BUSCH: Scott Riggs Charlotte test notes, day one

RIGGS, SMITH & WESSON CHEVROLET HIT THE TEST TRACK IN PREPARATION FOR MAY 28 NASCAR BUSCH SERIES RACE CONCORD, N.C. (Monday, May 9, 2005) -- Scott Riggs and the ...

RIGGS, SMITH & WESSON CHEVROLET HIT THE TEST TRACK IN PREPARATION FOR MAY 28 NASCAR BUSCH SERIES RACE

CONCORD, N.C. (Monday, May 9, 2005) -- Scott Riggs and the #30 Smith & Wesson Chevrolet of SKI Motorsports returned to action for the first time since the team's NASCAR Busch Series debut in March, taking to the Lowe's Motor Speedway tri-oval this afternoon and evening for Busch series testing in preparation for the May 28 Carquest Auto Parts 300.

Riggs and the SKI Motorsports team, under the direction of crew chief Jeff Spraker, were among 38 car-and-driver combinations that logged testing laps around the 1.5-mile newly resurfaced tri-oval. It was Riggs' first time in the Smith & Wesson racing machine since he was at the controls for the team's maiden voyage at Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 12, and the team's first bonafide test session since it was created last November.

"We got a lot of work done in a minimal amount of laps tonight with both of the cars we brought," said Riggs, the 2002 Busch series Rookie of the Year and regular driver of the #10 Valvoline Chevrolet in the Nextel Cup Series. "We were definitely fast, so we're confident we'll be ready for qualifying come race weekend. There were some issues relative to the resurfacing of the track, so the guys took the primary car back to the shop to make some changes overnight, and we'll be back tomorrow to get the lion's share of our testing laps in. The resurfacing they did here got a lot of the humps and bumps out of the track, and the texture of the surface where they ground it down gave it a lot more grip. We learned a lot of things about where we can make some serious gains in our qualifying and race setups, so I'm really looking forward to tomorrow."

Riggs and the team will be back on track at 3 p.m. EDT Tuesday for their second afternoon and evening of testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Smith & Wesson team's third of eight scheduled races this season.

"From a racing standpoint, it seems like it's been an eternity since we launched the Smith & Wesson program at Las Vegas and Atlanta, but we've certainly been working behind the scenes getting ready for Phase II of our rollout," said SKI Motorsports president and team owner Chris Lencheski. "We are extremely proud of the fact that in just 16 weeks' time -- from the date we announced this program until our first race at Las Vegas -- we assembled a very noticeable presence and a competitive effort on the racetrack without the luxury of testing. We very much look forward to taking all of that a step further with our return to the racetrack here at Charlotte."

"For a company that has built its heritage on performance and speed, you can imagine we've been eagerly anticipating our return to the racetrack after whetting our appetite with competitive efforts at Las Vegas and Atlanta in March," said Tom Taylor, vice president of marketing for Springfield, Mass.-based Smith & Wesson. "We've been working diligently to try and implement off-track initiatives to bring racing to our customers, the likes of whom share key characteristics with the NASCAR fan base. While it's been relatively quiet for us on the track since we last raced, it's nonetheless been an exciting time to be part of the Smith & Wesson family as we recently became the proud recipients of the 2005 Handgun of the Year award from the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence for our 460XVR (X-treme Velocity Revolver) product. Hopefully we can turn that excitement -- as well as our successful test at Charlotte -- into positive momentum for our racing program later this month and beyond."

After this month's Carquest Auto Parts 300, the #30 Smith & Wesson Chevrolet is slated to compete in NASCAR Busch Series events at Daytona (July 1), Bristol (Aug. 26), Fontana (Sept. 3), Texas (Nov. 5) and Phoenix (Nov. 13).

-ski-

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