BUSCH: Richmond II: Ford - Scott Riggs interview

This Week in Ford Racing September 3, 2002 NASCAR Busch Grand National Scott Riggs, the 31-year-old NASCAR Busch Series rookie, has already had a memorable year, and as the series returns to Richmond International Raceway this weekend, there...

This Week in Ford Racing
September 3, 2002

NASCAR Busch Grand National

Scott Riggs, the 31-year-old NASCAR Busch Series rookie, has already had a memorable year, and as the series returns to Richmond International Raceway this weekend, there are still nine races remaining in the season to complete some unfinished business. Riggs, who won two races and two poles in the season's first 16 races, currently sits fifth in the point standings and remains steadfast on cutting into the 72-point deficit to third-place Jack Sprague. Riggs' fulfillment, however, has not been limited to Victory Lane, as he and his wife, Jai, experienced the joy of the birth of their first child, Lane, in mid-June. Riggs talked about his rookie season and the adjustment from the Craftsman Truck Series to the Busch Series.

SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Taurus

WITH THE BUSCH SERIES RUNNING AS A COMPANION EVENT TO WINSTON CUP THE PAST FEW WEEKS AND THE STRETCH OF BAD WEATHER AT THE VENUES, WHAT KIND OF ADVANTAGE HAVE THE WINSTON CUP DRIVERS HAD TO PRACTICE BEFORE THE BUSCH RACES? "It wasn't a disadvantage for them, that's for sure. I think that Winston Cup drivers racing in the Busch Series is great. A lot of people are against it, but I think it's good because you're able to have better competition and learn from better drivers, and when you win, the victory is even more sweet because you outrun those drivers. I think that it definitely would have been better to been able to have equal practice as they did on the race track, equal laps on the race track, and I think it was definitely an advantage for them. Even their Busch cars were still on jack stands until they got through practicing and as soon as they got through practicing, they put them on scales and made the changes they wanted to make to them. It was a positive for those guys, but if I was in a Winston Cup car and I had two hours of practice, I'd do the same thing. You can't take anything away from them, and like I say, it doesn't bother me at all for those guys to be in the field or have more practice because like I said before, when you have a chance to outrun those guys, it makes the victory even more sweet."

IS THERE A FRIENDLY COMPETITION BETWEEN THE TWO PPC RACING TEAMS? "I don't think so. I don't think there's a competition between us at all. I think that we want to see both of the cars do well; we want to see each other do well. What we want to do is to be able to race each other to the last lap for first and second, and that's the kind of mentality that we have in the shop. If they win, we win, and if we win, they win. I don't think there's any competition between us; we just both want to run good."

WITH MORE STABILITY, IS THE CAR EASIER TO DRIVE THAN THE TRUCK, AND CAN YOU BE MORE AGGRESSIVE IN THE CAR KNOWING YOU'VE HANDLED THE TRUCK IN DICEY SITUATIONS? "I think that as far as one being easier than the other, I think you just have to drive them different. What makes me feel so good this year versus last year is being with Harold Holly and all of the guys on the team. I have a really good relationship with Harold, and I think that probably makes it easier and me more comfortable to get behind the wheel, knowing that no matter what problems we're faced with, Harold can figure out the problem and fix it."

YOU AND JACK SPRAGUE HAD A RIVALRY LAST YEAR IN THE TRUCK SERIES, BUT BESIDES AN INCIDENT AT ROCKINGHAM, THERE HASN'T BEEN MUCH ON-TRACK ACTION INVOLVING THE TWO OF YOU. "Me and Jack were good friends last year. Sure, we had a run-in in the final race of the season at California. We got into each other at Rockingham this year, and everyone was saying that there was something to that, but I think that me and Jack feel each other out and we respect and understand how good of a driver both of us are. We respect each other as drivers and race each other hard but we race each other clean, too."

DID YOU FEEL YOU WERE TAKING A BIGGER RISK THAN SPRAGUE AND BIFFLE BECAUSE YOU MADE THE JUMP TO THE BUSCH SERIES WITH ANOTHER TEAM? "I feel lucky because I think that I put more pressure on myself to try to step up to the plate, do well and to be able to win races right out of the box more than they try to put pressure on me. I really didn't feel any pressure from them to win right away. It makes me appreciate it more, the decision I made to come over here with these guys. Looking back, it all seems to be in the right direction in which I should have gone. I'm just lucky to have the guys around me. I'm lucky to have the opportunity to step into a situation where everybody works together so well, and, luckily, they're all like me. I feel that's the best part, all of these guys are just like me and that's why we work together so well and that's why the 10 car continues to be so strong. We're all just a bunch of racers at heart. They want to do whatever it takes to make sure that they win races. When they come through that gate in the morning, they turn a switch on and they are nothing but a racer, giving it 110 percent, and whatever it takes to help pull each other through the weekend."

ARE THE FORMER TRUCK SERIES COMPETITORS BRINGING AN AGGRESSIVE STYLE OVER TO THE BUSCH SERIES? "I think maybe it's an aggressive, hungry style from all of us, but as far as more contact, I don't think there's any more contact out there. You don't see the truck guys, the guys coming from the truck series to the Busch Series, start knocking people out of the way. I don't think that's the case. I think that you're seeing Biffle, myself and Sprague that are hungry, hungry for a championship and hungry to win races. I think we just add to the people that are already there with the same fire and desire; we just add to the competition level."

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Drivers Jack Sprague , Scott Riggs