The respect validated a week ago at Ace Speedway between Layne Riggs and Ryan Millington was put to the test on Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Millington outdueled Riggs in the closest finish in CARS Tour history to close out the Race at Ace 125. In the closing stages of Saturday’s Race Face Tel-Med 300, Millington spun due to contact from Riggs while racing for second place.
The incident occurred with 13 to go.
Millington had just nudged Riggs out of the way in Turns 1 and 2 when they came together in Turn 4. The contact sent Millington around and out of contention. Riggs was not penalized for the contact and ultimately survived to a fifth-place finish, enough to maintain his championship lead over race winner Corey Heim.
Immediately after the race, Millington walked across the infield quarter mile to where Riggs was parked, and they had a brief conversation. It included an apology from Riggs to Millington.
“He got around me, we drove into the corner and I rolled right on up the track and hit him,” Riggs said. “He spun around. We talked after the race. It’s all cool. I apologized to him.
“I told him that I didn’t mean to wreck him. It just seemed like he got loose. I got on the brakes, but he came across my nose. I appreciate him coming to me man to man so we could talk it out.”
And given how Riggs raced Millington last weekend at Ace, having every opportunity to win the race underhandedly if he wanted but settling for second, Millington immediately accepted the apology.
Respect won out.
“Me and Layne, it was just hard racing,” Millington said. “He had been running that top side for 60-70 laps and once you start doing that, you have to chop people off. That’s the only way you can do it and he did just that.
“So, I knew I had to run him up the track a little. I guess he wasn’t too happy about it, so I guess he had to do something back. He drove back up and got into me. But honestly, that late in the show, everyone is loose and you’re just hanging on. He got into me too hard and I looped it around. It is what it is.”
Millington appreciated the chat with Riggs as well.
“We just talked it over,” he added. “There are no hard feelings there. I ain’t going to go wreck him. We’re going to race clean like we always do. I just wanted to ask him if it were completely intentional and we agreed that it was just part of short track racing.”
Millington parked his car after the incident, not wanting to risk tearing up a car after falling out of a money position. He was scored 23rd.