Fantasy NASCAR Preview #30: Harrison Burton

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HARRISON BURTON (WOOD BROTHERS RACING) FORD

2023 DRIVER FANTASY POINTS: 31st             

2024 FANTASY NASCAR RANK: 30TH                  

 

* The 2024 ranking are based on the driver’s projected points scored for the 2024 season and not his predicted finish in the Cup Series standings. The rankings are based on the driver’s performance last year, momentum heading into the 2024 season and the strength of the driver’s team.

 

2023 RECAP: Harrison Burton completed his second full season behind the wheel of the No. 21 car for Wood Brothers Racing last year. Burton struggled in his rookie season (finished 27th in the Cup Series Point Standings) and the 2023 season was worse. Burton did not finish any races in the top-five and he only had two finishes in the top-10 (Pocono and Darlington). Burton only led 25 laps in 2023. They all came on the Superspeedways. Burton scored the 31st most points in the Fantasy Live game. He also did not have much value in Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) contests, despite his cheap price.

 

2024 PREVIEW: Harrison Burton was a free agent at the end of the 2023 season. It was a bit surprising to see the Wood Brothers bring the young driver back for another season in the No. 21 car. Burton is only 23 years old, so the team must believe that Burton will improve with more experience. The good news for Burton is that Ford does not have the young talent waiting to move up to the Cup Series like Toyota and the Chevy’s do. Zane Smith was his biggest competition, but the Truck Series star took the seat in the Spire Motorsports Chevy. Cole Custer is proving he deserves another chance in the Cup Series and Riley Smith is starting to excel in the Xfinity Series. The bottom line is that Burton needs to improve or Ford will find another driver for the No. 21 car.

It is tough to get excited about Harrison Burton in your Fantasy NASCAR lineup in 2024. He has 73 Cup Series races on his resume. His average finishing position is 23.7 and he has only led 60 laps in two seasons. His best tracks are Pocono and Darlington, but you can probably find a better choice for your team. Ford will have a new car in 2024 (The Ford Mustang Dark Horse). Maybe Burton will adapt quickly to the new car and show some improvement, but I need to see it before I invest any fantasy shares into the No. 21 car in 2024.

 

SUPERSPEEDWAY VALUE (DAYTONA, TALLADEGA, ATLANTA)

I have been playing Fantasy NASCAR for a long time (this will be my 29th season) and selecting the Wood Brothers car at the Superspeedways was always an easy choice. The team was known for bring fast cars that performed well in the draft to Daytona and Talladega. The cars still have speed, but Burton has not had much success.

Daytona ranks as the fourth-worst track for Harrison Burton and Talladega is his worst track. Burton finished 26th and 28th in the two races at Daytona last year. His average finishing position in his six races at Daytona is 20.6. His stats at Talladega are not very good as well. Burton has four consecutive finishes at Talladega outside the top-30. He ranks dead-last in fantasy points at Talladega (even B.J. McLeod has scored more points at Talladega than Burton last year). There are better choices for your Fantasy NASCAR team at Daytona and Talladega.

Turning Atlanta Motor Speedway into a drafting track has not helped Harrison Burton. He finished 28th and 34th in the two races last year. His average finishing position in his four races on the newly configured speedway is 24.25. There are better drivers for your fantasy team when the Cup Series races in Atlanta.

(Harrison Burton ranked 32nd in fantasy points scored on the Superspeedways last year with an average finishing position of 30.7)

 

 

SHORT-FLAT TRACK VALUE (PHOENIX, RICHMOND, MARTINSVILLE, GATEWAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE, IOWA)

There were eight races on the short, flat tracks last year. Harrison Burton had an average starting position of 25.3 and an average finishing position of 24.8. He only averaged 12.3 Fantasy Live points and 18.3 DraftKings points at these tracks. There will be nine races on the short, flat tracks in 2024 with the addition of Iowa Speedway to the schedule. Drivers who cannot run well at these tracks will not have much fantasy value this year.

Jeff Burton was the master of the short, flat tracks in his home state of Virginia. I guess the apple fell far from the tree, because Harrison Burton has not been very good. Martinsville is his best track, but his average finishing position at the track is only 20.25 and he has never led a lap at the track. Burton has an average finishing position of 23rd at Richmond and New Hampshire. Phoenix ranks as one of his worst tracks. Burton had an average finishing position of 30.5 at Phoenix last year. There are better choices for your fantasy team at the short, flat tracks in 2024.

