Rookie Scott Riggs captured his first victory on the NASCAR Busch Series last weekend in Nashville in just his seventh start on the series, tying the record set by Johnny Rumley in 1993 for the quickest victory by a rookie driver. The victory...
Rookie Scott Riggs captured his first victory on the NASCAR Busch Series last weekend in Nashville in just his seventh start on the series, tying the record set by Johnny Rumley in 1993 for the quickest victory by a rookie driver. The victory also gave Riggs' crew chief, Harold Holly, his 14th career victory as a crew chief on the series, the most of any Busch Series crew chief over the past three seasons. Now the team has turned its attention to the longest speedway on the circuit, and Riggs knows firsthand the hazards racing on a superspeedway. In Daytona in February, Riggs wrecked his primary car in practice after qualifying 20th for the EAS/GNC Live Well 300. Starting from the rear of the 43-car field, Riggs finished sixth in just his first race for ppc Racing. The wrecked primary car has since been rebuilt and Riggs drove that No. 10 Ford to a sixth-place starting position for tomorrow's Aaron's 312. Riggs and Holly, a Pell City, Ala., native, spoke about capturing their first win of the season, and what they expect in tomorrow's race.
SCOTT RIGGS-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus
YOU QUALIFIED SIXTH FOR TOMORROW'S RACE. IS THIS TEAM STILL RIDING THE MOMENTUM FROM LAST WEEK'S WIN AT NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY? "It was good for us to finally get a win, but I think we still have a lot of hunger left in us as far as wanting some more and wanting to be more consistent than we are. We had a good test at Richmond on Monday and Tuesday, so it's not like we celebrated and didn't get a lot of work done. We're still hard at it trying to get us a win here this weekend."
HAS IT SUNK IN THAT YOU'VE NOW WON A RACE ON THE SERIES? "I realize that we have a win, but as far as having our heads in the clouds, just getting that win sorta makes up for the last seven races when we didn't get a chance to win. It makes us satisfied now; we can go on and not beat our brains out too bad. Like I've said before, these guys are used to winning some races in a year, and I know that they're capable of winning races, and as a team, I know we're capable of winning races. I guess it still hasn't hit me quite yet. That's what you expect -- to try to win some races in the 10 car. I'm very happy for it and fortunate and grateful, and all that because everyone did a great job, but that's what we're here to do. That's the only thing that makes us is satisfied and we went home happy."
YOU STARTED IN THE REAR OF THE FIELD FOR THE SEASON-OPENING EVENT AT DAYTONA. WILL YOU BE MORE RELAXED AT THE START OF TOMORROW'S RACE? "Daytona was really nerve-wrecking trying to be real careful and patient and work our way up. At the same time, I feel like you can start sixth here and go to the back in no time also, if you get in the wrong lane or with the wrong set of drafting partners. It's still going to have to be a patience game and I won't have the stress or the thoughts in my mind about needing to get to the front quick, and really needing to there and not tear anything up. I won't be thinking about that. I feel that we're here, we're close to the front and we can see the front, we'll just draft around and have all day tomorrow to play with the guys up front and figure out what car I pull up with the best and which car I draft with the best. At the same time, I want to see who is going to leave me hanging out to dry and who's not, and who is going to stay with me if I stay behind them. I'll be able to be a lot easier about feeling all the guys out and know more about the guys running up front, and how my car is going to act around them tomorrow."
DID YOU USE HAPPY HOUR TO FIND OUT WHO IS THE BEST DRAFTING PARTNER, OR DID YOU SPEND THE TIME TRYING TO GET YOUR CAR TO WORK WELL IN THE DRAFT? "We were just trying to figure out the characteristics of our car behind different makes. We wanted to see how it does behind a good Pontiac and a bad Pontiac or another good Ford or a not so good Ford, or a good Chevrolet or a not so good Chevrolet. You've got to get out there and draft with different people to see how your car acts. I think that our car that we have here versus the one we had at Daytona, this car is a lot more stable by itself, for sure, and I think it will be a lot more stable in the draft than the car was in Daytona. The one we had at Daytona, the air package that we had on it, I actually had to drive it down the straightaways to try to keep it in line, but this thing drives likes a Lincoln, it just drives straight as an arrow, and I think it will be a lot easier for me to drive at the end of the race."
