Accident Spoils Riggs' Strong Run in Brickyard 400 Debut SPEEDWAY, Ind. (Aug. 8, 2004) -- It was not the finish Scott Riggs was looking for in his Brickyard 400 debut. Despite the Valvoline Chevrolet turning speeds that allowed him to drive ...
Accident Spoils Riggs' Strong Run in Brickyard 400 Debut
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (Aug. 8, 2004) -- It was not the finish Scott Riggs was looking for in his Brickyard 400 debut. Despite the Valvoline Chevrolet turning speeds that allowed him to drive toward the front, Riggs' day ended prematurely when he was collected in an accident that sent him home with a 37th-place finish.
Riggs started the fabled event 27th but found himself behind the wheel of a tight racecar when the green flag dropped over historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After two early pit stops, however, he was able to produce significantly quicker lap times and began picking up valuable track position with every lap around the 2.5-mile oval.
"We stopped early and really took advantage of our pit stops," Riggs explained. "We made some pretty big changes from the beginning and started passing cars. After every restart we were able to pick up four or five positions right off the bat."
On Lap 73 of 161, just after a sub-14 second pit stop by the Valvoline crew, Riggs' journey toward the front came to an abrupt halt when he was swept up in an accident on the subsequent restart.
"Everyone was trying to get an edge on the people in front of them I guess," Riggs explained as the Valvoline team tried to salvage the injured race car. "The No. 2 car (Rusty Wallace) got into the wall in front of us and I checked up. I don't know if the No. 22 (Scott Wimmer) didn't see the wreck or what happened because he drilled us from behind-- it lifted the back end of the car off the ground."
"I spun around and hit the inside wall and then other cars starting getting into me because they didn't have anywhere to go," he continued.
After assessing the damage on the Valvoline Chevrolet, the team deemed it unsalvageable.
"We thought it was going to be a pretty good day," Riggs contended. "Like always, the guys did a great job on pit road and we were driving toward the front. This is pretty indicative of the luck this Valvoline team has had this season. We don't always qualify as well as we hope, but when the race starts we drive toward the front. We just couldn't make it to the checkered flag."
The next stop for the Nextel Cup Series will Sunday (Aug. 15) at the Watkins Glen (N.Y) International road course. It will be the second of the two scheduled road races of the season.