TIRE INCIDENT SPOILS RIGGS' RUN AT POCONO
LONG POND, Pa. (June 12, 2005) -- The 2.5-mile triangular oval of Pocono Raceway took its toll on tires during Sunday's Pocono 500 and one of the victims was Valvoline driver Scott Riggs.
Riggs, who started the 200-lap race fifth, saw his day spoiled when his left-front tire blew on Lap 115 of 200. The blown tire ripped off the fender of the No. 10 Chevrolet and broke an oil line.
Riggs attempted to drive the crippled machine to the pits, but his car stalled on pit road entrance, forcing the Valvoline crew to push the car to the garage.
The crew did manage to make the necessary repairs, but it wasn't until Lap 151 that Riggs returned to the track. The end result was a 37th-place finish for Riggs.
"There were a lot of flat tires today -- I'm not sure why -- but it was unfortunate for us because we were just starting to feel good about the Valvoline Chevy," said Riggs.
Riggs ran in the top 10 in the early going of the 500-mile race, but then fell back after a couple of adjustments to his car didn't work out as planned.
"We went the wrong way on adjustments after the first pit stop and struggled for awhile," explained Riggs. "But then we got it figured out and started to gain in track position. There was plenty of time left in the race to get a respectable finish. But when the tire went down and knocked the oil line off we were done."
When Riggs incurred the flat tire, he was running in the mid teens.
"I really felt like we were going to make a turnaround in the final 80 laps and come away with a decent finish," said Riggs. "But the weekend overall -- with our new crew chief (Rodney Childers) -- laid a strong foundation for this Valvoline team. We were really fast in the two practice sessions and had a great qualifying effort. The tire incident bit us big time, but there's always next week and I know this team is going to jell and get on a streak."
The next NASCAR Nextel Cup event for Riggs and the Valvoline team will be Sunday (June 19) at Michigan International Speedway.