RIGGS FINISHES TWO-DAY TEST AT CHARLOTTE EYEING SMITH & WESSON CHEVROLET'S MAY 28 RETURN CONCORD, N.C. (Tuesday, May 10, 2005) -- With an eye focused firmly on the May 28 Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Scott Riggs and the...
RIGGS FINISHES TWO-DAY TEST AT CHARLOTTE EYEING SMITH & WESSON CHEVROLET'S MAY 28 RETURN
CONCORD, N.C. (Tuesday, May 10, 2005) -- With an eye focused firmly on the May 28 Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Scott Riggs and the #30 Smith & Wesson Chevrolet of SKI Motorsports completed a two-day NASCAR Busch Series test this afternoon on the 1.5-mile newly repaved tri-oval here. Rain washed out tonight's scheduled three-hour nighttime segment.
Riggs, the 2002 Busch series Rookie of the Year and current regular driver of the #10 Valvoline Chevrolet in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, put the Smith & Wesson racing machine through the paces for the rain-shortened test session after an equally productive session on Monday. Riggs debuted the #30 SKI Motorsports entry March 12 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"I'm really pumped after the results we were able to get yesterday and today," said Riggs, who qualified 30th and finished 21st in the Smith & Wesson Chevrolet's debut at Las Vegas. "We went back to the shop with our primary car after yesterday's session and made some significant changes. We came back with a really, really good race car today. We did some qualifying runs at exactly the same time that we'll be qualifying come race weekend and I think we're in good shape there. We brought in my (Nextel) Cup crew chief (Doug Randolf) to help (SKI Motorsports crew chief) Jeff Spraker and the team better understand what it is I like and don't like about qualifying and race setups, and I think that paid off in a big way. It was definitely an efficient way to go about our business in such a short timeframe and helped us get better results more quickly. Overall, I'm very pleased."
Riggs will be at the controls when the #30 Smith & Wesson Chevrolet returns to Lowe's Motor Speedway for Carquest Auto Parts 300 practice and qualifying on May 27. Race time for the 200-lap event will be 7:10 p.m. EDT on May 28. Riggs is splitting the driving duties this season with two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Ron Hornaday, Jr. Hornaday qualified 25th in the Smith & Wesson car's second race at Atlanta March 19, but saw his day end early after an opening-lap accident. He'll return to the driver's seat at Fontana in September.
"After the team sorts through the lessons learned from our test this week, I'm confident we can elevate our presence on the racetrack come Memorial Day weekend, much like our behind-the-scenes efforts the past two months will enhance our ability to reach out to the fans at the speedway and beyond," said Chris Lencheski, SKI Motorsports president and team owner, who will speak about the Smith & Wesson racing program as an invited guest of A.C. Nielsen "Sponsor Scorecard" at the National Association of Advertisers in New York on May 17. "The pieces are falling in place, and we have certainly come a long way since the Smith & Wesson racing program was announced just last November."
"We are looking forward to good things to come from the Smith & Wesson NASCAR program beginning later this month at Charlotte," said Tom Taylor, vice president of marketing for Springfield, Mass.-based Smith & Wesson, whose 460XVR (X-treme Velocity Revolver) last month earned the prestigious 2005 Handgun of the Year award from the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence. "While we've been preparing for what I hope will be our exciting return to the racetrack, we have been working on implementing initiatives to help reach out to our customers and prospective customers with a racing message. Beginning at Charlotte, we will be reaching out to the fans by offering free gun safety locks at the Smith & Wesson merchandise trailer. The NASCAR fan base is a mirror image of our very own high-performance shooting sports fans, which means we are in good company as we continue to move forward with our Smith & Wesson Racing program."