Terry Riggins named Rock Island Grand Prix race director

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - After an extensive nationwide search, the Rock Island Grand Prix karting street race has named Terry Riggins of Riggins Team Motorsports, Anderson, Indiana, as its new race director. Riggins replaces long-time race director Tom...

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - After an extensive nationwide search, the Rock Island Grand Prix karting street race has named Terry Riggins of Riggins Team Motorsports, Anderson, Indiana, as its new race director. Riggins replaces long-time race director Tom Argy Jr., who was tragically killed in an auto accident last November.

Riggins becomes only the third race director in Rock Island Grand Prix history. Gus Traeder served in the position in 1994 & 1995 , followed by Mr. Argy. The Rock Island Grand Prix will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2004. The FIA/CIK sanctioned event is the largest karting street race in the world and is held each year on Labor Day Weekend in the U.S. - Sept. 4- 5, 2004.

Roger Ruthhart, president of the Rock Island Grand Prix, said that Riggins was the obvious choice.

``We will never be able to replace Tom Argy and all of the passion and ideas he brought to our event. But Terry Riggins is the best person today to help us continue to build the Rock Island Grand Prix into a world-class event.

``He's been around karting for a long time, has experience with temporary circuits at races like Elkhart and Anderson, runs Superkarts! USA's most successful region, is part of SKUSA's national team, can deal with everything from club racers to national championship teams, has a good knowledge of all types of karting, and has at one time or another worked with most of our other race officials and tech team,'' Ruthhart said.

``The racers respect him and we think he has the right temperament and attitude to fit well with our race organization,'' he added.

Riggins, 53, has been involved in karting since 1976. He has raced with the World Karting Association, International Kart Federation and Superkarts! USA. He helped form, and served as president of the Indiana State Karting Association. He has served on the boards of the WKA Divisional Series and Great Lakes Sprint Series, including two years as president.

Riggins has been race director for a number of temporary circuit street races including Plymouth (Ind.) Grand Prix, Anderson (Ind.) Mayor's Cup and Noblesville Grand Prix. He was involved with the famed Elkhart (Ind.) Grand Prix street race from 1989 to 1996, including five years as race director.

For eight years, from 1991 to 1998, he worked with Entertainment and Sports Productions to promote and race direct many kart racers before the USAC Midget crowd at the RCA Dome Invitational Kart Race. In 1994-95, he and two partners formed Professional Motorsports Service, Inc. to promote and operate an oval racing series with Lingner Group Productions Inc for the ESPN2 Saturday Night Lightning Series from the Indianapolis Velodrome.

He has served as a race director for Superkarts! USA since 1997 and is currently regional director of the Great Lakes Region - SKUSA's most successful regional program. He was also race director for the first King of the Streets in Oklahoma City, OK in 1998. In 2003 he served as the national race steward for the SKUSA SuperNationals and race director for the third annual SKUSA U.S. Amateur Championships as well as Great Lakes Region race director.

When Riggins is not racing, he owns and operates Vern Riggins Inc. Masonry Contractors in Anderson, Ind. It is a 54-year-old family business that employs 15 people. It is a union shop and Riggins is 33 year member of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts. He is currently married to his wife, Shirley. He has 2 children, 4 step-children and six grandchildren. He also served in the U.S. Navy.

``Tom Argy and I worked together several times and had a very good relationship. We remember Tom coming to the 1990 Elkhart event bringing his Pro Kart Challenge series to that race. Tom will always be in our hearts as he touched us as well as many others," said Riggins.

``Racing has been an early desire since I was a small kid. My goal was to do the best at whatever I could do,'' Riggins said. ``I remember when I became involved with racing administration. I made a comment about something to an official and, well, I've been involved ever since. I made the best of it. I enjoy people. Having the respect and trust of my fellow staff, racers, and my peers, to make decisions that affect other people's goals also gives me a great feeling. And working with my wife along side of me to do this has been a real blessing.''

``I do this for the love of the sport and whatever I can do to make it better for all,'' said Riggins. ``As a driver, I know what a driver wants, and I try to put it into action. If you come race with us and have a good time, you'll probably want to come back and participate again.''

Rock Island is located in an area known as the Quad-Cities on the Mississippi River where it intersects with Interstate Highways 80, 88, 280 and 74. The area has a population of 375,000 and welcomes karters with open arms. The Quad-Cities features three riverboat casinos and a great variety of entertainment and attractions.

The Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District, which hosts the race weekend, is a great spot to go after a day of racing. It features a casino boat, a number of top restaurants, coffee houses, night spots, comedy clubs and dinner theater all within walking distance of the pit area and the host hotel. Live outdoor entertainment is featured on the Great River Plaza throughout race weekend.

Information on this exciting motorsports event is available on the internet at www.rockislandgrandprix.com . Call the Grand Prix office at (309) 292- 8133 or email grandprix@qconline.com for race and entry information.


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