Late race crash spoils Robbie Harrison's Beech Ridge race. NASCAR Busch North Series Rookie of the Year candidate Robbie Harrison's return to the track he started his racing career at, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, nearly...
Late race crash spoils Robbie Harrison's Beech Ridge race.
NASCAR Busch North Series Rookie of the Year candidate Robbie Harrison's return to the track he started his racing career at, Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, nearly gave him his first top five finish of his young career. Lapped traffic and a late-race accident changed all that, though, and Harrison was left with a damaged race car and a disappointing 22nd place finish.
Harrison, who made his Busch North debut at Beech Ridge last September, felt he had a competitive car in practice and his Lux Enterprises crew made changes to improve upon it for qualifying. The changes didn't help, though, and Harrison drove to the 25th starting spot with a lap of 15.829 seconds around the third-mile oval.
"We changed gear and went the wrong way," he said, "and I didn't heat the tires well enough, it must have cooled off. The first lap I thought I was going to head straight for the pit. The car just went straight, I couldn't turn. It wasn't good.
"We're putting a different gear in, and changing a spring or two for the race," he continued. "It was fine in practice. I turned 15.7 in practice and turned 15.8 in qualifying. But I don't mind starting in the back. The only place I can go is frontwards."
Harrison had to start from the rear of the field after having to pit before the start of the race to hook up his head restraint. Despite having the entire field in front of him, he started working through traffic and was inside the top fifteen just 60 laps into the 150-lap event.
When caution flew on lap 100 and many leaders came to pit road, Harrison stayed on the track and restarted the race in fifth place. On a lap 119 restart, though, he got trapped behind a lapped car and fell out of the top ten before caution came out again. Under this caution, Harrison came to pit road for fresh tires and returned to the race in sixteenth.
He had moved up to thirteenth for a lap 145 restart. On the backstretch during the first lap under speed, cars near the front of the field got together and spun, leaving Harrison nowhere to go and he hit a stopped car at speed. Harrison's car became briefly airborne before coming to a stop with significant damage. He was done for the night, classified as 22nd in the final rundown.
"I saw smoke and I saw a hole and nobody was there," he said after the race. "I went for the hole, and next thing I know, a car came across the track. All I saw after that was the light pole and the lights on top of it. The car's hurt pretty bad, it might need a new snout.
"During the race it was really loose, I was turning to the right just about every time coming out of the corners it was so loose," Harrison continued. "I was just kind of sliding around out there, but I was moving up. I just got caught up behind a lapped car and everyone kind of freight-trained me, and then we had another caution. I think we should have pitted when Andy came in, come in early, and put some tires on and adjusted for the loose car."
Harrison now has a weekend off to make repairs to his car before the next series race, which will be held June 21st at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.