Fontana: Scott Riggs race report

Pit Road Incident Costly For Riggs in California FONTANA, Calif (May 2, 2004) -- It was one of those roller-coaster days for Scott Riggs, who finished 25th in Sunday's Auto Club 500 at California Speedway. The Valvoline driver...

Pit Road Incident Costly For Riggs in California

FONTANA, Calif (May 2, 2004) -- It was one of those roller-coaster days for Scott Riggs, who finished 25th in Sunday's Auto Club 500 at California Speedway.

The Valvoline driver experienced a number of ups and downs during the 250-lap, 500-mile race, and in the end, it was pit road mishap that finally cost the rookie driver from having his best finish of the season.

"We battled through plenty of adversity today," said Riggs. "The result was definitely not indicative on how well this Valvoline team performed."

Riggs, who started the event fourth, struggled early with a handling problem that pushed him all the way back to 34th place.

But the Valvoline team, led by crew chief Doug Randolph, worked through the problem and eventually found a proper balance for the No. 10 Chevrolet

Riggs started to move through the field, but then a clutch failure just past the midway point of the race was another problem the team had to overcome.

Riggs came into the pits twice during a caution as the Valvoline crew got under the car to free the clutch and add fluid. When Riggs returned to action he was running in 29th place -- but that didn't last for long.

The Valvoline Chevy fought its way to 18th place and it appeared Riggs was on his way to having his best finish of the season.

But when Riggs came into the pits with a little over 50 laps remaining, a pit road incident cost him a lap and once again sent him to the back of the field.

"It was time to make our best move of the day on the last green-flag stop," explained Riggs. "We knew we had to get out quickly to get that top-10 finish that we thought we could achieve.

"But when I came into the pit box I slid past the sign because the clutch wasn't working properly. When I shoved into reverse I hit the jack and ruined it. The crew had to go over the wall to get another jack and extra time spent in the pits spoiled any chance of a strong finish."

Riggs continued the fight to the end and picked up three positions late in the race.

"The one thing about this group of guys is that nobody gives up," said Randolph. "It will come around, sooner than later."

The next stop for the Valvoline team will be May 15 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway for the Chevrolet American Revolution 400.

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will take next weekend off to celebrate Mother's Day.

-mbvm-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Scott Riggs