Homestead: Scott Riggs race report

Riggs Scores 15th Place Finish in Season Finale HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 21, 2004) - Scott Riggs brought the Valvoline Chevrolet across the finish line 15th in Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the final race of the 2004 Nextel Cup ...

Riggs Scores 15th Place Finish in Season Finale

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 21, 2004) - Scott Riggs brought the Valvoline Chevrolet across the finish line 15th in Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the final race of the 2004 Nextel Cup Series season.

"Not too bad," offered Riggs, who started the race 25th. "We had a pretty decent car. We were able to run up front some of the race, but track position seemed to be the most important thing.

"The Valvoline Chevy was a lot better at the front of the pack. I could get a lot more air on the car and it turned a lot better. As soon as you got 12 cars back, it was hard to make up any ground."

Riggs found himself as high as seventh during the course of the 267-lap, 400-mile event but with a record 14 cautions, he was unable to maintain that position due to varying strategies on pit road.

"I wish we could've had a little different pit strategy and put ourselves up there a little closer to the front," said Riggs. "We may have had a little something for them. Things just didn't work in our favor as far as that (pit strategy) was concerned and we just didn't quite have the car to get back those spots once we were back in the pack."

Riggs also overcame a slight handicap in the closing stages of the race. With 56 laps remaining, he radioed to the Valvoline crew that something broke under the No. 10 Chevrolet. That something turned out to be a gear.

"We lost second gear with about fifty to go," he explained. "It didn't hurt us too bad, but the three cautions in those last laps didn't help either. We'd struggle a little bit on the restarts because I had to restart in third gear each time. Once I'd get up to speed and really start racing again, the yellow would wave and we'd be back to square one."

"All the guys did a great job, just like they have all year," continued Riggs. "We had amazing pit stops - I think we picked up four spots once - and great calls in the pits. It was a good job on everybody's part. We had about a 15th place car and that's where we wound up. Not the best finish, but not a terrible way to cap off the season either. This team is really looking forward to next year and showing everyone what we know we're capable of."

-mbvm-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Scott Riggs