Phoenix: Scott Riggs race report

PHOENIX (Nov. 7, 2004)-- Perseverance by Scott Riggs paid off Sunday as the Valvoline team battled through adversity to pick up a 14th-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway. "That's not bad for us considering all the things we overcame...

PHOENIX (Nov. 7, 2004)-- Perseverance by Scott Riggs paid off Sunday as the Valvoline team battled through adversity to pick up a 14th-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway.

"That's not bad for us considering all the things we overcame today," claimed Riggs as he climbed from the Valvoline Chevy. "We got together with (Ken) Schrader and spun out about halfway through the race and we went to the back of the field a couple of times. But we still managed to stay on the lead lap all day and bring home a top-15 finish."

Starting the Checker Auto Parts 500 from the 11th position, Riggs was shuffled through the 43-car field several times as he dealt with a slightly unruly racecar early in the event. When he brought his machine down pit road under the first caution period, the Valvoline crew went to work, making the necessary adjustments to allow Riggs to regain some track position.

"The guys did an awesome job in the pits all day-- they made all the right changes," explained Riggs. "After that first pit stop we starting marching back trying to get some track position back. We were fast, but with two grooves out there, it was tough to pass sometimes. You'd ride around double-wide for five or 10 laps before you could get spread out enough to start passing people."

That's exactly what Riggs was trying to do on Lap 143 when he and Schrader made contact. As they rounded Turn 4 side-by-side, the two cars collided, sending the Valvoline Chevy spinning down the racetrack. Riggs was able to avoid any other contact, quickly regaining control and maintaining position on the lead lap.

"It was an exciting day out there for sure," Riggs said. "We had a good car all weekend and we came from the back more than once. I ended up with a car I could really hustle with all day long and I had a good time out there.

"I can't say we're satisfied with a 14th-place finish," he continued. "But this was a good shot in the arm to help get over not making the race last week in Atlanta. The Valvoline team came to the track this weekend ready to hustle and work hard and put last week behind us. That was a tough pill to swallow but we overcame it."

The next race for the Valvoline team will be Sunday (Nov. 7) at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Scott Riggs