LONG POND, Pa. (August 1, 2004)--An exciting day for the Valvoline team turned sour when, with only five laps remaining in Sunday's Pennsylvania 500, the battery in Scott Riggs' Chevrolet malfunctioned, turning a potential top-five finish into a...
LONG POND, Pa. (August 1, 2004)--An exciting day for the Valvoline team turned sour when, with only five laps remaining in Sunday's Pennsylvania 500, the battery in Scott Riggs' Chevrolet malfunctioned, turning a potential top-five finish into a 22nd-place result.
"I hate to tell you guys this," Riggs radioed to his crew just before a final restart on Lap 195 of 200. "The volt meter's low. I don't have much power. Let's see what we can do from here."
The Valvoline team crossed their fingers as the green flag fell for the last time over the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway, but to their disappointment, Riggs quickly fell from seventh to 22nd.
"What an awesome race," said Riggs, who started the 500-mile event 26th. "We obviously didn't like the outcome, but to be able to run up front and really race is such a good feeling for this Valvoline team. It broke my heart to have to tell the guys the volt meter was low. They had done such a good job in the pits all day. We just couldn't turn over 7,000 RPMs after that and fell back pretty fast. It was still a good day for us, all things considered."
Riggs struggled with an ultra-tight racecar throughout the early stages of the event, but the Valvoline team was able to find the right setup for the car, and put Riggs in position to drive toward the front.
"I actually think the turning point in the race came after a pit stop (on Lap 121)," explained Riggs. "I thought we had a wheel loose so we came back down pit road. While we were there, we took the time to make an adjustment to the springs, and that really set the car where it needed to be. After that, I just started passing people."
Riggs also credits the Valvoline pit crew with helping him pick up valuable track position
"I can't begin to explain how good these guys are in the pits every single week," he said. "After we got the car dialed in, I came in for a pit stop 13th and went out eighth. We consistently have great stops, so it's nice to be in a position where it could put us right in the thick of things. That's the sort of performance that wins races.
"This is exactly the kind of second half of the season we're looking for," Riggs continued. "Our first time around at a lot of these tracks, we took a licking. But now it's time to take what we learned, run like we did today, and show people what we're capable of."