Strong Day At Daytona

Valvoline Chevrolet driver Scott Riggs posted the sixth fastest speed in Sunday’s Daytona 500 pole qualifying here at Daytona International Speedway.

Riggs, who drew the eleventh qualifying spot, covered the 2.5-mile tri-oval in 47.934 seconds at 187.758 miles per hour. Dale Jarrett captured the pole with a speed of 188.312.

It was a special day for Riggs and his MBV teammates -- Joe Nemechek and Boris Said. Nemechek was fifth fastest and Said was 11th fastest.

Sunday’s pole qualifying locked in the fastest two qualifiers for the Daytona 500 (Feb. 21) and also determined the starting fields for Thursday's (Feb. 17) 150-mile qualifying races.

Riggs will compete in the second qualifying race Thursday -- in between teammates -- Joe Nemechek (fourth) and Boris Said (fifth). That race will have the biggest impact in determining the starting positions for the Daytona 500.

"We've been rock solid since we got down here," said Riggs. "We've been consistently fast and feel great about the 500. A lot of times when you're fast on your own you don't feel as good in the draft. But when we came here for testing in January we really found our cars sucking up and running great with the pack.

"We've been legit the whole time and really tried not to fool ourselves doing things that will make us fast one day and not the next. We've just been quick, and that's the consistency we're looking for."

Riggs credited the team the success they've found this week and during Daytona 500 testing in January.

"The guys here and back at the shop work awful hard on these cars and they have every reason to be proud of what they've put together," said Riggs, who had the second overall fastest speed during January testing. "We brought a brand new bullet down here, built in the off-season, and it's the best superspeedway car I've ever had.

"I'm looking forward to getting some drafting under my belt in the 150 mile races and seeing what this Valvoline Chevrolet has for next Sunday," he continued. "I think we have a good chance of starting up front in the 500-- but if not, I know we have a car capable of getting there."

Thursday's Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races will be televised on FX, beginning at 1 p.m. (ET).

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