Atlanta: Scott Riggs race report

ATLANTA (March 14, 2004)-- Scott Riggs earned a 5th-place finish in Sunday's Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Driving the No. 10 Valvoline Chevrolet, Riggs started the 500-mile, 325-lap competition 17th. He fought a tight machine in...

ATLANTA (March 14, 2004)-- Scott Riggs earned a 5th-place finish in Sunday's Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Driving the No. 10 Valvoline Chevrolet, Riggs started the 500-mile, 325-lap competition 17th. He fought a tight machine in the early stages and then found himself battling a loose condition after the first round of pit stops.

"I may have pushed the tires too hard too quickly," Riggs explained. "We were unbearably tight at the beginning of the race and that may have been a factor. We made adjustments during our first pit stop to loosen the car and then I was darting all over the race track."

Riggs did what he could do to contain the car while the Valvoline crew members worked in the pits to come up with viable solutions.

Several trips down pit road produced several changes to the car, all of them subtly helping the No. 10 machine. On the final trip to the Valvoline pit stall, the team made adjustments in a sub-14 second stop and sent Riggs back to the track.It was at that point that Riggs felt the car was where it needed to be.

"We have to be good when the green flag drops," Riggs said. "We tend to figure out what's wrong with the car late in the race. It's great that we figured it out, but we just need to do it earlier. It's a shame that we weren't on the lead lap and weren't able to compete for the finish we wanted when we got the car dialed in."

"We're improving each week," Riggs continued. "If this team continues to work as hard each week as it did today, we're going to start having some better finishes."

After Riggs took the checkered flag, crew chief Doug Randolph told the team, "Good job never giving up guys We just have to keep plugging away and we'll get it. If we keep working like we did today, it will be sooner rather than later."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. picked up the NEXTEL Cup Series victory. Jeremy Mayfield, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five.

The next race for the Valvoline team will be Sunday (March 21) at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

-mbvm-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Scott Riggs , Kasey Kahne