BNS: USA-Lee: Robbie Harrison race report

Robbie Harrison's Rookie Busch North season starts with eighteenth place Lee USA finish. Robbie Harrison, a Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender in the NASCAR Busch North Series, made his season debut at the Sanel Auto Parts 150 at the Lee USA...

Robbie Harrison's Rookie Busch North season starts with eighteenth place Lee USA finish.

Robbie Harrison, a Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender in the NASCAR Busch North Series, made his season debut at the Sanel Auto Parts 150 at the Lee USA Speedway. An encouraging sixteenth place qualifying effort did not translate into a top race finish, though, as Harrison had to survive a spin and beating and banging from his fellow competitors before finishing the race in the eighteenth position.

Harrison's qualifying attempt resulted in a lap of 15.658 seconds around the third-mile oval, for an average speed of 86.218 MPH. This put him on the outside of the eighth row.

Harrison had worked his way up to thirteenth by lap 25 but all that progress went out the window when Bill Penfold bumped him and forced Harrison to spin out on the frontstretch. Harrison quickly got the car going again and was still on the lead lap, but now mired back in 22nd position. He could only make a few of those spots back when he came to pit road under caution on lap 51.

For the balance of the race, Harrison soldiered on, still angry over the lap 25 incident that left him spun, and he picked off enough cars to finish inside the top twenty, but only the third best rookie in the race.

"It was a good race at the beginning, at least until I got spun by Bill," he said after the race. "I think all these guys need to slow down a little bit. I had more fun driving a Beech Ridge Wildcat race than I did right here. Everybody's beating and banging twenty laps into the race. Maybe it's because it's the first race of the year. Maybe I'm not the one who should have the rookie stripe on his car.

"I bounced it off the wall once but that was after I got spun out and I got mad," Harrison continued. "But I didn't wreck the nose, I didn't get into anybody. I thought it was going to be real good at the start, until I got spun. Bill thinks I cut down on him, but I didn't. I was already in front of him. If I cut down on him there'd be a tire mark on the side rather than just paint n the back bumper."

Harrison quickly turned his attention to the second race of the Busch North schedule, which will be May 11th at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire. Harrison will be testing at the track in the next week to get a jump on the competition.

-raybestos-

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