LATE RACE INCIDENT RUINS STRONG RUN FOR RIGGS FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 4, 2005)-- After running a solid race for 247 of 250 laps in Sunday night's Nextel Cup event at California Speedway, Scott Riggs was sent spinning into the outside retaining ...
LATE RACE INCIDENT RUINS STRONG RUN FOR RIGGS
FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 4, 2005)-- After running a solid race for 247 of 250 laps in Sunday night's Nextel Cup event at California Speedway, Scott Riggs was sent spinning into the outside retaining wall, ending his night and forcing the team to a 36th-place finish.
Riggs started the Sony HD 500 from the 10th position and consistently ran in the top 15 for the majority of the event, climbing as high as fifth place at the half-way mark of the race.
"It was definitely an up and down night for us," said Riggs. "Rodney (Childers, crew chief) and the guys did a good job in the pits all evening, making changes and chasing the racetrack to make the Valvoline Chevy better. A couple times we ended up too loose and fell back a little, but we recovered each time and got the car dialed back."
With just 39 laps to go in the 500-mile event, a yellow flag flew and the Valvoline team, which was running 11th, had a decision to make.
"A caution came out with about 40 laps to go and we didn't pit," offered Riggs. "Everyone behind us did, but everyone in front of us didn't. It was one of those no win situations and with everyone behind us having new tires, that put us in trouble when the green flag fell and we started falling back some."
When the next caution flag was waved, Riggs was running 22nd, and the team hoped this would be its chance to make up some lost ground.
"Another caution came out with just eight laps to go so we decided to come in and take two tires and see how many positions we could pick up," Riggs explained. "We got some track position and were just trying to hold on and climb back through the field, but we got hit from behind and sent spinning. I don't know what happened."
As Riggs and the 43-car field made their way down the backstretch of the two-mile oval, Sterling Marlin slid up the race track, making contact with the Valvoline Chevrolet that started a chain reaction of wrecking race cars.
"It's a shame," continued Riggs. "The team worked hard tonight chasing the race track and finding the right fixes for the car. We made a couple of mistakes, but all-in-all we had a solid race and were looking to have a solid finish."
"It was another frustrating weekend. But all we can do is look ahead and focus on next week. Hopefully we can make it to the checkered flag without any trouble in Richmond."
The Nextel Cup series will visit Richmond International Raceway next Saturday night (Sept. 10). The race will be broadcast on TNT, beginning at 7 p.m. EDT.