Handling Woes Slow Riggs' day at Michigan BROOKLYN, MI (August 21, 2007) - "It's been a wonderful six days here. It's time to rock and roll." Crew chief Rodney Childers' pre-race summation of the rain-rocked race week at Michigan ...
Handling Woes Slow Riggs' day at Michigan
BROOKLYN, MI (August 21, 2007) - "It's been a wonderful six days here. It's time to rock and roll."
Crew chief Rodney Childers' pre-race summation of the rain-rocked race week at Michigan International Speedway was not only a chuckle to begin Tuesday's 400-mile event but a kick-start into a focus zone that had been lost over a two-day span.
Flashback to Friday afternoon, where Scott Riggs, in his No. 10 Auto Value-Bumper to Bumper / Valvoline Dodge brought extra drama to the already frantic session that has become NASCAR NEXTEL Cup qualifying. Riggs' lap of 38.988 put him into the race, by a hair, in the 43rd starting position. Nonetheless, Riggs and his Gillett Evernham Motorsports crew turned their focus to a raucous race on Sunday afternoon.
And then came the rain.
Two straight days of heavy downpour delayed the start of the event, but the green flag finally fell on Tuesday morning after twelve laps of pace-car led caution laps to kickoff the 200-lap race. While Childers kept one eye on the weather radar with rain in nearby Ann Arbor, the other eye watched as Riggs' day became rapidly eventful.
On lap 15, Riggs navigated through a multi-car accident involving Juan Pablo Montoya and Chad McCumbee. Riggs reported over the radio that he had not slid the tires but came to pit road during the caution period to put on four fresh tires as a precaution.
After the re-start, Riggs summed up his car's handling as, "--pretty bad tight. It gets way tighter in the center (of the corner) off." A competition caution flag brought a smile to Riggs' face where another pit stop, this time to raise the track bar and an air pressure adjustment, attempted to remedy the rough-riding situation.
The first of the days two long green flag runs saw Riggs pit under green for four tires, fuel, and 1an air pressure adjustment. The car had become loose and the effort to neutralize the handling proved unsuccessful as Riggs was put a lap down on lap 74 while running in the 33rd position.
A debris caution brought the yellow flag out once again on lap 87. The Auto Value-Bumper to Bumper / Valvoline crew made wholesale adjustments, including a round down on the track bar in hopes of further alleviating the loose condition. Riggs had lost another lap to the lead pack.
The second long run came between laps 98 and 175 saw Riggs pit twice for tires and air pressure adjustments. After the debris caution on lap 175, Childers took out spring rubbers from the right rear, made a right rear air pressure adjustment, and four fresh Goodyear Eagles in hopes of a strong final run to the checkered flag.
After the re-start, Riggs keyed the radio to express his pleasure, "It's pretty good--the best it's been all day--all weekend. Or should I say all week?"
The finish of the race would be determined by a green-white-checkered finish, resulting in a slide from the 32nd spot to a finish of 35th as several cars behind him took tires. With chronic handling woes, Riggs' frustration was anticipated:
"We struggled finding the right handle on our Dodge today," said Riggs. "At the end, on the last couple of runs, it was great; unfortunately, at that point we were down two laps. Rodney (Childers, crew chief) did every kind of adjustment imaginable to make it a little better, but we just couldn't keep it from being loose at some point in the corner."
"I was hoping to put on a show here for Auto Value-Bumper to Bumper. They brought over 500 people here on Sunday and we had a great time together. I wish the weather was more forgiving and our car would have been a couple of tenths faster but we just didn't have it today."
Riggs' race-worn helmet to be auctioned in support of Charity Cars:
Scott Riggs will auction off his race-used helmet from the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway. The proceeds from the winning bid will go directly to Auto Value-Bumper to Bumper's Charity Cars program.
Scott was wearing a special, one-of-a-kind helmet scheme designed by Ryan Young at Indocil Art. The race-used helmet was autographed by Scott and will be put up for bid on eBay. Log-on to scottriggs.com for auction details.
The Charity Cars program receives donated cars from store customers and then allows the Auto Value-Bumper to Bumper experts to inspect and ensure that each and every car is ready for the road. The refurbished vehicles will then be presented to over 500 recipients across the nation, all of whom are victims of domestic violence.
"Auto Value-Bumper to Bumper is really doing a great thing with the Charity Cars program," commented Riggs. "It's important that victims of domestic violence are able to get back on their feet and move forward with their lives. It's a unique program and one that I don't hesitate to support."