JOLIET, Ill. (July 11, 2004)--What appeared to be a promising day for the Valvoline race team ended in a 29th-place finish after driver Scott Riggs was caught up in the aftermath of an eight-car accident at Chicagoland Speedway. After starting...
JOLIET, Ill. (July 11, 2004)--What appeared to be a promising day for the Valvoline race team ended in a 29th-place finish after driver Scott Riggs was caught up in the aftermath of an eight-car accident at Chicagoland Speedway.
After starting the Tropicana 400 from the 16th position, Riggs drove the No. 10 Valvoline Chevrolet to the front of the 43-car field where he consistently ran in the top-10 throughout the early stages of the event.
Then, on Lap 127 of 267, Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne tangled, sending several cars spinning around the Turn 1 oval.
"I'm not sure what happened in front of me," explained Riggs. "All I know is everyone bottlenecked and stopped. I slowed down and cars started to clear. I let off the throttle and just started coasting--I felt like I practically stopped behind the whole thing. Then I was starting to drive low and go around it, but the 30 car (Dave Blaney) hit the wall and shot back down the track into the side of me."
Riggs brought the Valvoline machine down pit road several times under the ensuing caution period, but the No. 10 crew was unable to make repairs without taking the car behind the wall.
"You gave me a great car today, fellas," Riggs radioed to the Valvoline crew as they finished repairs. "I just wish we could've shown them what we had. We'll get them next time."
Riggs returned to the 1.5-mile oval where he patiently drove out the remainder of the race, finishing 22 laps behind the leader.
"We really thought we were there today," said Riggs. â^À^ÝWe were confident we were going to have a good finish, probably a top-five or better if everything went right for us. But things just didn't go our way. We had an awesome car and I think we learned a whole lot.
"I've been telling everybody that we're coming-- we're getting better and better and we're really starting to show it. Pretty soon we're going to turn the corner and be a factor each week."