THOMPSON, CONN. — Harrison Burton and Todd Gilliland soon could be NASCAR’s new kids on the block, but you might already recognize them.
Like every driver competing in Saturday’s Busch North Throwback 100 at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Burton and Gilliland want to leave their marks on NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East. However, like their fathers before them, both of these teenagers appear destined for NASCAR’s national series.
Burton, whose father Jeff Burton won 21 races on NASCAR’s premier series, is the current K&N East points leader. At 16 years old, he’s not even old enough to be allowed on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Gilliland is the son of current NASCAR driver David Gilliland, who has experience on all three NASCAR national series. The 17-year-old is as busy as he is successful, as he competes full time in both the K&N West — where he’s defending champion — and the K&N East, where he’s currently second in points.
When it comes to both of these young drivers, age clearly is just a number.
Seeing Harrison and Todd at Thompson is bittersweet for many fans.
Sure, it’s likely neither driver will be in K&N much longer, so Saturday’s race might be one of your final chances to see them racing at a local gem like Thompson. But there’s also a good chance you’ll soon watch them in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, just like you did their fathers.