KINGSPORT, TENN. (July 15, 2018) — Layne Riggs captured his first CARS Response Energy Tour victory of the season on Saturday night in the Food Country USA 125 at Kingsport Speedway after a fierce, race-long battle with local standout and former track champion Kres Van Dyke. It was the sixteen year-old’s third career CARS Tour victory.
While many tour regulars struggled to find speed on Kingsport’s unique .375-mile concrete layout, Riggs rocketed to the Hedgecock Racing Pole Position in qualifying, earning him the right to start on the front row. On the initial start, Riggs shot to the front and took command of the race with Van Dyke keeping pace with him for the first 22 laps.
Cautions for Charlie Watson’s misfortunes (lap 22) and a Trey Bayne Spin (lap 27) setup a pair of early race restarts, the latter of which saw Van Dyke steal the top spot from Riggs using the high side of the track. A third yellow on lap 34 allowed Riggs to challenge again on the restart, but Van Dyke held on to the point and lapped nearly up to the top ten before a yellow on lap 74 slowed the field once again.
Using the inside lane from second place, Riggs took advantage of a Van Dyke miscue in turn two, clearing the No. 15 Chevrolet and once again taking control of the 125-lap contest. It appeared to be Riggs’ race to win until a caution for Nik Williams slowed the field with only six laps remaining.
Although Riggs won the race off turn two, a lap later the field slowed again for Cody Haskins’ stopped car in turn four after he suffered a suspension failure.
With Van Dyke to his outside and Lee Pulliam directly behind him, Riggs executed a veteran-like restart and cleared all challengers off of turn two. Despite heavy pressure from Van Dyke and Pulliam, Riggs held on to claim the victory after leading 78 of the 125 circuits. Sam Mayer and Deac McCaskill rounded out the top five.
“We gave it our all every lap and that’s why they call it The Jungle, this place is insane,” Riggs exclaimed in Edelbrock Victory Lane. “They’re saying to save, but you can’t save, you run hard every lap and give it your all every single lap. The car held up and I have to thank everyone who helped us out.
“When the spotter said ‘caution,’ I knew I had to give it my all because Kres had a great car,” he continued when asked about the final restarts. “He’s a class act and raced me clean. I was able to take the outside and be able to trust him and that means a lot. Dad came over the radio with one ’til the green and said it was going to be the restart of my life. I gave it my all, went through the gears, and cleared him with the best car here, I think.”
Riggs also hinted that his No. 99 crew may be making a late-season challenge to Bobby McCarty and the rest of the championship contenders.
“We’re fast in every practice, getting three poles in a row, and have really started to figure these racecars out and most of these tracks. We were struggling at the beginning of the year and could hardly get a top ten. We kept working at the shop – me, Dad, and Adam at the shop who’s at home and didn’t get to come today. With what we’ve figured out and the way the car felt tonight, we can win, I think, the rest of the races this year.”
The next opportunity for Riggs and any of the CARS Tour competitors to visit victory lane comes during the Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway on August 3-4. The two-day event features a limited late model race on Friday with pit stop competition for CARS Tour teams and a concert, while a capacity crowd is expected to fill the stands once again on Saturday for the twin 138-lap late model stock and super late model races. Saturday’s festivities feature throwback, retro-style paint schemes on the majority of cars and a half-dozen NASCAR and racing legends on-hand to meet fans and sign autographs including NASCAR Cup Series Champion Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Hut Stricklin, two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion Randy LaJoie, Robert Pressley and recent NASCAR Hall-of-Famer Ron Hornaday, Jr.
For more information on the CARS Tour, visit their website at www.carsracingtour.com. Fresh content and updates can also be found on the series Facebook page (@carstour), Twitter (@carstour), Instagram (@cars_tour), Snapchat (@carstour) and Youtube channel (/carstour). The series Roku app is also available for installation to see live and on-demand events by following the instructions available at www.carstour.tv.
NOTES OF INTEREST:
– Lee Pulliam’s third place run was more event-filled than the box score may suggest. While officially credited with the 13th starting position, Pulliam pulled his car out of line prior to the race to affect changes to the machine. Forced to start from the tail because of the unapproved adjustments, he passed 20 competitors on his way to third, making him one of the most interesting stories to track during the night.
– Kingsport’s paperclip-shaped layout wreaked havoc on racecars during the course of the night. Out of 23 drivers who started the race, a third of them ended the night in the pits with mechanical failures. Two racers had similar failures late in the race when Nik Williams exploded a left-rear hub and Cody Haskins had problems with his right-front hub, both attributed to excessive brake heat which nearly every driver fought over the course of the night.
– The tour’s upcoming Throwback 276 at Hickory has already begun to attract attention from racers, sponsors and fans alike. Paint schemes will continue to be revealed in the weeks leading into the event through series partners like SPEED SPORT and Pit Row TV. At least two national-level corporate sponsors have contributed to the throwback liveries of teams who have incorporated those companies and more are expected to become involved as the event draws near. LIVE flag-to-flag television coverage will be available through Pit Row TV and its CARS Tour TV channel, while a condensed, tape-delayed broadcast will be available in September on Suzuki Presents SPEED SPORT on MAVTV.
CARS Late Model Stock Tour
Food Country USA 125
Kingsport Speedway – July 14, 2018
POS NUM DRIVER LAPS REASON OUT
2.15Kres Van Dyke125
8.27Tommy Lemons, Jr.125
15. 2 Cody Haskins 119 Hub
16. 32 Nik Williams 112 Hub
17. 87 Hayden Woods 73 Mechanical
18. 9w Charlie Watson 72 Mechanical
19. 44 Wayne Hale 63 Mechanical
20. 31 Thomas Beane 57 Engine
21. 96 Danny O’Quinn, Jr. 48 Suspension
22. 07 Bradley McCaskill 44 Mechanical
23. 1m Craig Moore 2 Rear End