Nationwide Series rookie Brian Scott was apologetic to a reporter, having been late for a scheduled interview. But he had good reason.
Scott suffered a broken bone in his right wrist during a crash in a Camping World Truck Series race at Michigan last June, and he is undecided whether to have surgery after this weekend’s Sam’s Town 300 race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"Right now, we’re just debating on whether or not I can have surgery after Vegas or I’ll have to wait until the end of the year," Scott said. "There’s a lot of discussion about what exactly is the procedure that we’d be going through and what the recovery time is."
Scott, 22, still doesn’t know for sure, though he has been in constant contact with doctors.
"You’re always cognizant of it, but for the most part, it doesn’t really bother me or interfere with anything until after the race," Scott said. "Then it’s normally pretty sore or in some pain."
The injury hasn’t slowed him—he finished 10th last weekend at Auto Club Speedway. That’s his best finish in nine career Nationwide races, and it could’ve been better. Scott was running sixth on the final restart, but he was a sitting duck when other cars on the lead lap pitted for tires.
Still, it was a solid showing for Scott, who qualified third and ran as high as second in the No. 11 Braun Racing Toyota. The week before he finished 19th at Daytona.
"I don’t think a lot of people expected us to come out of the gate so well," said Scott, who is 11th in the points standings. "Actually, I’m not really sure what people expected out of our team. I definitely know that there were a lot of people who didn’t expect us to be as good as we were. That’s always a good feeling in racing when you open minds and shock the world."
Scott hopes he and crew chief Bill Wilburn will continue to be a surprise, though the expectations they set for themselves before the season haven’t changed—yet.
"I firmly believe that we can be a consistent top-15 team right now, top-10 team," Scott said. "We showed that at California. But we don’t want to adjust too quickly. We want to show that we belong in the top 10 before we believe that we’re in a position to go for wins. It’s just not about having a good run one week; it’s about putting together consistent good runs."
What: Sam’s Town 300
Where: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
When: Saturday, 4:30 p.m. Eastern
TV: ESPN2, 4 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN/Sirius Satellite Ch. 128
Track layout: 1.5-mile oval
Race distance: 200 laps/300 miles
Qualifying: Saturday, noon
2009 winner: Greg Biffle
2009 polesitter: Scott Speed
Points leaders: 1. Carl Edwards, 335; 2. Joey Logano, 311; 3. Kyle Busch, 304; 4. Justin Allgaier, 303; 5. Brad Keselowski, 299; 6. Brian Vickers, 297; 7. Steve Wallace, 289; 8. James Buescher, 271; 9. Greg Biffle, 265; 10. Paul Menard, 256.