As Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team head into this weekend’s Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway they are proud of their performances in the first two races of 2023 but confident there are better finishes ahead.
Burton and the No. 21 Mustang led laps late in the season-opening Daytona 500 and rallied from a slow start last weekend at Auto Club Speedway to post a top-15 finish there.
Now they’re headed to the 1.5-mile Las Vegas track that in recent seasons has been one of the more successful venues for the Wood Brothers. In the past seven years, the Woods have posted six top-10 finishes in 12 races, including two runner-up runs, with only one finish worse than 16th.
Crew chief Brian Wilson said Burton and the Motorcraft/Quick Lane team can use their notes from last year at Las Vegas plus what they learned last weekend to prepare for a strong showing this week.
“Last weekend in Fontana the No. 21 Ford made huge gains throughout the race,” Wilson said. “Over the final 50 laps of the race we averaged top-15 lap times and scored a solid 15th-place finish.
“Heading into the Las Vegas weekend we look to build off our growing notebook. For this weekend Goodyear will bring the same tire combination as Fontana, so many aspects of the setup should transfer over. We also had a solid race weekend last fall during our last visit to Las Vegas.
“We’ll attempt to blend the best of those two notebooks to continue our progress and improve our competitiveness.”
Wilson said he and the team are achieving their goal of picking up where they left off at the end of the 2022 campaign.
“So far this season our average finish in 20.5,” he said. “This is similar to where we ended last season, but everyone on the Motorcraft/ Quick Lane Ford knows we left a great finish on the table at the end of the Daytona race.
“We know we’re capable of even better finishes.”
Practice for the Pennzoil 400 is set for Saturday at 10:35 a.m. (1:30 p.m. Eastern Time) to be followed immediately by qualifying.
Sunday’s 400-mile race is scheduled to get the green flag just after 12:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. Eastern).
Stage breaks are planned for Laps 80 and 165.
FOX Sports 2 will carry TV coverage of practice, with FOX Sports 1 covering qualifying. FOX will broadcast Sunday’s race.