ARE YOU MORE COMFORTABLE STARTING ON THE OUTSIDE ROW FOR TOMORROW'S RACE? "I don't think it really matters, inside or outside. I'm not going to be one of the guys right at the start of the race that's going to jump into the middle or jump way outside to try to make it three-wide too soon. I'm not going to have that happen and I'm going to try to be patient. I don't think it really matters too much if you start inside or outside here, you just want to be closer to the front, so if something does happen, you don't get collected."
DO YOU THINK YOU LEARNED MORE ABOUT SUPERSPEEDWAY RACING AT DAYTONA BECAUSE YOU WERE FORCED TO START AT THE REAR OF THE FIELD AND HAD TO WORK YOUR WAY UP THROUGH TRAFFIC? "I feel like I learned a lot more about how to move forward because I had to start in the rear. The biggest thing was that I learned was that you had to have a partner. If I was going to get behind someone and be their friend and try to help push them forward, I had to make sure that they were not going to hang me out when they got a spot to get in. I needed to make sure I could get with someone that when they got a spot to drop in, they wouldn't hang me out by myself. I think I earned some respect at Daytona from different people on the race track, and since Daytona and all of the races that we've been racing and all of the hard racing that we've done with our competitors, hopefully I've earned some respect from those guys and they'll be a little more willing to draft with the 10 car this time."
DO YOU THINK THAT A LOT OF THE DRIVERS SEE THIS AS THE SAME 10 CAR AS LAST YEAR EVEN THOUGH THERE'S A ROOKIE BEHIND THE WHEEL? "I think they know it's a good car just because of the colors and the number that is on it. I also think that maybe I've earned a little respect and they know that I'm going to use my head and not do anything stupid."
HAROLD HOLLY, Crew Chief-10-Nestle Nesquik Ford Taurus
DID YOU EXPECT TO BE CELEBRATING IN VICTORY LANE JUST SEVEN RACES INTO THE SEASON WITH A ROOKIE DRIVER? "Yeah, I did because early in the year when we were testing, it took Scott no time to get used to these race cars, and after Vegas I knew we were going to get one in a hurry because we were leading the thing and had an opportunity to win it, I know we did. The pit crew has just been on this year, Scott has been on and the whole deal has been gelling. I knew we were going to get there eventually, but wins are tough in this series, so every one that you get, you have to thankful that you were even able to be there."
PIT STRATEGY MAY HAVE WON THE RACE FOR YOU IN NASHVILLE, BUT YOU ARE KNOWN FOR MAKING THOSE KINDS OF CALLS IN THE PITS. IS THAT PIT STRATEGY SOMETHING THAT YOU PRIDE YOURSELF ON? "I don't think that I know any more than any of these other guys, but I think the big thing is the support of the team. I have good chemistry with all of my guys, and all of my guys are on the same page as me. Everybody pays attention to the race. If I wasn't going to make the call, one of them was. One of my guys would have stepped up and done it. That's just the way it is. That's what the 10 team is all about. Everybody is aggressive and that aggressive style that we have tends to pay off sometimes, but sometimes it will bite you. You just have to learn how to be cautiously aggressive with it."
YOUR WIN IN NASHVILLE WAS TIMELY SEEING HOW YOU RETURNED HOME TO ALABAMA THIS WEEK. "The timing was perfect. I always enjoy coming home. Every time that I come home, everybody from Alabama, they always treat me really good and make me feel like a hero. I was raised here and this is my family and this is my home; this is where I am from. When you come home, it's an awesome feeling to come back here because the only other times I make it is when we're testing in January and usually either Thanksgiving or Christmas; one but not the other."
WITH THIS BEING THE FIRST WIN WITH A NEW DRIVER, DID YOU NEED REFOCUS THE TEAM ON MONDAY? "These guys, when they win a race, the next week is a whole different deal. They never forget what they did, but when they show up on Monday, it's like it's time to go to work. They're looking for the next one. Winning races is cool, but these guys are used to winning multiple races, and that's what the goal is. We want to win more races than anyone else."
BASED ON YOUR EXPECTATIONS GOING INTO THE SEASON, HAS IT BEEN EASIER OR MORE DIFFICULT TO WORK WITH A ROOKIE DRIVER? "It's been really easy to be honest. It's not a difficult situation at all because of Scott's talent. It's made it really easy on us. We've had to put on a little sheet metal here and there because he's been stepping on it a little too hard at times, but, hey, you've got to expect that. He's done a fantastic job and has made it really easy on us."