RIGGS QUALIFIES 35th FOR CARQUEST AUTO PARTS 300 BUT MISSES 43-CAR FIELD BY FOUR 1,000THS OF A SECOND CONCORD, N.C. (Friday, May 27, 2005) -- NASCAR Nextel Cup regular Scott Riggs and the ...
RIGGS QUALIFIES 35th FOR CARQUEST AUTO PARTS 300 BUT MISSES 43-CAR FIELD BY FOUR 1,000THS OF A SECOND
CONCORD, N.C. (Friday, May 27, 2005) -- NASCAR Nextel Cup regular Scott Riggs and the #30 Smith & Wesson Chevrolet of SKI Motorsports clocked the 35th-fastest time in qualifying for Saturday night's Carquest Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Busch Series event, but missed the race by a mere four 1,000ths of a second under NASCAR's new 2005 qualifying format.
Riggs, who debuted the Smith & Wesson entry at Las Vegas in March, circled the 1.5-mile newly resurfaced Lowe's Motor Speedway tri-oval with a fast qualifying lap of 181.629 mph (29.731 seconds), good for 35th among the 50 car-and-driver combinations that attempted to make Saturday night's 43-car starting grid. But it was just behind the 181.653-mph (29.727-second) effort clocked by the 12th and final car-and-driver combination of rookie Kertus Davis that was required to make the race based on qualifying speed. NASCAR's new qualifying format rewards teams that attempt to qualify for every race, and this year starting spots are guaranteed for entries 30th or better in the latest owners' points. The Smith & Wesson Chevrolet, which contested only two of the 12 Busch Series events run thus far in 2005, was 57th in the points before today. Thus, even though he outqualified 15 competitors overall -- including eight top-30 cars in the owners points that still will start Saturday night -- Riggs' and S&W's weekend had to end early.
Next up for the Smith & Wesson Chevrolet is the Winn-Dixie 250 on July 1 at Daytona International Speedway, its fourth of eight scheduled events in this, its inaugural season, with a driver to be named.
"It's a mystery to me what happened because I'm normally the first to complain about at least one little thing even when I have a fast car and I qualify really well. But tonight, I'd go so far as to say the Smith & Wesson Chevrolet was the best Busch car I'd ever driven. I drove it hard all the way around the track and it did everything I asked of it. I didn't have to feather (the throttle). I didn't have any moments out there. It was a clean two qualifying laps. I have to thank everyone at Smith & Wesson and SKI Motorsports for giving me this opportunity, and we're going to have some great days ahead. On the positive side, we still outqualified eight guys that still get to go racing tomorrow night. That's the most frustrating part of all, but those are the rules we chose to live by this year by running a limited schedule. I think this will only deepen our resolve and make us stronger as a team. I can't wait to get back to work with these guys. They're all first-rate people, and the sponsor is behind us every step of the way. We'll have our day together. You can count on that."