NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE RAYBESTOS ROOKIE CONTENDERS - BUSCH SERIES Scott Riggs was the RaybestosÂ® Rookie of the Race in the Cabela's 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Riggs finished sixth, his 11th top-10 finish of the 2002 season. He...
NEWS AND NOTES FROM THE RAYBESTOS ROOKIE CONTENDERS - BUSCH SERIES
Scott Riggs was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the Cabela's 250 at Michigan International Speedway. Riggs finished sixth, his 11th top-10 finish of the 2002 season. He has taken Raybestos® Rookie of the Race honors 11 times this season and has been top finishing rookie in two of the last three Busch Series races.
Riggs used his good run at Michigan to extend his lead in the Raybestos® Rookie standings. He leads Johnny Sauter by 61 points (273-212) entering Friday's Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Kasey Kahne had a great run at Michigan, coming away with a tenth place finish. Kahne scored his best career Busch Series finish and his first career top-10 finish. He previous career best was a 15th place finish in the Kroger 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
For the second consecutive race, Riggs was the only Raybestos® Rookie to lead a lap. He led three times for five laps at Michigan. Riggs has led more miles than any other Raybestos® Rookie this season. In 23 races, he has led 17 times in 10 races for 461.03 miles.
All seven Raybestos® Rookies that started the Michigan event were running at the finish of the race. Six of the freshman drivers finished on the lead lap: Riggs, Kahne, Kerry Earnhardt (21st), Johnny Sauter (22nd), Shane Hmiel (25th) and Dan Pardus (27th). For Pardus, Saturday's race marked the first time he has finished on the lead lap in 10 starts this season.
Casey Mears (34th) was running inside the top-five at Michigan when he had transmission problems near the end of the race. He lost 10 laps making repairs but was running at the finish of the event.
Riggs was the highest qualifying Raybestos® Rookie at Michigan, taking the third starting position in time trials. He has been highest qualifying rookie in nine races this season. Casey Mears also had an outstanding qualifying run, taking sixth. All seven Raybestos® Rookies entered at Michigan qualified on their speed.
Riggs is fourth in Busch Series points, 81 behind third place Jack Sprague. He is 16 points ahead of fifth place Scott Wimmer and 119 in front of sixth place Mike McLaughlin.
Three Raybestos® Rookies have won at least one pole position this season: Hmiel (2), Riggs (2), and Sauter (1).
With his win in the Tropicana Twister 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, Sauter became the first of the Sauter brothers (Jay and Tim) to win a NASCAR Busch Series race.
Entering the Bristol event, four Raybestos® Rookies have started all 23 Busch Series races this season: Riggs, Hmiel, Mears, and Earnhardt.
Scott Wimmer was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the 2001 Food City 250 at Bristol Raceway. He was the only driver to finish in the top-10, collecting a sixth place finish, and the only rookie to complete all 250 laps.
Biffle finished 18th and was also the only first year driver to lead a lap at Bristol. He led once for 23 laps.
Wimmer and Biffle were the only first year drivers to be running at the finish of the Bristol race. Accidents eliminated the cars of Larry Foyt (33rd) and Jamie McMurray (42nd).
2001 Raybestos® Rookie of the Year Greg Biffle was the highest qualifying rookie at Bristol, taking the fifth starting spot. No other first year driver started inside the top-10.