Martinsville II: Scott Riggs preview

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Oct. 19, 2004)- Valvoline driver Scott Riggs will have an added incentive at this weekend's Subway 500 Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. The Ashland Paving And Construction (APAC) company, one of the family ...

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Oct. 19, 2004)- Valvoline driver Scott Riggs will have an added incentive at this weekend's Subway 500 Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.

The Ashland Paving And Construction (APAC) company, one of the family of companies of Valvoline's parent, Ashland Inc., recently finished rebuilding the concrete and asphalt surface at Martinsville Speedway. NASCAR fans will remember that April's Advance Auto Parts 500 was red-flagged after a chunk of concrete was uprooted on the 57-year-old oval.

"The track is in great condition now, thanks to APAC," reported Riggs after returning from a two-day test session in Martinsville. "The bottom was definitely the place to be during testing, but I think when you get all 43 cars on the track you'll see both grooves work. APAC did a great job to recreate the surface -- I think that's what everyone was looking for. The bottom line for us is that APAC did its job -- its now our turn to be equally successful with the Valvoline Chevrolet."

NASCAR drivers have grown accustomed to the distinct upper and lower racing grooves of the quirky half-mile oval and lobbied for those characteristics to remain.

"This track is only used a few hours a year. But during those hours, the drivers want to be able to trust the surface," said Ken Gavitt, project manager for APAC-Atlantic's Thompson-Arthur business unit. "Just as importantly, experienced drivers will expect the new surface to feel like the old one."

"Our goal was to provide Martinsville with two-groove racing and if we can do that, there will be some happy campers on race day," he continued.

Riggs has a storied history at the famed short track. In 2000, his late model team opted to take a truck to the historical oval and have a go at the Craftsman Truck Series. Riggs' solid qualifying effort afforded the team a fifth-place start and a ninth-place finish. The following year Riggs' returned to the track in a Craftsman truck, where he qualified second and scored his first NASCAR career win.

"I've had some good times at Martinsville in a truck but didn't do as well as I'd hoped in the spring," said Riggs. "Maybe APAC engineers can show me the fastest way to Victory Lane. That's what family is for."

APAC has a long and distinguished racing heritage. In addition to its current work at Martinsville Speedway, the company has resurfaced race tracks at Daytona, Charlotte, Darlington and Talladega.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Scott Riggs