Scott Riggs, who raced for 15 years in NASCAR’s top three national series, now is guiding the racing career of his 20-year-old son, Layne.
And things are going well.
Layne won this year’s NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model championship, scoring 16 wins in 43 starts and edging former series champion Peyton Sellers by four points for the title.
Riggs thus became the youngest champion in Weekly Series history.
“It all started when Layne was 10 years old, mostly just something to entertain him and to have some fun,” Scott told NBC Sports. “But it’s turned into a full-fledged job. My life and plate have been full.”
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The Riggs family’s race shop is located in Bahama, North Carolina, Riggs’ home base during his NASCAR career. Scott describes himself as the “truck driver, spotter, crew chief and in-shop mechanic.”
“I am very tired,” he said.
The team, which depends on volunteers, didn’t plan to race in so many events this season, but when Layne started the year with a string of victories, it made sense to chase the national championship and give him a chance to be the youngest winner ever.
“To chase it that hard and be that close and then to win it, it was very exhausting,” Scott said. “It was a very big relief to finish the year.”
Success on short tracks resulted in Layne racing in three Camping World Truck Series events this year with Halmar Racing. He had a best finish of seventh at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in his series debut.
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Scott Riggs ended his NASCAR driving career in 2014 in the Truck Series. He won five Truck races and four Xfinity races and ran 208 Cup races without a win. He made his Truck debut in 1999, moved to Xfinity in 2002 (winning Rookie of the Year) and then to Cup in 2004.
Riggs, now 51, raced in the Cup Series from 2004-13 with stops at MB2 Motorsports and with teams owned by Gene Haas, Tommy Baldwin and Ray Evernham, among others. He had four top-five finishes.
“I think I was very fortunate and the timing was right for me to move up through the ranks and get so many good opportunities,” Riggs said. “I raced late models for a long time, and then all of a sudden I got the opportunity to get in a truck. Won some races and poles and won races and poles in Xfinity.”
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He ran out of chances in Cup as team models shifted, including some downsizing and mergers.
“I felt like I couldn’t get an opportunity that I had worked for and earned,” Riggs said. “It was hard for me. I was bitter for a year or so. But I look back, and a realization came over me that I was fortunate to have that time with my kids when they were at the right ages. I got to watch them do their things and just be the dad I wanted to be — not being gone four out of every seven days racing.
“I don’t think I’d have the relationship I have today with my kids if I had had a longer time in the sport.”