2002 Rookie of the year Scott Riggs was able to get his Mom an early Mother's Day gift by winning the Charter Pipeline 250 at the Gateway International Raceway. Riggs, who started eighth, found himself in the right place at the right time to...
2002 Rookie of the year Scott Riggs was able to get his Mom an early Mother's Day gift by winning the Charter Pipeline 250 at the Gateway International Raceway.
Riggs, who started eighth, found himself in the right place at the right time to take his third, win of his career. The right place being second as leader Mike Bliss, after leading a total of 115 laps ran out of fuel on the final lap to hand the win to Riggs and his PPC team.
"Never give up" was the victory cry as Riggs climbed out of his Nesquick Taurus.
"I can't believe he ran out of fuel, noted Riggs. We've lost them this way before, but this is the first time I've had to win this way. I thought we had another second-place today. I was pretty surprised; those guys usually get pretty good fuel mileage. Doug Randolph kept telling me to conserve fuel.
Riggs acknowledged that he had nothing for Bliss, who appeared to be in position to take his first win in the series
"I don't know what happened", exclaimed a disappointed Bliss.
"When I saw the white flag we ran out", (of gas). "I did not think we were going to, we thought we could run 210 laps, we must have not gotten the thing full. We were class of the field. We will find out what was wrong and fix it". Bliss finished twelfth, the last car on the lead lap.
Finishing behind Riggs were David Green, Jason Keller, Brian Vickers, and Bobby Hamilton Jr.
Fuel strategy played a major role in the event, that was slowed for a total of forty-nine caution laps, a distance that nearly consumed one quarter of the event.
Caution periods were extended to dry on track water seepage that resulted from the torrential downpours the Midwest has been experiencing.
Ashton Lewis, who claimed his first career Pole, led forty-four laps before getting caught up in a multi-car wreck and finishing thirty-third.
"I am just so amazed to get my first pole here, this is probably the last place I would have expected it. I guess that was the key, not expecting it actually puts less pressure on you and you are able to relax and do your job. Our performances here have not been good, and we practiced here once last year and had a horrible session in which we never found a good setup", said Lewis.
Economics continue to impact the series; as for the first time this season less than forty-three cars started the event.
Leaving St. Louis, David Green is the series points leader as he took the spot from Todd Bodine, who remains five points back, tied for second with Shane Hmiel, followed by teammates Scott Riggs and Jason Keller.
The series next heads to Nazareth Pa for the Gould's Pumps ITT 200