BUSCH: Ft Worth: Raybestos Rookie preview

Scott Riggs was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the Channellock 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Riggs finished ninth, completing all 250 laps and collected Raybestos® Rookie of the Race honors for the second time this season (he was also...

Scott Riggs was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the Channellock 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Riggs finished ninth, completing all 250 laps and collected Raybestos® Rookie of the Race honors for the second time this season (he was also top rookie at Rockingham).

Riggs became the first Raybestos® Rookie in the Busch Series to win a pole position this season when he captured the top starting spot for the Channellock 250 at Bristol. His best of two qualifying laps was 15.196 seconds, 126.270 mph. He beat second place qualifier Jeff Green by just .06 second (or .497 mph). This is the third consecutive season that a Raybestos Rookie Contender has won at least one pole. 2002 marks the fifth time in the last six seasons that a freshman driver has won a pole in the Busch Series. The most poles won in a single season by a rookie are three by Kenny Wallace in 1989.

Riggs took the lead in the Raybestos® Rookie standings over Johnny Sauter with his good run at Bristol. He leads Sauter by six points (60-54) entering the O'Reilly 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Shane Hmiel scored his second top-10 finish of the season at Bristol. He finished 10th, completing all 250 laps. He has two top-10s and one top five finish entering the Texas race.

Riggs is the only Raybestos® Rookie in the top-10 in Busch Series points. He is ninth, seven points behind eighth place Michael Waltrip and 21 ahead of 10th place Jimmy Spencer. Riggs trails point leader Greg Biffle by 118 points.

Riggs was the only Raybestos® Rookie to lead at least one lap at Bristol. He held the top spot once for five laps.

Entering Saturday's race at Texas, three Raybestos® Rookies have led at least one lap this season: Sauter (21), Riggs (8), and Casey Mears (4). Sauter has also led more miles than any other first year driver, a total of 21.36 miles. Riggs has held the top spot for 7.17 miles while Mears has led 6.00 miles.

Five Raybestos Rookie Contenders have started all five Busch Series races this season: Riggs, Sauter, Mears, Shane Hmiel and Kerry Earnhardt.

Sauter has the fewest unfinished miles of any Raybestos® Rookie Contender that has started all five races. He has 22.92 out of a possible 1,134.40 this season.

Kerry Earnhardt scored the best finish of his Busch Series career at Darlington, coming away with an 18th place finish. His previous best effort was 19th one race ago at Las Vegas.

2001 Raybestos® Rookie Champion Greg Biffle was the highest finishing rookie in last year's O'Reilly 300 at Texas. He finished seventh on the lead lap and was the only first year driver to log a top-10 finish. Jamie McMurray, who started 38th, was the only rookie to lead a lap (he led once for one lap) and finished 16th in the final rundown. Marty Houston was the highest qualifying rookie, taking the 12th starting position in time trials. Six rookies started the race and five were running at the finish: Biffle, Scott Wimmer (15th), McMurray, Larry Foyt (22nd), Houston (25th). Tim Sauter was the only first year driver that did not finish the race. He was sidelined by engine failure after 110 laps and finished 34th.

Riggs has just 25.23 unfinished miles this season entering the O'Reilly 300, best of any Raybestos® Rookie Contender.

2001 Raybestos® Rookie Champion Greg Biffle was the Raybestos® Rookie of the race in last year's race at Texas. Biffle finished seventh and was the only first year driver to complete all 200 laps of the race. Jamie McMurray was the only rookie to lead at least one lap (he led once for one lap). Of the six rookies that qualified for the race, five were running at the finish (Biffle, Scott Wimmer, McMurray, Larry Foyt, and Marty Houston). The lone exception was Tim Sauter who retired with engine problems. Marty Houston was the highest qualifying rookie, taking the 12th starting position in time trials.

Johnny Sauter became the first Raybestos® Rookie in the Busch Series to lead at least one lap in a race this season when he took the lead at Rockingham. He led once for 21 laps and was one of just five drivers who led the race.

Raybestos Rookie Contender Point Standings <pre> DRIVER POINTS Scott Riggs 60 Johnny Sauter 54 Shane Hmiel 46 Kerry Earnhardt 40 Casey Mears 40 Brian Vickers 31 Dan Pardus 20 Kasey Kahne 12

Highest Finishing Raybestos Rookie By Race

Event                           Highest Finishing Rookie
EAS/GNC Live Well 300           Shane Hmiel, fifth
1-866-RBCTerm.com 200           Scott Riggs, fourth
Sam's Town 300                  Johnny Sauter, third
DarlingtonRaceway.com 200       Johnny Sauter, 11th
Channellock 250                 Scott Riggs, ninth

-rb-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Jimmy Spencer , Kenny Wallace , Greg Biffle , Jeff Green , Casey Mears , Larry Foyt , Marty Houston , Jamie McMurray , Scott Riggs , Kerry Earnhardt , Tim Sauter , Shane Hmiel , Johnny Sauter , Kasey Kahne , Scott Wimmer , Brian Vickers