EARLY WRECK PROVES COSTLY FOR RIGGS, NO. 66 TEAM DOVER, DEL. -- Scott Riggs entered the weekend at Dover International Speedway anxious for the chance to run well and regain some of the points his team lost due to a NASCAR penalty levied last ...
EARLY WRECK PROVES COSTLY FOR RIGGS, NO. 66 TEAM
DOVER, DEL. -- Scott Riggs entered the weekend at Dover International Speedway anxious for the chance to run well and regain some of the points his team lost due to a NASCAR penalty levied last week. Instead, Riggs was caught up in a Lap-17 accident that put his State Water Heaters Chevrolet in the garage for more than 80 laps and relegated him to a 39th-place finish in the Best Buy 400 here yesterday.
Riggs' Haas CNC Racing car sustained heavy damage to the front end after he hit the No. 19 of Elliott Sadler that was sideways on the track. The damage required the team to replace the entire front clip and cooling system components before returning to the track.
"We had a solid plan for the race," Riggs said. "We knew we had to race for points in order to build a buffer between us and the 35th-place team, so we were sticking to the basics. With Matt (Borland) coming in as crew chief we needed the crew to feel comfortable so he didn't bring any drastic changes. We wanted to run well, get a good finish and earn some points," he said. "We had a plan to gain track position with pit strategy. But in the end we never got a chance to implement it."
When Riggs returned to the track he was posting competitive lap times but he reported that the car would get tighter through the center of the corners the longer he ran. With the race less than half complete, Borland and the team showed no quit on the day knowing that they could make up valuable positions should other cars fall out of the field.
"I'm proud of my guys and the hard work they put in today," Riggs said. "They got me back on the track quickly, especially considering the amount of damage we had."
The 39th-place finish dropped the No. 66 team two spots in the owner point's standings to 36th. Riggs will be forced to qualify on time when the team travels to Pocono, Pa., for next Sunday's Pocono 500.
"This was the last thing we needed today," said Riggs. "But you're always aware that it can happen, especially with the speed we're carrying here at Dover. We'll deal with it. We're still close. In no way is this a 36th-place team, but that's the situation we're in. I don't expect to be out of the Top 35 for long."