Harrison Burton will move into the NASCAR Cup Series in 2022 as the next driver of the No. 21 Ford Mustang for Wood Brothers Racing.
Burton will take the seat from Matt DiBenedetto after Austin Cindric was slotted into the No. 2 Team Penske Ford. Burton will transition into the Cup Series after two full seasons in the Xfinity Series.
“Since I began racing quarter midgets, the hope and goal was always to become a full-time driver in the NASCAR Cup Series,” said Burton. “Now, I get to do this with one of the most storied teams in NASCAR history in the Wood Brothers and with an association with Ford Motor Company and Ford Performance. I don’t think I could have dreamt of a better situation to put myself in when it comes to the start of my NASCAR Cup Series career.
“Add to that the technical alliance with Team Penske and the knowledge I’ll gain from working with their drivers, and I’m really excited for 2022 and the future. This is a great opportunity for me, and I can’t thank Eddie and Len Wood enough for giving me this chance.”
Ford Quick Lane and Motorcraft will continue to support the No. 21 car. Additional sponsors for Burton will be announced at a later date.
The son of former Cup Series driver Jeff Burton, the younger Burton has four Xfinity Series wins in 60 starts. Burton won Rookie of the Year honors last season with Joe Gibbs racing and is fifth in the points standings going into New Hampshire this weekend.
In April, Burton made his Cup Series debut with Gaunt Brothers Racing. He finished 20th at Talladega Superspeedway.
“As a team owner, you always want to keep an eye for the future and what’s best for your organization in hopes to set yourself up for success long-term,” said team president and co-owner Eddie Wood. “As things have progressed and changed over the last few months, we had the chance to look at what our options are, and when we determined that Harrison would be available for our team, we wanted to jump at the opportunity to work with him.
“Harrison is young, but comes from a family full of successful race car drivers. The advice and support they can offer to Harrison as he makes this transition will be very important to his success. What a lot of us forget is that he is not even 21 years old yet and has only been racing in both the Truck Series and Xfinity Series for a couple of years. So when we looked at the future and finding someone to build our program around, Harrison seemed like a great option.”
“We are quite excited to begin working with Harrison and 2022 is perfect timing,” said team co-owner Len Wood. “With the introduction of the new NextGen car next year, we have the ability to grow with him and build our program around what he wants. We don’t want to say it puts him on a level playing field because there are a lot of great drivers in the Cup Series, but having a rookie come in at the same time a new car is introduced will help build us a solid foundation and hopefully get us off to a strong start.”