Martinsville: Scott Riggs preview

Riggs Anxious About Return To Martinsville MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 13, 2004)--Scott Riggs has fond memories of his time at Martinsville Speedway. The .526-mile oval was not only the site of where his professional career was launched, but also...

Riggs Anxious About Return To Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 13, 2004)--Scott Riggs has fond memories of his time at Martinsville Speedway. The .526-mile oval was not only the site of where his professional career was launched, but also the site of his first NASCAR win.

Riggs, who pilots the No. 10 Valvoline Chevrolet in the Nextel Cup Series, has spent ample time at the Martinsville track, situated just 75-miles northwest of his Bahama (ba-HAY-ma), N.C. home.

Early in his career, Riggs' late model team attempted several races at Martinsville, but was only able to make the field in three of them. Of those, he wrecked early twice and finished several laps down in the third.

"We always went to Martinsville hoping to win the race, "Riggs said of his Late Model trips to the circuit. "But that track gave us a lot of grief before it gave us any joy."

In 2000, Riggs' late model team opted to take a truck to the historical track for the spring race and have a go at the Craftsman Truck Series. Riggs' solid qualifying effort afforded the team a fifth-place start and he finished the event ninth.

"We had a tremendous race, "Riggs recalled. "After the bad luck we'd had in the late models, it was nice to do so well in a truck.

"That performance got me a lot of attention and I really got my foot in the door. A couple of weeks later I got a call and an offer to run a full truck schedule in 2001."

Upon returning to the track the following year, Riggs recorded his first NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series victory, his first of five in 2001.

"What a year, "Riggs said. "My first truck race at Martinsville helped me get the full-time gig and the following year I got my first win there so it's a special place for me."

Now, just three seasons later and after two successful years in the Busch Series (2002-2003), Riggs is working to make a name for himself in the elite Nextel Cup division.He will attempt his first race at Martinsville this weekend since his time in the truck series.

"I can really feel the Valvoline team gaining momentum," explained Riggs, who was credited with a season-high finish of 15th at the recent Texas Motor Speedway race. "We ran well at the Martinsville test session last weekend everyone was excited about that."

RIGGS' QUOTE ON SEASON-HIGH FINISH AT TEXAS

"It wasn't the 15th-place finish that we were excited about. It was the way the race was handled. We got down two laps, but never gave up. We kept coming into the pits and making changes and working on the car. At the end of the race we were running as fast as the leaders and that's a good feeling. We're not happy that we finished 15th, we're happy with the way the Valvoline team worked together and continued to gain spots.

"We had a solid race. That's what we needed after the start we've had to this season. I'm hopeful things are starting to come together. I know what we're capable of and we're ready to show it."

-mbvm-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Scott Riggs