Topics: Scott Riggs, Stater Bros. 300
Fontana, CA (2-22-2010) – Scott Riggs and the No. 09 RAB Racing team recovered from a 43rd-place qualifying effort to become the biggest mover’s in Saturday’s Stater Bros. 300 at Auto Club Speedway. The sophomore team gained 27 positions in route to their series best finish of 16th at the 2-mile D-shaped oval.
The solid run was RAB Racing’s second top-20 finish of the season and moved the No. 09 Ford Fusion up one position to 14th in the 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series owner point standings; just 26 markers outside the top-10.
During Saturday morning’s time trials, Riggs, who was struggling with an ill handling race car, wheeled his yellow and black Ford Fusion around the 2-mile oval in 41.373 seconds (174.027 mph), posting the 34th-fastest qualifying time. However, the team would line up 43rd on the grid due to NASCAR regulations on how they assign spots to teams who have to qualify on time. Due to the fact that the No. 09 machine was the final car to make the cut for teams not locked in, based on 2009 owner’s points, the final starting spot was assigned.
The veteran driver started the 152-lap race from the 22nd row and quickly went to work on the field moving up the leader board. By lap three, the Bahama, NC native was up 10 spots to the 33rd position and when the first of four caution flags were displayed on lap 33 for debris in turn-3, Riggs was scored in the 27th position.
Suffering from a race car that was “tight in the center of the corner,” crew chief Ben Gable brought the No. 09 Ford Fusion down pit road for four Goodyear tires and a can of Sunoco fuel. With quick service by the RAB Racing crew, Riggs gained five spots on pit road and resumed the event in the 22nd position when the field went back to racing on lap 37.
Green-flag pit stops began on lap 77 and Riggs peeled off the racing surface just one lap later. Gable used this opportunity to improve the handling on the No. 09 Ford by changing four tires, making a wedge adjustment and adding a can of fuel. Riggs returned to the track, 22nd as green-flag service cycled through the field.
10 laps later, the afternoon’s second caution flag was displayed for debris on the frontstretch. The call was to keep the No. 09 machine out on the track.
The field went back to green on lap 91 and the changes seemed to be working as Riggs set his sights on the leaders once again. At lap 98, running 19th, Riggs radioed in that, “this was the best his car had been all day.”
Over the closing 50 laps, Riggs would make two more trips down pit road for fresh Goodyear tires and fuel. The handling on the machine went away and Riggs would rally through a green-white-checker finish to cross the start/finish line on lap 152 in the 16th position behind race winner Kyle Busch.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series will remain on the west coast for one more week as they make the 235-mile trek to Las Vegas for the Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 27th. Riggs, who will be making his 11th start at the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval, will be back behind the wheel of the No. 09 Ford Fusion.
The Sam’s Town 300 will be televised live on ESPN2 Saturday, February 27th at 4:00 p.m. ET.
For more information on RAB Racing please visit: www.teamrab.com
For more information on Scott Riggs please visit: www.scottriggs.com