Layne Riggs is preparing to make the trip up to Martinsville Speedway in an unfamiliar ride.
Instead of racing his family-owned car in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, Riggs has teamed up with Zach Bruenger and Triple R Racing with the hope of returning to Bahama, North Carolina with a grandfather clock.
Riggs has only raced with a different team just a handful of times in his career but he said the opportunity to drive for Bruenger’s operation will make him better as a driver regardless of the final result at Martinsville.
“This will be a little weird,” Riggs said. “I’m looking forward to working with other people and using different strategies. This also takes some stress off of dad’s back and having to get the cars ready every weekend. At the same time, I’ll be able to help out the Triple R Racing program.”
Riggs hopes that the temporary change of scenery will help him shake off a relentless amount of bad luck through the 2021 season.
Although he has three Top 5s and a victory at Ace Speedway, every other CARS Tour finish for Riggs this year has been a 15th or worse due to circumstances that include mechanical failures, penalties and crashes.
Combined with recording the most laps led amongst CARS Tour competitors in 2021 with 246, Riggs admitted to being frustrated over not putting together results that properly showcase the efficiency of his equipment.
Riggs has done everything possible to try and overcome the issues that have plagued him. This has involved going back to previous race setups and turning laps in a car for Camden Gullie at South Boston Speedway in August.
The experience of driving one of Gullie’s older Late Model Stocks helped Riggs develop chemistry with a different crew, which he believes has prepared him for next week’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300 with Triple R Racing.
Riggs knows that Bruenger’s cars can produce race-winning speed after competing alongside Sam Butler, who tallied two Top 5s and four Top 10s with Triple R Racing before departing the program earlier this month.
While Riggs is confident that his partnership with Triple R will end up paying off, he said that talent and raw speed are only two parts of a complicated formula towards success in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300.
“Martinsville is a very aggressive track,” Riggs said. “You have to position yourself well and be there at the end. That place can be malicious at times and passive on other weekends. I’m a little bit skeptical but I’m also excited to see what we have.”
Riggs has qualified inside the Top 10 during his two recent appearances in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 but both races ended with him behind the wall.
The 2018 race was the closest Riggs came to bringing home a grandfather clock, as he found himself in third on the second green-white-checkered attempt with Peyton Sellers and Bubba Pollard on the front row.
After Sellers checked up on the restart, Riggs ended up taking him and Pollard three-wide into Turn 1. The maneuver resulted in Sellers and Pollard both getting turned around in front of the field, while Riggs ended up parking his car after being penalized by NASCAR.
Riggs said that he has learned a lot about himself as a driver since that race and is ready to contend for a victory next Saturday and join an elite list of ValleyStar Credit Union 300 winners that include Josh Berry, Philip Morris, Lee Pulliam and others.
“If you win at Martinsville one time, you’re all set in the history books,” Riggs said. “I’ve never been the winningest driver in Late Model Stocks but if I could win Martinsville, that would just be a huge moment for me.”
With a larger field expected for the 2021 ValleyStar Credit Union 300, Riggs is already working diligently with Bruenger and Triple R Racing to ensure their car is strong enough to stay at the front of the pack.
Even though good fortunes have been hard to come by for Riggs this year, he intends to create his own luck at Martinsville as he pursues the biggest victory of his young career to date.