Riggs leaving Baldwin, 36 car

Updated: May 25, 2009, 2:04 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

CONCORD, N.C. -- Scott Riggs will step down as the driver of the No. 36 car after Monday's rain-delayed Coca-Cola 600, saying team owner Tommy Baldwin asked him to start and park going forward due to a lack of finances and sponsor money.

Riggs
Riggs

Riggs said his competitive nature would not allow him to remain with the team under those circumstances. He didn't know who would replace him.

"I'm a free agent," said Riggs, who started Monday's rain-delayed race 43rd. "I'm open to listen to any opportunity. I'm just not willing to start and park. That's why I need to leave."

Start and park is a practice used by financially strapped teams in which they park the car early so they can use it for another race and save money on crewmen.

Riggs qualified for eight of the first 12 races with the team that Baldwin started in January. He was 42nd in points with a best finish of 25th in the opener at Daytona.

He ran more than 100 laps in every race he made except for Talladega, crashing on the sixth lap.

Baldwin did not directly address the start-and-park issue, which NASCAR officials keep a close eye on. "Our deal has always been the same from the beginning in January," Baldwin said. "We will run every race until we run out of money, then load up and go to the next one the next week."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter