PEORIA, Ariz. – Robbie Price had high expectations entering two nights of racing at Canyon Speedway Park last weekend to open the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour season.
However, after a tough pill draw buried the Cobble Hill, B.C., native deep in the field against a field of more than cars, Price was forced to take provisional starting spots in the feature event both nights. He came home with a weekend-best 22nd-place finish Saturday.
“If I’m being honest with myself, it wasn’t the weekend we were hoping to have to start the 2020 race season,” he said. “When you have that many cars racing you need to start the night off well in the heats. We drew horrible and it created a big hill for us to climb that we never quite could get over.”
Price, who was making his first competitive laps of the season, began his Friday night starting seventh in a heat race. He finished in that position before rallying from 10th to sixth in a qualifier.
He was forced to run a B-main, in which he started sixth and advanced one position to fifth. He took a series provisional to start 23rd in the A-main, but pulled off early to preserve equipment. Price was credited with a 23rd-place finish in that feature.
Saturday night’s weekend finale started off with similar luck as Price once again received a tough pill draw and started seventh in a heat race. He passed two cars to finish fifth.
Price then finished where he started – seventh – in a qualifier before he advanced from seventh to fifth place in a B-main, which was only two spots shy of qualifying for a transfer to the main event.
Price again took a provisional and pulled off the track early.
“We made up ground all weekend and passed a lot of cars, but ultimately track position did us in,” he said. “Lap time-wise, we were right up there with the leaders. But the track took rubber early and you had to run around the bottom. When things get that way, it’s just tough to pass enough cars to really help yourself.”
Price will have three opportunities to find redemption as the ASCS National Tour heads to California this weekend. The series visits Merced Speedway on Friday, Placerville Speedway on Saturday and Petaluma Speedway on Sunday.
“In this sport there are more tough days then good days so we’re going to put Arizona in the rearview mirror and focus on running in California,” he said. “You don’t want to be point racing this early in the season, but you also don’t want to get in too big of a hole either.
“These three nights can get us back on track really quick and I know the speed is there to where we’ll be in contention.”