Riggs Looking To Build On California Speedway Success FONTANA, Calif. (April 27, 2004) -- Valvoline driver Scott Riggs knows what it takes to be successful at California Speedway, the 2.0-mile oval that he will compete at inthis weekend's NASCAR...
Riggs Looking To Build On California Speedway Success
FONTANA, Calif. (April 27, 2004) -- Valvoline driver Scott Riggs knows what it takes to be successful at California Speedway, the 2.0-mile oval that he will compete at inthis weekend's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race -- the Auto Club 500.
Riggs' first trip to the speedway in the NASCAR Busch Series (2002)resulted in the second win of his rookie season after he came from the back of the 43-car field to take home the victory, a powerful step toward the Rookie of the Yearhonorshe would later claim.
"I was forced to start at the backdue to an engine change," explained Riggs, who's first Busch Series career win came just two weeks earlier at Nashville Superspeedway.b^0x001cI came all the way through the field and won the race. California Speedway is apretty special place for me."
Riggs also claimed the Craftsman Truck Series' pole at California Speedway inr001.
"It's nice to return to a track where I've had success," continued Riggs. "But I'm racing in a different show now. That's one of the biggest things I've had to get used to this year. People can tell you how much harder it is in the Nextel Cup Series than in Busch, and they can try and explain the differences, but until you get in the car and race against these Cup drivers, you can't comprehend the competition and the talent level on this side of the garage."
Riggs, one of six rookies competing in the Nextel Cup Series,picked up his best starting position of the 2004 season last week when he qualifiedfifth at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. His best qualifying effort prior to that was the week before inMartinsville, Va.h13th)and his best finish of the season (Texas Motor Speedway, 15th)came the week before that.
"We're making progress," said Riggs. "The Valvoline Chevroletwas greatlast week in Talladega and could've had a strongfinish, but we got caught up in that 11-carwreck. It's a shame we haven't been able to come away with the finishes we feel like we deserve, but we still have had great race cars and solid starting spots and those are steps in the right direction. We just have to get everything working in our favor at the same time."
Riggs is hopeful to start putting the pieces together this weekend in California.
"You need a great motor to do well there, and I know we have that with our Hendrick engines," offered Riggs. "You have to have good aero and handling of the car, but it really comes down to horsepower. Usually the person that can run well on the bottom of the track is the one that will win the race. If you can keep it on the line all day, and have some power to push you around, you're bound to have a good finish."