Rookies Have Rough Day At Vegas Slot Machine

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LAS VEGAS — It wasn’t a good day to be a rookie Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

James Buescher, who led the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings coming into Saturday’s race, started 16th and finished 29th thanks to a turn-four accident on lap 167.

A cut left-rear tire got him off to a bad start. Then after working his way back to just one lap down, he said Scott Lagasse, Jr. “got into us in the center of three and four and put me in the wall off of four.”

Other rookie contenders didn’t fare any better than Buescher. Brian Scott wound up 31st after an issue with Paul Menard, Colin Braun spun out, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. crashed on the frontstretch and Parker Kligerman dropped out with a broken gearbox.

– DeLana Harvick said her Kevin Harvick, Inc., team’s victory was a bit of a surprise.

“It didn’t start out as the best of days for us. But they didn’t give up. Kevin (Harvick) never gave up. It was a good testament (to) what you can do if you don’t give up,” she said.

Nevertheless, she said the team must address the pit-road miscues that could have cost them the victory.

“It doesn’t matter if we finish first or last. We have to work to the point you don’t have those mistakes.” Then she took a playful jab at her husband, saying, “It was a nice anniversary present, so I’m sure he’s going to try to weasel out of getting a gift.”

– John Wes Townley, 20, was cited over the weekend for underage alcohol possession. Team owner Richard Childress said the matter will be handled internally, and NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said in a statement Saturday, “NASCAR is aware of the situation. We have met with the driver and addressed the matter with him directly.”

Townley drove Childress’s Zaxby’s Chevy to a 21st-place finish Saturday.