(Harrison Burton ranked 25th in fantasy points scored on the short-flat tracks last year with an average finishing position of 24.8)

 

 

HIGH-BANKED TRACK VALUE (BRISTOL, DOVER)

Harrison Burton is not the first driver that comes to mind when people think of dirt track racing, but he was one of the best drivers on the dirt at Bristol. Burton finished seventh in 2022 and fourth last year. NASCAR will no longer race on the dirt at Bristol, so this hurts Burton’s fantasy value.

Bristol is still one of the better tracks for Harrison Burton. He finished 15th in Thunder Valley last year and 20th in 2022. We need drivers who can lead laps at Bristol and Burton has never done that. He will be worth a flier in DFS contests at Bristol, but it will be tough to get excited about him in season-long leagues.

Burton has about the same value at Dover that he has at Bristol. His average finishing position in his two races at the Monster Mile is 22nd. He has never led a lap and he has never qualified inside the top-30. There are better choices for your season-long leagues at Dover. Burton is averaging 10 place differential points at Dover, so he does have some value in DFS contests.

(Harrison Burton ranked 22nd in fantasy points scored on the high-banked tracks last year with an average finishing position of 22.3)

 

 

ROAD COURSE TRACK VALUE (COTA, SONOMA, WATKINS GLEN, CHICAGO STREET, CHARLOTTE ROVAL)

Harrison Burton is not the first driver that comes to mind when people think about road course racing. He has 12 road course races in the Cup Series on his resume and his average finishing position is 23.6. Burton did not finish any of the road course races last year inside the top 20. He averaged 10.8 points in Fantasy Live and 18.1 points in DraftKings at the road courses in 2023. There are better drivers to use in your Fantasy NASCAR lineups when the Cup Series goes road course racing in 2024.

(Harrison Burton ranked 26th in fantasy points scored on the road courses last year with an average finishing position of 26.2)

 

 

HIGH TIRE WEAR TRACK VALUE (AUTO CLUB, DARLINGTON, MICHIGAN, HOMESTEAD)

Harrison Burton did learn out skill from his father…. How to save his tires over a long run. Jeff Burton had a history of running up front at the end of a long run because he was able to save his tires better than the rest of the field. Harrison is not as good as his father, but the high tire wear tracks are some of his best in the Cup Series.

Harrison Burton finished sixth at Darlington last year. It was his best finishing position in 2023. He also started 25th and finished 14th at Darlington in 2022. There are still better drivers to use at “The Track Too Tough to Tame” in season-long leagues, but Burton will have some value in DFS contests at the track.

Harrison Burton has a win at Homestead-Miami Speedway on his Xfinity Series resume and he has been decent at the track in the Cup Series too. Burton finished 20th at Homestead in 2022. Last year he was running 18th when his car overheated. Burton is a good cheap option for your DFS lineup at Homestead.

The Fords have a history of running well in their backyard (Michigan International Speedway) and Burton is starting to show he can take his Yates Horsepower to a top-20 finish. Burton started 29th and finished 17th at Michigan last year. You will need a better finish than that in your season-long leagues, but his ability to score place differential points at Michigan makes Burton a good value pick for your DFS lineup if he qualifies deep enough in the field.

(Harrison Burton ranked 28th in fantasy points scored on the high tire wear tracks last year with an average finishing position of 21.8)

 

 

INTERMEDIATE TRACK VALUE (LAS VEGAS, KANSAS, CHARLOTTE AND TEXAS)

Harrison Burton has 12 starts at the Intermediate tracks on his Cup Series resume. His average starting position is 22.8 and his average finishing position is 22.8. Burton is averaging 14.3 Fantasy Live points and 20.2 DraftKings points in these races. His production went down in 2023 from his rookie season. That had a lot to do with the stronger fields last year. The fields are going to be even better in 2024, so it is hard to imagine Burton showing any improvement at the Intermediate tracks this year.

The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte is one of the best races for Burton. He finished 11th in the Memorial Weekend race in 2022 and Burton brought his No. 21 Ford home in 18th place last year. I guess a 23 year old driver has more stamina for this endurance race then the older drivers in the field. Burton is worth a spot in your DFS lineups when the Cup Series races at Charlotte in May.

(Harrison Burton ranked 26th in fantasy points scored on the intermediate tracks last year with an average finishing position of 24.8)

 

Best Tracks for Harrison Burton: 1) Charlotte, 2) Pocono, 3) Darlington, 4) Bristol, 5) Martinsville

 

Be sure to check out all of the Driver Preview articles that will be released later this week. I will have the drivers ranked 21st – 35th for FREE. The top-20 will be behind the pay wall, so the members can get an advantage over their competitors.

 

* Team Information from Jaysky.com

** If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on X (Twitter) @MrFantasyNASCAR

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