The finish was Riggs’ third of the season and his first since Dover, four races ago.
The Xxxtreme Motorsports team was one of three Cup Series teams that skipped last Sunday’s running of the Toyota / Save Mart 350 at the Sonoma Raceway, joining Michael McDowell and his #98 Phil Parsons Racing team and the Leavine Family Racing #95 driven by Scott Speed. While the #95 remained absent, Riggs and the Xxxtreme Motorsports crew returned at Kentucky along with McDowell and the #98.
The entry list remained at forty-three cars, however, so Riggs started last in the field with a lap of 175.143 mph. Ken Schrader, who timed-in a half-second slower than Riggs, qualified 42nd in FAS Lane Racing’s #32 Federated Auto Parts Ford, but was sent to the back on race day when he missed driver introductions.
The race was postponed by rain from Saturday night to Sunday morning, and Mike Bliss was the first car to fall to the rear, riding in his #19 Humphrey-Smith Racing Toyota. He only held 43rd briefly before Riggs pulled behind the wall after six laps. Joe Nemechek followed him a few laps later to slip back to 42nd.
However, Nemechek pulled back on track after Lap 48, when Kurt Busch spun Brad Keselowski entering Turn 1. Keselowski slid into the path of Greg Biffle, triggering a seven-car pileup that gobbled-up Travis Kvapil, Dave Blaney, Paul Menard, and Landon Cassill. Kvapil’s #93 was the only car involved that didn’t return to the track, so he wound up 42nd. Bliss completed ten more laps before parking, leaving him 41st, followed by the crash-damaged Blaney in 40th. Rounding out the Bottom Five was Josh Wise in the #35, his fourth-straight finish of 32nd or worse.
*This was Riggs’ second-straight last-place finish in a Cup race at Kentucky. Last year, he trailed the field driving the #23 North Texas Pipe Chevrolet for R3 Motorsports.
*Riggs was the fourth Cup last-place finisher in the last six races to fall out due to transmission problems.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
43) #44-Scott Riggs / 6 laps / transmission
42) #93-Travis Kvapil / 47 laps / crash
41) #19-Mike Bliss / 57 laps / vibration
40) #7-Dave Blaney / 62 laps / crash
39) #35-Josh Wise / 77 laps / electrical
LASTCAR CUP SERIES DRIVER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Mike Bliss (4)
2nd) Michael McDowell, Scott Riggs (3)
3rd) Bobby Labonte (2)
4th) Trevor Bayne, Dave Blaney, Jason Leffler, Joe Nemechek, Scott Speed (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) #19-Humphrey-Smith Racing (5)
2nd) #44-Xxxtreme Motorsports, #98-Phil Parsons Racing (3)
3rd) #7-Tommy Baldwin Racing, #21-Wood Brothers Racing, #47-JTG Daugherty Racing, #51-Phoenix Racing, #87-NEMCO Motorsports, #95-Leavine Family Racing (1)
LASTCAR CUP SERIES MANUFACTURER'S CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ford (8)
2nd) Toyota (7)
3rd) Chevrolet (2)