Layne Riggs felt like he was robbed.
The second-generation driver led a race-high 102 laps from the pole in the Crystal Coast 125 at Carteret County Speedway and technically never lost the lead.
He was leading on the 102nd lap when Josh Berry got into the back of him, spinning him out in a 360-degree loop. But Berry got off the throttle and Riggs was able to complete his full-circle spin and got back on the gas without losing the lead. However, at the same time, lap-down Sarah Cornett-Ching passed both leaders on the outside but suddenly spun down, by herself, directly in front of Berry.
The crash destroyed the JR Motorsports No. 88 and CARS Tour officials sent Riggs to the back of the field because he was deemed to be involved in the caution-causing incident.
However, the caution was for Cornett-Ching and Berry, and occurred after Riggs righted his own Late Model Stock. When he was only able to get back to second by the end of the race, it left him feeling “wronged” by race control and race director Chris Ragle.
“I feel like I got done wrong,” Riggs said. “I had the fastest car here. Everybody in the stands knows this. We won this race. I got done wrong twice. I drove my wheels off to get back to the front and I would have taken (McCarty) out if I could have gotten to him.”
McCarty wasn’t even involved in the incident — one that Josh Berry apologized for.
“I’m not mad at anyone on the track,” Riggs continued. “Just the people that manage the race. I never lost forward momentum. I was a good enough driver that I could keep it going. And I had the fastest car to win the race and I got done wrong.”
Riggs had nothing but contempt for Ragle immediately following the race.
“I know Chris Ragle is making the decisions in the tower,” he said. “He wanted to put on a show (he said making quotations marks with his fingers) for everyone in the stands but ain’t nobody going to be happy with the CARS Tour.”
In a follow-up interview with Ragle, the CARS Tour director said the issue was resolved shortly after the race.
“We wanted to show Scott (Riggs) that Layne spun all the way around, but we didn’t even need to because Layne admitted it,” Ragle said. “And by rule that warrants a caution and being sent to the rear. It didn’t matter that he eventually got it pointed straight.”
Ragle said that he was going to call for a caution even if Cornett-Ching hadn’t spun and the result would have been both drivers going to the rear.
“The Riggs understood that and everyone left with a proper understanding of why it had to happen that way.”
Ragle said he received constructive feedback from several drivers on how this particular caution rule could be modified during a future competition meeting later this season.