Chicagoland: Scott Riggs preview

JOLIET, Ill. (July 6, 2004) - Scott Riggs will pilot the No. 10 Valvoline Chevrolet in Sunday's Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. In his past trips to the 1.5-mile oval, Riggs has shown promise in both his racing and qualifying efforts,...

JOLIET, Ill. (July 6, 2004) - Scott Riggs will pilot the No. 10 Valvoline Chevrolet in Sunday's Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway.

In his past trips to the 1.5-mile oval, Riggs has shown promise in both his racing and qualifying efforts, winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event there in 2001, and posting second and 13th-place qualifying attempts and one Top-10 finish in his two Busch Series starts.

"I've been to Chicagoland a few times," Riggs explained. "It's a really fast track, and I like that. Plus, I've had some success there, and that always makes you a little more optimistic about returning to a track. You go into the weekend with a little more confidence.

"I'm hopeful my past experience there can give the team a boost and help us grab the finish we've been waiting for."

In last Saturday's Pepsi 400, Riggs notched his third Top-10 starting position of the season with a 7th-place qualifying effort at Daytona International Speedway. However, the team was unable to capitalize after a miscue on a late, green-flag pit stop.

"It's a shame we couldn't come away with a better finishing position after the way the Valvoline Chevrolet performed," said Riggs of his 21st-place finish. "We had it going - a good starting position and a strong car, powered by a Hendrick engine. I really felt we had a shot at a Top-10, but a miscommunication on when to pit for the last stop knocked us back in the field. We didn't have enough time in the race to come back.

"We're still making progress though. Small steps, but still steps forward. One day soon all of the progress we're making will come together at the same time and we'll get another solid finish."

Valvoline crew chief Doug Randolph hopes this is the weekend the season takes a turn.

"We're getting into the second half of the season," said Randolph, "So we're hoping things will start to click for us. If we can keep getting solid starting spots and keep the Valvoline Chevy upfront again this week, we should be able to get the finishes we need. It's getting closer, we just haven't gotten there yet.

"We're optimistic about the weekend," continued Randolph. "Hopefully we'll line up on the inside. If not, we'll have to get down quickly. If you get hung up on the outside in Chicago the rest of the field will run right by you and you'll have to spend the first part of the race playing catch up. We don't plan on doing any of that this week."

The Nextel Cup Series event will be broadcast live on NBC, beginning at 2:30 PM EDT.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Scott Riggs