Phoenix: Scott Riggs race report

Early Handling Issues Overshadow Possible Strong Run for Riggs Avondale, Ariz. (April 20, 2009) -- Early handling woes with the No. 36 Toyota overshadowed a possible strong run by Scott Riggs in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix...

Early Handling Issues Overshadow Possible Strong Run for Riggs

Avondale, Ariz. (April 20, 2009) -- Early handling woes with the No. 36 Toyota overshadowed a possible strong run by Scott Riggs in the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway.

However, the 36th-place finish allowed the No. 36 team to move up one position, to 39th, in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series owners' point standings after eight of 36 points-paying events. The Tommy Baldwin Racing team is now 86 points out of 38th and 212 points out of the top 35.

The 43-car field took the green flag for the first of the scheduled 312 laps at 5:40 p.m. local time. Riggs called over the radio to crew chief Tommy Baldwin, just eight laps later, that the handling on the No. 36 Toyota was very tight across the center of the corners.

The first caution flag flew at lap 54, giving the No. 36 team a chance to fix the ill-handling machine. Riggs returned to the fray in the 37th spot after the over-the-wall crew supplied fuel, fresh Goodyear tires and major chassis adjustments.

Unfortunately, the adjustment didn't help and it wasn't until lap 102, when the second caution flag flew, that Riggs was able to return to pit road for much needed adjustments. Another four tire pit stop with a major chassis adjustment was in order and the 38-year-old driver returned to the race track in the 38th spot.

The No. 36 machine was never to Riggs liking and he was unable to work his way into the top 35. The Bahama, N.C., native crossed the start finish line 36th in the running order five laps down to the leaders.

Mark Martin grabbed his 36th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win with Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle rounding out the top-five finishers.

Next weekend, Riggs and the No. 36 Racing team head to Alabama.

-credit: tbr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Scott Riggs , Tommy Baldwin , Mark Martin