RIGGS FINISHES FOURTH IN DAYTONA 500 Collects Best Finish of Nextel Cup Career DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2005) -- Scott Riggs' spectacular late-race surge inthe 47th running of the Daytona 500 ended with animpressive fourth-place finish, a...
RIGGS FINISHES FOURTH IN DAYTONA 500
Collects Best Finish of Nextel Cup Career
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 20, 2005) -- Scott Riggs' spectacular late-race surge inthe 47th running of the Daytona 500 ended with animpressive fourth-place finish, a Nextel Cup Series career high for the sophomore Valvoline Chevrolet driver.
"This is really good for everyone," said Riggs. "I've been telling people that good things were coming for this team and I'm just glad the Valvoline crew finally got to demonstrate that this weekend.The biggest thing is we talked about chemistry and how we need to put the right people in the right places. Iwatched these guys come alive in the off-season. You can see the chemistry start working when you get a top-five finish in the season opener. Hopefully this is a sign of great things to come for the rest of the year."
Riggs, who started Sunday's race 12th,ran in the top-ten throughout the event before getting shuffled to the back with fewer than 50 laps remaining, finding himself in a position as low as 24th.
"Everyone on this Valvoline team worked awfully hard today," said Riggs at the conclusion of the event.bI felt like I made pretty good decisions on the racetrack andDoughRandolph- crew chief) and the team made great decisions in the pits.
"I got hung out once and we got shuffled to the back. I'll tell you,it's a lot tougher to race in the back than it is in the front. It was murder back there-- three wide, chopping each other off.I felt like I was in a demolition derby so it was good to be able to get back up front and get caught up. Luckily we were able tokeep our nose clean and take care of the carand when it came time,Dougdid a great job making the right callsto get us back in the top-10."
With 38 laps to go in the race, Randolph chose to bring the Valvoline Chevrolet down pit road for a gas only stop,moving the No. 10 machine back to the front.
"Once we got back into the top-10, we muscled our way into the top-five,"explained Riggs. "I got a good run on one of the restarts and was able to pick up several positions then. I just remained calm and tried not to do anything stupid. Even though this car was definitely good enough, I knew we weren't in clean enough air to run for the win in the closing stages, so I just drove smart and drove hard and got the teama top-five in the Daytona 500."
"Hopefully this entire season we'll be a million miles away from the luck we had last year," hecontinued. "Right now,we have this ball of momentum rolling towardusand it's getting bigger and bigger. This is the first time we've gotten the chance to show just how big it is and now it's rolling even faster heading into next week. This is going to be a fun year for us."
Riggs and the Valvoline team will take their momentum to NASCAR's next stop, Sunday (Feb. 27) at California Speedway in Fontana.