CICERO, IL (August 18, 2001) - Scott Riggs and the Team ASE "Ultra Bad Boys" made it two in a row by winning the second running of the Sears Craftsman 175 Saturday at the Chicago Motor Speedway. "We knew the Team ASE Dodge was good,"...
CICERO, IL (August 18, 2001) - Scott Riggs and the Team ASE "Ultra Bad Boys" made it two in a row by winning the second running of the Sears Craftsman 175 Saturday at the Chicago Motor Speedway.
"We knew the Team ASE Dodge was good," said Riggs. "We qualified 12th because we didn't quite hit the set-up like we needed to get a good starting spot and that's really not typical of this team. But, we got the truck where we needed it to be and were fastest in practice on Friday during Happy Hour after we got back into race trim. Track position was absolutely critical here today and my crew chief Tim Kohuth made great calls and our pit stops were flawless. The 'Ultra Bad Boys' were awesome today and to win two in a row is just incredible."
The victory marked Riggs' fifth triumph of the season and allowed the Bahama, NC driver the recapture the top spot in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship chase by one point over Joe Ruttman. Additionally, Riggs win was the first time this season any NCTS driver came from outside the Top-10 to grab the checkered flag.
After starting 12th in the 36-truck field, Riggs threaded the needle and worked his way into the Top-10 by Lap 15. After staying near the front all afternoon Riggs, found himself solidly in sixth position by Lap 137. The turning point in the race came when the caution flag flew for the fourth time of the day on Lap 147. Riggs headed to pit road for a splash of fuel and returned to action in second.
"We were talking about it as I was heading down the back stretch," said Riggs. "Timmy asked me what we needed to do to make the truck better and I didn't want to come in, but we were pretty close on fuel and he knew we couldn't afford to make a mistake. He asked if I thought we were ok on tires and if we should just get a splash of gas and I said absolutely."
When the fifth and final caution flag flew just seven laps later, Riggs inherited the lead when Kyle Busch ran out of gas heading back toward the green. Riggs then paced the field for the final seven circuits, holding off Dennis Setzer for the win.
"I knew Dennis would run me clean," explained Riggs. "But I was also pretty nervous because I know how hard he charges. I just tried to hit my marks and not slip, because I knew if I didn't, Dennis would be there to take advantage. I had to be really careful and really patient on those last few laps and it paid off big today."
The win also continued to build on a stellar Truck Series season for Ultra Motorsports. In seven previous NCTS campaigns, Ultra has never won more than two races in a single season. This year, Riggs and teammate Ted Musgrave have won nine of 17 NCTS events.
"It's been a great combination of good people working together," said Riggs. "I've said this a bunch of times, but a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and all the guys keep working hard and pulling in the same direction and we're all working very well together. We got the point lead back today and now we just need to keep doing what we've been doing. I've been totally stressed over the point thing and it seems like when we stop worrying about that and focus on winning, things turn out much better. This team proved that today."
Team ASE crew chief Tim Kohuth was equally pleased with the win.
"I think because this is the best team in the business, which I say we are, we won the race today with what I thought would be a fifth-place truck," said Kohuth. "We ran a smart race and that's what being an ASE certified technician is all about, being a good mechanic and that's what won this race for us. Deep down inside I thought this would be a track where we would struggle and might be a little off and we were, that showed in qualifying. But we got a good finish another way, and that was by being smart."
In addition to recapturing the top spot in points, Riggs earned $45,260 for the win, boosting his 2001 earnings to $493,145.
Next up for Riggs and the Team ASE "Ultra Bad Boys" is a trip to another flat, one-mile at Nazareth, PA. The Chevrolet Silverado 200 at Nazareth Speedway will take the green flag Sunday, August 26 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 18th race of the 2001 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN and broadcast on MRN Radio worldwide.