Harrison Burton and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane team overcame the loss of first gear early in Sunday’s EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and came away with a 22nd-place finish.
Burton started Sunday’s scheduled 68-lap race from 16th place, but lost first gear on a pit stop with two of 15 laps remaining in the opening Stage.
The loss of the lowest gear meant Burton couldn’t be as aggressive on restarts and in negotiating the slow-speed corners on the 3.41-mile, 20-turn race course.
He finished the first Stage in 34th place and the second 15-lap Stage in 28th.
Crew chief Brian Wilson elected to stretch the fuel in the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Mustang before making the second stop of the day at Lap 39.
A caution flag flew just after the stop. As other drivers made their pit stops, Burton advanced to the front row for the subsequent restart with 25 laps left to run.
Without low gear he fell back and was running 28th when a caution flag flew four laps shy of the checkered flag.
Wilson brought the No. 21 Mustang to pit road for fresh tires and fuel.
Dodging wrecks ahead of him while being as aggressive as he could under the circumstances, Burton gained three spots on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered-flag finish. He continued his move forward over the final two Overtime runs, gaining three more positions and taking the checkered flag in 22nd place.
Burton and the No. 21 team now head to Richmond Raceway for next Sunday’s 400-lapper on the three-quarter-mile oval.