Contact With Wall Ruins Riggs' Effort in Qualifying Race DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2004) -- A costly wreck during Thursday's Gatorade 125-mile qualifying race pushed Scott Riggs to the rear of the starting field (36th) for Sunday's Daytona...
Contact With Wall Ruins Riggs' Effort in Qualifying Race
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2004) -- A costly wreck during Thursday's Gatorade 125-mile qualifying race pushed Scott Riggs to the rear of the starting field (36th) for Sunday's Daytona 500.
Riggs, one of six rookies competing in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, started Thursday's 50-lap qualifier from the 13th position.
He complained early of a tight racecar but tried to hold on for the first round of pit stops. Unfortunately for Riggs and the Valvoline team, the first pit stop did not come in time.
Rounding turn two of Daytona International Speedway on lap 21, Riggs made contact with the wall when the right front tire deflated on his No. 10 Valvoline Chevrolet.
Riggs was not injured in the incident, but the car suffered major damage and eventually retired from the race on lap 24. The Valvoline team was credited with a 23rd-place finish.
"I ran out of room," Riggs said. "We didn't anticipate the car being this tight. The conditions today are unlike any we've practiced in so far. "We were great at the beginning, not loose at all, so I knew it was going to get pretty tight."
The team was forced to bring out its backup car for the Daytona 500, which was driven by Mike Skinner in the Bud Shootout last Saturday night. Skinner was able to race the car to the front of the field and contend for a top-five finish.
"We had a good car today but our Shootout car is good too," Riggs explained. "We learned a lot about how much we need to free the car up to make it better for the 500.
"This is definitely not the first impression that we wanted to have, but this will make us work harder to get ready for Sunday and show everyone what the Valvoline Chevrolet is made of."
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Elliott Sadler took home victories in the Twin 125's.