RIGGS CONFIDENT THAT OFF-SEASON WORK WILLPAYOFFAT SONOMA SONOMA, Calif. (June 21, 2005)-- Scott Riggs will make the third road-course start of his Nextel Cup career this weekend and hopes that hard work in the off-season will prove useful in ...
RIGGS CONFIDENT THAT OFF-SEASON WORK WILLPAYOFFAT SONOMA
SONOMA, Calif. (June 21, 2005)-- Scott Riggs will make the third road-course start of his Nextel Cup career this weekend and hopes that hard work in the off-season will prove useful in Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.
"We've put in a lot of effort between last year and now to be more prepared for this weekend," said the Valvoline driver. "So hopefully that work will pay off and we can bring home a decent finish. We just need to stay patient, keep the car on the track and stay away from trouble."
Riggs spent a day at the 10-turn, 1.99-mile road course in April refreshing his memory of the corners and how to maneuver around each one.
"I feel like I've learned a lot of things to make me a better road-course driver since this time last year," offered Riggs. "I'm getting to the point that I can do things as a reaction and not have to think about it before I do it--so I'm not a step behind. A lot of the things you do on a road-course are the exact opposite of the things you do on a normal track, as far as reactions go, so last year I spent a lot of time thinking about what I needed to do next."
Riggs has also been to Virginia International Raceway (VIR) where he not only got extra time in a road-course seat, but in the passenger seat next to teammate Boris Said.
"We carried a special car up to VIR that had two seats in it," explained Riggs. "I rode in the passenger side while Boris drove. That was quite an experience. It's a whole new sensation not being in control of the car. It was especially scary going around the corners where Boris would slide the back tires around to make a sharp turn. I prefer being in the driver's seat myself.
"But Boris is a great teacher. He's so talented on these road courses and has such control that he can drive behind you, keep his microphone keyed, and tell you what you're doing well or what you need to be doing better all the way around the track. That's a valuable tool."
While Riggs' started 42nd and finished 41st in last year's Sonoma event, he bettered his showing at the second road-course race (Watkins Glen) with a 31st-place start and 23rd-place finish.
"Road course racing is fun," contended Riggs. "It's just not fun when you show up and 42 cars are faster than you. Hopefully what we've done in the off-season will keep us from that situation this year.
"I won't go so far as to say I look forward to road courses yet, but I think if we keep the Valvoline Chevy on the racetrack and out of trouble it will be a positive day for us."