Riggs, Team ASE Foiled At Fontana, Finish 32nd
FONTANA, CA (November 3, 2001) - Bad luck reigned down on Scott Riggs and Team ASE Saturday when a Lap 26 accident relegated the Bahama, NC driver to finish 32nd in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Auto Club 200 at California Speedway.
"I just can't believe it," said Riggs, after the hard backstretch crash. "I'm not sure what happened. I thought I had the No. 50 (Jon Wood) cleared and the next thing I know, I'm in the fence and the ASE Dodge is totally destroyed. That's the worst we've finished all year and it came at a time when we needed a good finish to stay second in the points. I guess it just wasn't meant to be. It wasn't anyone's fault, it was just one of those racing deals. It sure couldn't have come at a worse time."
Although the day ended in disaster for the "Ultra Bad Boys," it didn't start out that way. Riggs started first in the 36-truck field after grabbing his fifth Bud Pole Award of the season turning in a lap of 41.456 seconds (173.678 mph) in qualifying.
Riggs was also the fastest truck at the drop of the green flag pacing the first 17 laps. However, the spirited run was short-circuited when the crash ended his day nine laps later. The DNF (did not finish) was the first of the 24-race, 2001 NCTS campaign for Riggs.
The uncharacteristic finish also cost Riggs three spots in the NCTS points race dropping the Team ASE driver from second to fifth in the final standings.
"That was a tough blow," explained Riggs. "We came into this race with pretty high hopes. We had a great truck, but there's nothing left of it now. This was my last race with Team ASE and Ultra Motorsports and I really wanted it to end on a high note. We had a great year together anyway - we won five poles and five races and that's nothing to sneeze at. No matter what the final points sheet says, this was a championship caliber season.
"I've had the time of my life with these guys this year. We've become like brothers and I'll remember this season for the rest of my life. I'd also like to thank Ron Weiner and everyone at ASE. They have been a great sponsor in the Truck Series ever since the division began in 1995. I was very fortunate to be a part of that tradition this season."
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Championship Awards Banquet will officially close the book on the 2001 season Thursday, November 8. The event, which will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Miami, FL will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. with dinner and the awards ceremony to follow at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) also has a long involvement in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. As the primary sponsor on the No. 2 Team ASE entry, the non-profit organization has been able to highlight its efforts to provide the highest quality professional technician certification and assessment services at all levels of vehicle maintenance and repair. In addition to ASE's racing involvement, the organization is active in numerous civic, charitable, educational and humanitarian activities.