Loudon II: Scott Riggs preview

LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 13, 2004) -- New Hampshire International Speedway proved to be a tough track for Scott Riggs during his first Nextel Cup visit in July. However, with his recent performances getting stronger, Riggs and the Valvoline team return...

LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 13, 2004) -- New Hampshire International Speedway proved to be a tough track for Scott Riggs during his first Nextel Cup visit in July. However, with his recent performances getting stronger, Riggs and the Valvoline team return to New England with a higher confidence level for this weekend's Sylvania 300.

Riggs qualified 15th for the July's Siemen's 300 and had high hopes for a top-10 finish. However, with the sun shining over the 1.058-mile oval for the first time during race weekend, track conditions were unfamiliar to the Valvoline team when the 300-lap race got underway and they were never able to find the proper setup.

"The Valvoline Chevy was good off the truck and the team did a great job making it better all weekend," recalled Riggs. "But when the race started, we were missing something. We kept coming into the pits to make changes and throw new tires on the car, but we just missed the right combination and could never get it quite where we wanted."

When he heads back to New Hampshire this weekend, Riggs believes the team will be able to use what they've since learned to improve their performance. "We're confident we can better July's finish here," said Riggs, who was credited with a 28th place result. "Finish-wise, we've really been coming around lately. I've learned to diagnose the car more accurately and the team is getting better at making necessary changes.

"The biggest thing we need is to have everything come together at the same time. The second half of the season we've had some great qualifying efforts and decent finishes, but we haven't had it all come together at once. We've had equipment problems and handling problems and haven't been able to get to the checkers."

After finishing seventh at California Speedway two weeks ago, Riggs lost a motor in Saturday night's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 in Richmond.

"We had a problem last week, but we're still carrying some momentum," continued the Valvoline driver. "We've really studied and worked hard to find the right combination to bring to New Hampshire, so hopefully we'll be good off the truck and can focus on starting up front and staying there."

The Sylvania 300 will be broadcast live Sunday (Sept. 19) on TNT beginning at 12:30 p.m. EDT.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Scott Riggs