest highlight has been an 11th-place finish in the second race of the season, at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Poor finishes put Burton and the team at a disadvantage in upcoming races because the metrics NASCAR uses to determine the qualifying order are based on recent performances.

That means starting the race weekend as one of the first to qualify, which usually means less-than-ideal track conditions relative to the rest of the field. Struggles in qualifying then put the team behind from the start of the race and working from a less-desirable pit stall.

“There’s no getting around the fact that we aren’t where we want to be, and it’s a vicious cycle,” crew chief Jeremy Bullins explained. “Going out early in qualifying has been terrible for us, and track position is such a huge deal, probably more than ever.”

But Bullins remains hopeful that the Freightliner team can work its way out of the slump and begin accumulating points.

“One good week can help us get the whole thing turned around, so we will keep fighting until we get there,” he said.

The next chance to do that begins with practice at Texas on Saturday at 9:35 a.m. Central Time (10:35 Eastern) to be followed by qualifying at 10:20 (11:20 Eastern).

Sunday’s 267-lap, 400-mile race is scheduled to get the green flag just after 2:30 p.m. (3:30 Eastern). Stage breaks are planned for Laps 80 and 165.

FOX Sports 1 will carry the TV coverage both days.