Darlington: Scott Riggs race report

Mid-Race Contact Ruins Riggs' Effort At Darlington DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 21, 2004) -- Scott Riggs produced a 30th-place finish in Sunday's Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway. Behind the wheel of the No. 10 Valvoline ...

Mid-Race Contact Ruins Riggs' Effort At Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 21, 2004) -- Scott Riggs produced a 30th-place finish in Sunday's Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington Raceway.

Behind the wheel of the No. 10 Valvoline Chevrolet, Riggs started the 400-mile, 293-lap event 27th. When the green flag dropped over the 1.366-mile oval, he reported to his team the race car was tight off the corners, causing him to lose several positions.

Minor changes on the first round of pit stops freed Riggs' Chevy, but shifted the car to a loose condition. After another stop, the rookie driver radioed to his crew the car was where he wanted it and asked that no more changes be made.

One lap down, Riggs guided the Valvoline Chevy around the egg-shaped circuit, picking up spots on the leader board and hoping to put himself in position to get the lap back. The chances of that happening slimmed on lap 162, when Riggs and the No. 32 car made contact in Turns 1 and 2.

Riggs drove the damaged car down pit road where smart decisions by the team allowed him to stay only one-lap down. But the severe damage to the front end of his machine slowed his lap times dramatically, however, causing him to end his day three laps behind the leader.

"We had a good setup," Riggs explained. "We were a little off in the beginning, but the guys did a great job of getting the Valvoline Chevrolet where it needed to be. We put ourselves in a good position to start getting some positions back and possibly getting a lap back, and then we got into that mess with the (No.) 32 car. That ended our chances of getting the finish we wanted."

Riggs continued, "Our time is coming. I know it is. We just have to stay confident and upbeat until then."

Jimmie Johnson took home the NEXTEL Cup Series victory. Bobby Labonte, Ryan Newman, Robby Gordon and Elliott Sadler followed him across the finish line.

The next race for the NEXTEL Cup Series will be Sunday (March 28) at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

-mbv-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Robby Gordon , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Scott Riggs , Elliott Sadler