Dover: Scott Riggs race report

Valvoline team posts best finish of season DOVER, Del. (June 6, 2004) Scott Riggs and the Valvoline team scored their best result of the season with an impressive fifth-place finish in Sunday's MBNA 400 "A Salute to Heroes" at Dover ...

Valvoline team posts best finish of season

DOVER, Del. (June 6, 2004) Scott Riggs and the Valvoline team scored their best result of the season with an impressive fifth-place finish in Sunday's MBNA 400 "A Salute to Heroes" at Dover International Speedway.

"This is what we needed and wanted," said Riggs, who notched the best finish among the six rookie contenders. "This Valvoline team works so hard every single week and they never give up. We lost a couple of laps early, but we hung in there, worked our way back to the front and finished on the lead lap. That's the kind of people this team is made of."

In the opening stages of the Nextel Cup event, Riggs, who started from the 23rd position, struggled with a tight racecar, eventually forcing him to lose two laps to the leader. The Valvoline team worked throughout the first half of the contest to make necessary changes to the car and by the midway point of the 400-lap, 400-mile race Riggs had the car handling just the way he wanted it.

"The Valvoline Chevy started to fly and I knew if we could hang on we would have a solid finish," explained Riggs.

Riggs did indeed hang on, thanks to a savvy driving job as he avoided a 19-car wreck with 53 laps remaining

"All of a sudden there were cars going everywhere," said Riggs. "I went low and barely scraped through there. We were fortunate we didn't get collected in that pile-up."

Just thirty laps later, a four-car melee occurred in Turn 4 of the all-concrete oval, allowing Riggs to get another lap back. With only nine green-flag laps remaining after the final restart, Riggs carefully drove the No. 10 Valvoline Chevrolet around the one-mile track to secure his first top-five finish.

"A lot of things worked in our favor today," Riggs said. "But the main thing is that we got the finish we've been looking for. We still have a ways to go, but today's result reinforces the quality of this team."

The next Nextel Cup race is Sunday (June 13) -- the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Scott Riggs