Cerro Gordo, N.C. (May 18, 2013) – At the end of the night, the truck that Scott Riggs pulled on pit road at Charlotte Motor Speedway did not look like one that was a last-lap pass away from a top-ten finish.
Riggs overcame a bruised and battered BTS Tire and Wheel Distributors/Goodyear FleetHQ/QMI/Davis Tire Chevrolet for an 11th place finish in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200. Justin Lofton passed Riggs off of turn tour on last lap to deny the Bahama, N.C. driver of his first top 10 since Martinsville last fall.
“I hate we got passed there at the end,” said Riggs, who started 24th, “but after the night we had, I’ll take it. We took some speed out of the truck after practice and it hurt us in qualifying, but it made us better during the race.
“The guys did a heck of a job all race. We got behind after the first pit stop but (crew chief) Mike (Hester) called a great race and got us some track position in the mid part of the race. With the damage, the truck just got too tight at the end.”
On a restart on lap 88, Brad Keselowski came across the nose of Riggs’ Chevrolet severely damaging the truck’s left front fender. Riggs was running third at the time.
“(Spotter) Keith (Barnwell) warned me that Keselowski was going to do exactly what he did,” said Riggs. “I went down to break his momentum but he just kept going lower down the frontstretch. They had much fresher tires than we did. When we got into turn one, he came right across our nose.”
Fortunately for Riggs, another caution came out on lap 95 when Jake Crum and Ron Hornaday, Jr got together in turn four.
“The guys did a great job getting the hole plugged up and getting us back out there without losing a lap,” said Riggs.
“Scott drove a heck of a race,” said Hester. “It would have been easy to give up after getting the damage on that restart, but he stayed with it and the guys gave us some good stops and we got a good finish out of it.”