Riggs, Red Bank Outfitters Toyota Finish 25th in Rain-Shortened Daytona 500 Daytona Beach, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2009) -- Scott Riggs and the Red Bank Outfitters team survived the "Big One" and came home with a 25th-place finish in the 51st running of...
Riggs, Red Bank Outfitters Toyota Finish 25th in Rain-Shortened Daytona 500
Daytona Beach, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2009) -- Scott Riggs and the Red Bank Outfitters team survived the "Big One" and came home with a 25th-place finish in the 51st running of the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
The Bahama, N.C., native started the event 17th, by virtue of his eighth-place run in Thursday's Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying race. Riggs appeared to be in position for a hardy top-15 until an ill-handling race car kept him from battling with the leaders.
At the drop of the green flag, Riggs quickly realized that he had a loose-handling race car and slowly dropped back through the field. A competition caution was displayed on lap 25, giving owner and crew chief Tommy Baldwin a chance to remedy the No. 36 Toyota. Four tires, fuel and a minor chassis adjustment were in order before sending Riggs on his way. The 38-year-old driver was back on the race track in the top 30 for the restart on lap 29.
At lap 100, the races scheduled halfway point, Riggs was still suffering from an extremely loose-handling race car and was unable to make any ground on the leaders. Baldwin opted for major chassis adjustments when the next caution flag flew on lap 120 for debris.
Still running in the top 30, Riggs' No. 36 machine began to come around, and he worked his way up to the top 25 when the "Big One" broke out collecting 11 cars in turn four. With rain in the area, Baldwin opted to stay out on the racing surface and Riggs was listed as high as 11th in the running order before another caution flag flew on lap 139.
Now hoping they could improve the No. 36 handling before the rain settled in, Baldwin summoned Riggs to pit road for his final stop of the day. Four fresh Goodyears, fuel and another major chassis adjustment was in order for the four-time NASCAR Nationwide Series winner. Riggs restarted the scheduled 200-lap event 27th on lap 142.
Riggs bounced around from 20th to 25th when the caution flag flew for a single-car incident on the backstretch. Before NASCAR could get the field back to green-flag conditions rain rolled in, forcing them to call the race 48-laps from the end. Riggs took the checked flag 25th.
Matt Kenseth won the prestigious event followed by Kevin Harvick, A.J. Allmendinger, Clint Bowyer and Elliott Sadler.
Next week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to the Golden State for the first of two trips on the 2009 schedule at Auto Club Speedway.
"The No. 36 Red Bank Outfitters was extremely loose in traffic the entire race. However, I am glad we were able to survive the race and come home with a 25th-place finish. Our goal for the first five races is to get into the top 35 in points and surviving Daytona really helped us. I hope we can have another good run next weekend in California."