Race Weekend Central

Layne Riggs Finally Finds His Stride to Finish 3rd at North Wilkesboro

NORTH WILKEBORO, N.C. – To say Layne Riggs has had a season from hell is an understatement.

Whether it’s been crashes, disqualifications, or flat-out poor runs, Riggs and the 2022 Craftsman Truck Series champions of Front Row Motorsports have not found any mojo this season.

However, perhaps a third-place finish at North Wilkesboro Speedway will be the turning point of the No. 38 team’s season.

See also
Corey Heim Scores 3rd Truck Win of 2024 at North Wilkesboro

The 24 Hours of North Wilkesboro (also known as the Wright Brand 250) began Saturday (May 18) before being halted and postponed after 81 laps for what felt like a hurricane over the track, as turn 1 and pit exit were submerged underwater.

At the time, Riggs was running 19th after failing to score any points in stage one.

“It was so tough to make a good guess on what adjustments to make,” Riggs said after the race. “You pit so early on in the race and you’ve just got to predict what the track’s going to change like.”

However, Riggs’ short-track prowess allowed him to fight his way toward the front when the race went back green on Sunday morning (May 19). By the end of stage two, he scored some points with a fifth-place run.

While race winner Corey Heim seemed untouchable in the final stage, Riggs held his own in second for the majority of the closing laps. Despite pressure from the likes of Grant Enfinger, Brenden Queen, Sammy Smith and Christian Eckes, Riggs only gave up one position to Enfinger and fended off the rest to finish third.

The finish matches his career-best from Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park last season. It’s also his season-best finish. His only other top-10 finish this season came at Bristol Motor Speedway, another short track.

For the second-generation NASCAR driver, it’s a moment of relief, knowing that a result like that is more indicative of what the team can do.

“We should deserve to finish up here every single weekend,” Riggs said. “Just glad that we could finally do it.”

Riggs and Queen, who finished fourth, led the charge amongst short track and zMAX CARS Tour drivers. Even on a repaved North Wilkesboro, the cream rose to the top.

“It really shows how all your short track background works out,” Riggs said. “I think a couple laps on the track here [with the CARS Tour] on Tuesday (May 14) and Wednesday (May 15) definitely helped us out for this race.”

Riggs also said the fresh repave allowed the drivers to move around the track more than expected, as the track began to widen and became a two-, even three-groove track. Despite this, Riggs conceded there was no shot of catching Heim.

The [No.] 11 truck was lights out better,” Riggs said. “As he should’ve been. He was here at the test. They knew everything coming into it and was fast in practice overall.

“So good win for them, they deserved it. Just wish we could’ve been a little bit better to be up there racing with them.”

The No. 38 team has had a rather slow start to the season. Aside from his 10th-place finish at Bristol, Riggs has just two additional finishes inside the top 20 and has four finishes of 27th or worse, including a disqualification at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

However, with the nature of the “win-and-you’re-in” format of the playoffs, Riggs knows he’s only one win away from turning his entire season around.

“All we’ve got to do is get one win before the cutoff race,” Riggs said. “Look last week [at Darlington Raceway], the [No.] 45 [of Ross Chastain] was a fifth- or sixth-place truck. The wreck happened and he ended up getting the win there at the end. Sure, he raced it out, but you’ve got to give him the track position to make it happen.

“If we can just be a top five truck whenever we can and be there, you know, the luck’s gonna come around one day and we’re gonna be good enough to be in victory lane.”

See also
Truck Race Postponed to Sunday, All-Star Heats Cancelled at North Wilkesboro

Riggs now looks forward to Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he says his team will bring a brand-new truck.

“I’ve never had a new truck before,” Riggs said. “We’re gonna put it together and put the best of the best on it.”

But more importantly, the son of five-time Truck Series winner Scott Riggs is confident that North Wilkesboro will be the start of something special for himself and FRM.

“Just glad we’re finally getting our mojo, getting our momentum,” Riggs said. “Pit crew’s doing a great job. We’re just doing everything right for once. So if we can just keep doing this, we’re gonna get luck enough to get in the truck one day and we’re gonna be in victory lane.”

About the author

Frontstretch.com

Anthony Damcott joined Frontstretch in March 2022. Currently, he is an editor and co-authors Fire on Fridays (Fridays); he is also the primary Truck Series reporter/writer. A proud West Virginia Wesleyan College alum from Akron, Ohio, Anthony is now a grad student. He is a theatre actor and fight-choreographer-in-training in his free time. 

You can keep up with Anthony by following @AnthonyDamcott on Twitter.

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