Riggs, Team ASE Still Fighting Heading Into Phoenix AVONDALE, AZ (October 19, 2001) - Scott Riggs has raced at a lot of places, but Phoenix International Raceway isn't one of them. As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads for its second to...
Riggs, Team ASE Still Fighting Heading Into Phoenix
AVONDALE, AZ (October 19, 2001) - Scott Riggs has raced at a lot of places, but Phoenix International Raceway isn't one of them. As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads for its second to last stop on the 2001 tour, the driver of the No. 2 Team ASE Dodge will be a true rookie in the Chevy Silverado 150 at PIR.
"I've never been to Phoenix, but I'll approach it the same way I approach any other track I haven't been to before," explained Riggs. "I'll go out there and try and find the quick way around as soon as I can. We'll have to work on making the ASE Dodge as free in the corner as we can so the truck will turn good. I'll just have to be a little more aggressive so we don't get behind. We need a good finish at Phoenix so we can stay alive in this championship hunt. My teammate Ted Musgrave has been to Phoenix a bunch of times, so I know I'll be looking to him for some advice. "
Last year in the annual spring classic at PIR, former pilot Mike Wallace recorded a ninth-place finish for Team ASE in the Chevy Trucks NASCAR 150. This season, Riggs enters the Phoenix race with no experience on the flat, one-mile D-shaped oval.
"That's my biggest concern," explained veteran crew chief Tim Kohuth. "Phoenix can be a tricky place to navigate if you don't have any experience. But, I've been out there a bunch of times so we have a good baseline set-up. Scott usually adapts pretty well at places he's never been before, so we should be okay. I'm not sure how much the Dodge's are going to like the track, but we'll work on it until we get it right." As the 24-race NCTS tour grinds to a halt, Riggs stands third in the fight for the 2001 championship. With only Phoenix and Fontana, CA remaining, the five-time Truck Series winner is 108 points behind leader Jack Sprague, and just 11 markers out of second-place.
"We're not giving up," commented Riggs. "This has been a crazy season the way the point lead has gone back and forth between myself, Jack and Joe (Ruttman). Anything can still happen. I had a pretty sizeable lead about halfway through the season and that went away after two bad races. But, that's what it's going to take. I'm going to have to lead a lot of laps and win. Those guys in front of me are going to have to have trouble for me to get the point lead back. Like I said, anything can happen."
In the Truck Series last outing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Riggs started his ASE Dodge fourth and after battling a tight condition for most of the afternoon, the 30-year-old driver clawed his way back to finish in the same position he started. Unable to slice his way into the lead, Riggs didn't gain any ground in the championship chase to leader Jack Sprague.
"Considering the way the truck was handling, a fourth-place run felt pretty good," commented Riggs. "We had one of our best trucks at Las Vegas, but never quite managed to hit the set-up we needed to make a charge at the leaders. We've got another good truck to take to Phoenix and although I've never raced there before my crew chief Tim Kohuth has a great deal of experience at Phoenix so we'll be fine."
The Chevy Silverado 150 at Phoenix International Raceway will take the green flag Friday, October 26th at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 23rd race of the 2001 NCTS tour will be telecast live on ESPN2 and broadcast on MRN Radio worldwide.
ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) also has a long involvement in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. As the primary sponsor on the No. 2 Team ASE entry, the non-profit organization has been able to highlight its efforts to provide the highest quality professional technician certification and assessment services at all levels of vehicle maintenance and repair. In addition to ASE's racing involvement, the organization is active in numerous civic, charitable, educational and humanitarian activities.