The “Room of Doom” is the tech shed at Five Flags Speedway (FL), typically. But for Layne Riggs, it was the tech shed at North Carolina’s Ace Speedway on Friday night. Riggs held off Justin Carroll on a late-race restart in the 100-lap Late Model Stock feature, but he was disqualified in post-race technical inspection for an unapproved exhaust component.
“It’s definitely mixed emotions, for sure,” Carroll told Speed51.com after he was awarded with the victory. “I’m happy we got the win. It’s cool to win somewhere other than Hickory. This is actually where I got my first win, so it’s cool to come back and score another win. But it always feels better when you win on the race track.”
Riggs told Speed51.com on Saturday that the extension of the “Y-pipe” in his No. 99’s exhaust system was deemed to be too long and is illegal at Ace Speedway.
“Ace Speedway officials ended up looking at the exhaust because they had gotten some complaints from the other teams,” explained Riggs. “They ended up looking at the Y-pipe of our exhaust. They deemed it wrong for being four inches too long. I’m pretty sure CARS Tour doesn’t have a rule like that, but they ended up disqualifying us and giving Carroll the win.”
Carroll also agreed with Riggs that the infraction likely was not the difference between Riggs scoring the win on the track or not.
“It wasn’t right in tech, but I honestly don’t think that was the difference,” Carroll said. “But, there’s a rule book for a reason and you have to follow it. Our stuff was right, and unfortunately his stuff wasn’t. I know it wasn’t purposely done, and I hate it for everybody all around. But, we are the fortunate ones to capitalize on it.”
Riggs is not a regular at Ace Speedway. He and his team had entered to run this event when it was originally scheduled to be held on June 1st, the week before the CARS Tour race, as a test for the CARS Tour event. The event was postponed to this week as a result of rain.
Riggs was a contender for the win in the CARS Tour race before ultimately finishing third.
The second-generation driver told Speed51 on Friday night that the team decided to run the makeup race this week to continue to pad their notebook for the next time they run at Ace, and prepare for the next CARS Tour race at Carteret County Speedway (NC).
“This was our test night,” Riggs said after the race on Friday night. “It didn’t really matter to us coming into the day. We didn’t really care where we finished. We just wanted to get some data for next week’s CARS Tour race at Carteret County.”
At the time the race ended, it appeared as though Riggs had snapped a winless drought of nearly a year. His last win came on June 24th, 2017 at Orange County Speedway (NC). Riggs was ecstatic in the car after the race and in victory lane. That excitement turned to disappointment in just a few hours.
“It’s hard,” Riggs said Saturday. “The main thing is we learned a lot about our car. We went there and got the information we needed to carry on. I don’t think it was any advantage on the car. It was disappointing, but at the same time we were there, we did what we were supposed to do and in our team’s eyes and the fan’s eyes I’m sure they saw us as the winner overall.”
Speed51.com will have more from Friday’s 100-lap Late Model Stock Car race at Ace Speedway, including a one-on-one interview with official winner, Justin Carroll, and video highlights all available on the Speed51 Video Network.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Associate Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com