Robbie Harrison doubly disappointed at Seekonk Speedway. Robbie Harrison is having no luck during the early races of his Raybestos Rookie of the Year campaign in the NASCAR Busch North Series. Despite strong qualifying and race performances, his...
Robbie Harrison doubly disappointed at Seekonk Speedway.
Robbie Harrison is having no luck during the early races of his Raybestos Rookie of the Year campaign in the NASCAR Busch North Series. Despite strong qualifying and race performances, his race finishes have not reflected how well he's run. At Seekonk Speedway this past weekend, Harrison and his team were tested like they hadn't been before with an engine failure in practice requiring the team to change engines before the race, only to suffer another engine failure during the race, relegating the Lux Enterprises Chevrolet driver to a 26th place finish.
Harrison was only a few minutes into Saturday afternoon's practice session when he came to a stop on the track with a broken engine. The crank pulley fell off the front of the engine, taking with it the belt that drives the oil pump. "I checked his gauges only a few laps earlier and saw I had oil pressure, but shortly after that the engine started getting sluggish and when I looked, there was no pressure and I just got on the clutch and shut it down before it seized up," he said.
A call was placed to the team's shop in Scarborough, Maine, and a replacement engine was dispatched. The team had already removed the old engine and was ready to go when the new one arrived, and once it did, the crew quickly had that one installed and running. Harrison missed the balance of practice and qualifying, and was awarded a provisional starting position for the race.
Harrison didn't get a lot of time to work on moving up from his 25th starting spot, especially when twelve of the race's first twenty laps were run under caution. When the field took a lap 17 restart, though, Dale Quarterley's car leaked fluid onto the track and a few laps later caution was out again. As the field was taking the caution, Harrison slowed on the frontstretch and had to get pushed back to the pits, where he had to retire from the event with another broken engine.
"The motor broke again, I have no idea why, but it just shut off," he said after the race, before he had a chance to diagnose the problem.
"The crew did a hell of a job today, they did a great job getting the other motor back in, but it's tough luck I guess, one of these days it'll straighten out eventually," he said. "I'm just disappointed."
Harrison will look to turn his luck around in two weeks at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, the track where he started his racing career and has taken many feature wins in its regular divisions. Last year, Harrison made his first Busch North start at the Maine third-mile oval and took home a ninth place finish in that race.
"I can't wait to go to Beech Ridge," he said, "but this isn't going to help. We're down in the points and that won't help. On the plus side, we learned how to change a motor at the racetrack. Our team did a great job. Nobody gave up."