In the Pits- MBV
Riggs Most Improved Among Nextel Cup Drivers
Statistics don’t lie, as the saying goes, and that is a good thing for Scott Riggs, who has shown the most improvement among Nextel Cup drivers who competed full-time in 2004.
After the first five races of the current season, Riggs is positioned 14th in the driver point standings. That is 20 spots better than his 34th-place position during the same time period last season. His final standing in
his 2004 rookie campaign was 29th.
To further demonstrate Riggs’ 180-degree turnaround, the Valvoline Chevrolet driver has produced three top-10 finishes in the first five races, which is already one more top-10 than he had in the entire 36-race schedule last year.
“To say this year has gone differently from last year is a gross understatement,” explained Riggs. “We not only have new cars this season, but we’ve got new people in place on the team. With that comes a new confidence and ultimately, better results.”
The Valvoline team has competed on three different types of tracks this season: superspeedway, short-track and intermediate. They have found success on each.
“One of the great things about this year has been our consistency,” said Riggs. “We had a great superspeedway program last year, so we were pretty confident going to Daytona. But to turn around and run as well as we did at California, Las Vegas and Atlanta and then go to Bristol and finish 10th is a sure confidence builder.”
Riggs got off to a quick start in 2005, posting a career-high fourth-place finish in the Daytona 500.
An engine failure and flat tire halted solid runs in California and Las Vegas, but Riggs has come back strong with consecutive top-10s in Atlanta (ninth) and Bristol (10th).
“We have 32 races left this year, and no one knows what will happen between now and then,” continued Riggs. “But when you leave the race track disappointed after finishing ninth and 10th, you know you’re expectations have grown and that in itself is an improvement. We aren’t satisfied with top-10 finishes anymore—we want to win races.”