RIGGS DRAWS 21 IN SMITH & WESSON CHEVROLET'S NASCAR BUSCH SERIES DEBUT AT LAS VEGAS LAS VEGAS (Saturday, March 12, 2005) -- Scott Riggs brought the ...
RIGGS DRAWS 21 IN SMITH & WESSON CHEVROLET'S NASCAR BUSCH SERIES DEBUT AT LAS VEGAS
LAS VEGAS (Saturday, March 12, 2005) -- Scott Riggs brought the #30 Smith & Wesson Chevrolet of SKI Motorsports home to a 21st-place finish in the brand new NASCAR Busch Series program's competitive debut during today's Sam's Town 300 on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway mile-and-a-half tri-oval.
It was Riggs' first Busch series race in 16 months, and the first race ever for the Smith & Wesson Chevrolet, the historic beginnings of a racing effort that was just announced last November.
Riggs, the regular driver for the #10 Valvoline Nextel Cup Chevrolet, started 30th and made steady progress toward the front during today's 300-mile (200-lap) race, running as high as 15th just short of the race's midpoint. A long, 30-lap run on scuffed tires from Lap 157-187 saw Riggs lose significant ground for the only time in the race, when he dropped from 18th back to 23rd place. He pitted a final time on Lap 187 for a newer set of tires for the closing run to the finish, and he was able to pick up two spots -- to 21st place -- before the checkered flag.
Mark Martin, the winningest driver in Busch series history, took the victory today. Kevin Harvick was second and David Stremme was third.
Next up for the Smith & Wesson team is next weekend's Aaron's 312 at Atlanta Motor Speedway with two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday taking over the driving duties. Riggs, the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year and four-time winner on the circuit, will next drive the Smith & Wesson Chevrolet on Memorial Day weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. The team will run eight races altogether in 2005.
"All in all I'd have to say it was a solid effort all the way around for everybody involved with this Smith & Wesson program. We came here with the pretty modest goals of making the race our first time out, and then running as well as possible in the race today. It's not a win, but I would consider it a successful first step for our program. Shoot, this team didn't even exist until late last year. For everything that had to be done to get us ready to race this weekend, and look as good as we did when we were out there, I have to say hats off to everyone at Smith & Wesson and SKI Motorsports. Personally, I'm so doggone competitive that it's not the funnest thing in the world to be racing for 15th or 20th place out there. But, all things considered, I'm happy to say we brought the car home without a scratch on it and now we can take a closer look at it, keep tweaking it, and make it better for the next time. I think we have a good thing going here."