RICHMOND, VA (August 30, 2001) - Coming off an uncommon 13th-place finish in the series' last stop at Nazareth Speedway, Team ASE driver Scott Riggs and crew chief Tim Kohuth think they can use the sub-par finish as a springboard toward a sixth ...
RICHMOND, VA (August 30, 2001) - Coming off an uncommon 13th-place finish in the series' last stop at Nazareth Speedway, Team ASE driver Scott Riggs and crew chief Tim Kohuth think they can use the sub-par finish as a springboard toward a sixth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win in the Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway.
"If you look at the way our season has gone, historically we've had some of our best races coming off poor finishes the week before," said Kohuth. "I think we stumbled on to something at Nazareth that we can translate into a better aerodynamic performance for us at Richmond. We're taking the same ASE Dodge we ran at Nazareth, but we've made some wholesale changes at the shop and I think that's going to be the difference."
"We know what the problem was," added Riggs. "We know what we fought at Nazareth and what made us as bad as we were. There's a corner at Nazareth that is actually banked off-camber, which means it's banked in the opposite direction that you would see at any other oval, and we really had trouble keeping the nose of the ASE Dodge on the ground. We're going to go to Richmond armed with everything we learned and try to rebound from a bad week."
Last year in the series' annual stop at the .75-mile Richmond oval, Riggs qualified 30th but rallied back to post a career-best fifth-place finish. Meanwhile, former pilot Mike Wallace guided the ASE mount to a 15th-place effort in the 200-lap contest.
"Last year's race at Richmond was the worst race and the best race of the season all rolled up into one," explained Riggs, who drove the No. 86 IMPACT Motorsports Dodge in the event. "It was my first Truck Series race with Kenny Majors as my crew chief. Kenny had been with me all through my late model days and we struggled all day trying to figure out the fast way around Richmond.
"We qualified poorly and we were really down in the dumps about it because we had no idea why or what we needed to do to pick it up," continued Riggs." We made a few changes right before the race and when the green flag dropped we ran all the way up to fifth. It was a great race for us. That was the worst I had qualified all last year and to back that up by running fifth was a big shot in the arm."
In 18 races, Riggs and Kohuth have combined for 12 Top-5s and 13 Top-10 finishes. As the points race continues to heat up, Riggs, Joe Ruttman and Jack Sprague have swapped the top spot four times in as many races. Currently, Riggs trails Ruttman by only 13 markers with Sprague in tow, just 20 points out of the lead with six races to go.
"We go to each race and try outrun everybody there," commented Riggs, a five-time Truck Series event winner this season. "As long as we win races, that will put us back on top. That's where our focus lies - winning races. We're going to put everything we learned at Nazareth back into this truck and try to redeem ourselves Richmond."
The Kroger 200 at Richmond International Raceway will take the green flag Thursday, September 6 at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 19th race of the of the 24-event 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 technical training and certification 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.