Winning the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Championship wasn’t among the goals Layne Riggs set for himself and his team in the 2022 season.
That changed after the young rider from Bahama, North Carolina, won the first four races of the season at South Boston Speedway. With four straight wins, and with winning five of his first six races on the track by the end of April, his plans have changed.
The second generation rider went on to win the 2022 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Championship in a fight that made it to the final weekend of the points season. He beat the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Champion, Southeast District Champion and South Boston Speedway Champion Peyton Sellers in Danville, Virginia to win the national title and become the youngest NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Champion. The six-time South Boston Speedway NASCAR track champion Sellers held that distinction after winning the national title in 2005.
Besides winning the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Championship, Riggs won the Southeast District title and the South Boston Speedway NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model Stock Car Division Championship.
“South Boston Speedway is where we have had the most wins this season,” Riggs noted, noting that 10 of 16 wins this season have come over the 0.4-mile oval. “This was pretty much our little ‘honey hole’, and one of the places where we’ve been able to have a lot of success and get that lead. All the victories we’ve had, we’re thankful for every single one of them. You race against the best of the best. South Boston Speedway is A place I haven’t raced much over the years. Being able to race there and achieve that success so early is a testament to our team, how fast our race cars are every weekend, and how hard we work.”
Winning the South Boston Speedway NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series late in the Auto Division Championship is a prestigious and significant achievement. Former national champs Philip Morris, Lee Pulliam, and Sellers have all won national titles after their success at South Boston Speedway to win the South Boston MotoGP Championship.
“It’s a huge accomplishment, and something everyone wants to do,” Riggs said. “The number of cars there has been in South Boston all season. The competition has been there, and it’s a really good place to collect points. We know that normally to win a national championship, you have to also win the South Boston Speedway. That’s just part of it.
“I hate that we couldn’t really celebrate the South Boston Championship earlier, but now we are. We will now celebrate the National Championship, the South Boston Speedway Championship and the Regional Championship. It really shows how good our team is and how proud I am of everyone who was a part of it.”
Riggs said he deeply appreciates the fans who supported him throughout the 2022 season at South Boston Speedway.
“Thank you to everyone at South Boston Speedway and all the fans you’ve made there this year,” said Riggs. “I feel like I’ve totally turned the tide with the fans, and I’m really proud of everyone who’s been behind me all year. The fans cheering every week might not know they’re having a huge impact, but they really do, especially with morale.”
The 2022 season was a magical season for Riggs driving for his small family-run team led by his father, Scott Riggs, a former NASCAR Truck Series, NASCAR Xfinity Series and former NASCAR Cup Series driver. When the points season ended, Riggs had started in 43 games between South Boston Speedway, Dominion Raceway, Motor Mile Speedway, Wake County Speedway and Hickory Motor Speedway. He finished the points season with 16 wins, 30 top five spots, and 38 top 10 spots.
Of his 43 entries, 17 have come at South Boston Speedway where he has 10 wins, 2 first place wins, 15 top five positions, and 15 top ten positions.
Winning the 2022 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Championship is something Riggs says he will cherish for the rest of his life.
“Finally getting a big trophy at the end of the season and having something that no one can take away from me for the rest of my life is pretty cool,” said Riggs. “Earlier this season I never expected to run for the National Championship. I’m glad we did it now. It’s a feather in my hat to know I have the ability, we have the fast cars, and I’ve been able to do it. I recently looked at the list of former champions, and it seems that Almost every single one of them ended up becoming a legend. I just want to follow in the footsteps of these guys, live up to my heroes and try to be one myself one day.”
Riggs is so grateful and appreciative of all the time and hard work that his father Scott and his small team of volunteers have put into the squad this season and supported him every step of the way.
“I can’t say enough about how proud I am of everyone who was a part of it,” said Riggs, a third-year student at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte who specializes in mechanical engineering. “(The National Championship chase) has been tough the last couple of weeks, but not because of the pressure. It was just about racing so much and school started again a month before the (champion chasing) was over. Over the summer I was able to work on the cars during the week, and really get in touch. with our program, and going to the racetrack on the weekends. Last month I had to go to school all week. I would finish my homework on Thursday and go home. Everyone who came back to the store, Dad, and all of our volunteer team members made an effort. Great to make it happen. I wouldn’t have done it without them.”
Along with competing for the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Championship, Riggs has raced a pair of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races this season, placing seventh at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park in his first NASCAR National Series. Riggs hopes that winning the National Championship this season will open doors to even greater opportunities.
“Winning a national title on a weekly basis will enhance my career and hopefully open the door to potential future partners and sponsors,” Riggs explained. “Next year, my big goal is to work full time on the NASCAR Truck Series. Winning the National Championship is a chance to prove that I have the talent and ability to do what I need to do to win races. I just hope someone gives me that shot next season.”