SCOTT RIGGS RETURNS TO NASCAR BUSCH SERIES FOR SMITH & WESSON CHEVROLET'S MAIDEN VOYAGE LAS VEGAS (Tuesday, March 8, 2005) -- It's been 16 months since Nextel Cup Series regular Scott Riggs competed in the NASCAR Busch Series. This weekend,...
SCOTT RIGGS RETURNS TO NASCAR BUSCH SERIES FOR SMITH & WESSON CHEVROLET'S MAIDEN VOYAGE
LAS VEGAS (Tuesday, March 8, 2005) -- It's been 16 months since Nextel Cup Series regular Scott Riggs competed in the NASCAR Busch Series. This weekend, on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway 1.5-mile tri-oval, Riggs returns to the series in which he earned Rookie of the Year honors back in 2002 as the first driver to pilot the #30 Smith & Wesson Chevrolet of SKI Motorsports for Saturday's Sam's Town 300.
Naturally, the 34-year-old regular driver of the #10 Valvoline Nextel Cup Chevrolet is bound and determined to make the all-new Smith & Wesson Busch Series entry's first impression an unforgettable one.
"Coming back to the Busch Series for an occasional race is something I've wanted to do since I left, but I just haven't been able to find the right situation until this great opportunity came along," said Riggs, who finished fourth in this year's season-opening Daytona 500 in his Valvoline car. "It's the beginnings of what I have every reason to believe will be a very competitive program, and I'm going to do everything I can to help make it successful. This weekend, I definitely want to help get Smith & Wesson and everybody involved with this program off on the right foot."
As has been the growing trend among more and more of his Nextel Cup compatriots, adding a Busch race to their Nextel Cup weekends has turned out to pay dividends on both Saturdays and Sundays as a result of the added track time. Riggs, naturally, hopes the same holds true for him.
"I feel good about this weekend already because I tested my 'Cup car at Las Vegas for two days last month and it went very well," he said. "So we'll have a little head start as far as the driving goes. (Crew chief) Jeff Spraker and his people have been hard at work preparing the Smith & Wesson car. All the pieces should be in place for a solid run."
Saturday's race will be the first of four this season for Riggs in the Smith & Wesson Chevrolet. Two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday will take over the following weekend at Atlanta. Race time Saturday is 1 p.m. local time (4 p.m. EST) with a live broadcast set for the FX cable network.
#30 SMITH & WESSON/SKI MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET NOTES
* This weekend's Sam's Town 300 marks the debut of the #30 Smith & Wesson/SKI Motorsports Chevrolet, the first of eight races scheduled for the first-year NASCAR Busch Series program in 2005. Nextel Cup regular Scott Riggs assumes the driving duties this weekend, as well as at Charlotte (May 28), Bristol (Aug. 26) and Texas (Nov. 5). Two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday will drive at Atlanta (March 19), Fontana (Sept. 3) and Phoenix (Nov. 12). A driver has yet to be announced for the July 1 Busch Series race at Daytona.
* Saturday's race is slated to be Riggs' fifth NASCAR appearance on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway 1.5-mile tri-oval. He drove to a fourth-place finish from fourth on the starting grid in the 2001 Truck Series event here. He also competed in Busch Series events in 2002 and 2003, and the Nextel Cup race here last year.
* The SKI Motorsports team for 2005 is headed by chief engineer Jeff Spraker and car chief Scott Goyer, with pre-Las Vegas car chief support from Bill Henderson. Driver Scott Riggs is bringing his own race-day staff, which includes crew chief Doug Randolf, and an over-the-wall crew for pit stops from his Nextel Cup #10 Valvoline Chevrolet team.
* It may be only the first race for the Smith & Wesson NASCAR Busch Series program, but the company and its investors are turning out in full force to witness this weekend's historic debut. Some 48 guests are scheduled to be looking on from the Smith & Wesson suite at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when the green flag falls, including 14 members of the Smith & Wesson board of directors, and number high-level company executives.