In the Pits- MBV
Farming meets racing: Riggs makes visit to Valvoline corn maze
Between racing in the elite NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, making appearances for his team, charities and sponsors, and spending time at home with his wife and son, Scott Riggs found time to visit “The Maze at Hector’s Creek” (near Raleigh, NC) last month, a nine-acre corn maze that resembles the No. 10 Valvoline Chevrolet.
“I have never been in a corn maze, and I’ve definitely never been in one shaped like a racecar,” said Riggs. “When they told me about it, I figured it would be the side of a car, or just a head-on shot, but this looks like a three-dimensional image. It’s really cool.”
As Riggs walked through the eight-foot tall corn stalks, he tried to pinpoint where he was on the path, using landmarks like headlights, words and fenders as clues.
“I know the word ‘Valvoline’ is in here somewhere and that it is near the Chevy bow-tie,” he continued. “I think we’re standing in the small headlight now. I think… maybe not. I’ll tell you one thing for certain; I could never get out of here if I didn’t have Pam with me.”
Pam Griffin, who owns the 46-acre tract of farmland the puzzle sits on, decided to build a corn maze when the decline in tobacco forced her family to rethink its way of life. The land has been in the Griffin family for over five generations.
The idea for The Maze at Hector's Creek was composed through ideas picked up from farmer marketing conferences, the Internet and visits to other corn mazes. Griffin and her husband, John, hired a specialist from Missouri who spent two days using a global positioning system to map and cut the maze, which offers visitors about a mile and a half of paths.
“This is so far from my father-in-law's idea of farming,” joked Griffin. “Sometimes you have to think outside of the farming box. Hopefully we’ll be presenting everyone with a fun challenge.”
Riggs says the maze not only presented a challenge, but provided a lot of fun, too.
“I had a great time,” said Riggs. “I can see how you could get lost in one of these things. If I tried to find my way through here alone, I’d definitely need a map!”
Griffin said no matter how many people show up this fall to visit her racing attraction, she views The Maze at Hector's Creek as a long-term investment. She already has an idea for next year's maze design, which she refused to share.
Driver Scott Riggs navigated his way through the corn stalks in “The Maze at Hector’s Creek”