“Just a Boy”: Fans Rub Salt Into Jeff Burton’s Son’s Wounds After Getting Caught Up in Noah Gragson’s Replacement’s Shenanigans

Published 09/10/2023, 7:34 PM EDT

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Kansas Speedway became a hotbed of mishaps. Some tried to bite off more than they could chew, while others attributed their pitfalls to a wrench in the machinery. If anything didn’t fall into these categories, others are more than happy to pick up the slack. As the curtain rose on stages 1 and 2, it was clear that the race was gearing up to be a showstopper.

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Old habits die hard. The drivers at Kansas in the second race of the playoff season, true to form, didn’t skip a beat in turning their cars into twisted metal. A prime example was an episode starring Jeff Burton‘s son. He found himself tangled with Noah Gragson’s stand-in. And from the bleachers, the fans didn’t pull any punches, claiming that he is still a newbie.

Jeff Burton’s son’s string of letdowns

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The last time the No. 21 driver basked in the limelight was in Darlington in May 2023, snagging a commendable 6th-place finish. However, since that shining moment, it appears as though the Wood Brothers’ racing star has lost his mojo, with the road ahead appearing rockier than ever.

He found himself in hot water in nearly every race that followed, more often than not ending up at the tail end of the pack, beyond P20. At Kansas, the story took an unexpected turn.

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Rookie Carson Hocevar, filling in for the suspended Noah Gragson at Legacy Motor Club, forced Harrison Burton to the inside of a turn. Burton’s exasperation was palpable over the radio waves, painting a picture of a racecar that had taken a real beating.

Yet, while one might expect NASCAR aficionados to rally behind a driver down on his luck and boost his confidence, reality paints a different picture. Instead of lending a sympathetic ear, they seem to be adding insult to injury, highlighting his series of missteps in the Cup Series and suggesting he might need to go back to the drawing board.

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Fans mercilessly troll Harrison Burton for getting wrecked at Kansas

The majority of aficionados didn’t pull any punches, taking Jeff Burton’s son to task. They lambasted him for his seeming knack for not seeing races through to the finish line and having a magnetic attraction to mishaps, saying, “Some drivers need a few seasons to get things to really click. William Byron for instance. I think that Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe both will improve with more years. I don’t think Harrison Burton is one of those drivers. Hasn’t show much of anything. I hope I’m wrong.”

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“Harrison Burton is just the crash test dummy for the next gen at this point.”
“Harrison Burton must lead all drivers in the Next Gen with most incidents, and about 90% of them have been entirely outside of his control.”
Other observers chimed in with the adage, “harrison burton is just a boy,” probably alluding to the idea that he has many more ropes to learn in the racing world.

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In the world of NASCAR, where the drama unfolds both on and off the track, the scene is set with spectacular wrecks, unforeseen mishaps, deflated tires, and words that spark fires. Yet if a driver, after being thrown more lifelines than he can count, still fails to rev up his game, it might just be the eleventh hour for him. That’s why, whether it means putting his nose to the grindstone during gruesome practice sessions or finding a new crew chief as his North Star, Harrison Burton needs to pull out all the stops. It’s high time he made waves on the tarmac and staked his claim among the racing elite.

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Written by:

Neha Dwivedi

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Neha Dwivedi is a NASCAR Writer for EssentiallySports. Her ability to capture the spirit of the exhilarating races and relay the enthusiasm to her readers distinguishes her as a sports journalist. Neha's articles strike a nice balance between technical accuracy and story-telling.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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