Why Front Row Motorsports Can Win Daytona
Team in Position to Win Plate Tracks, Short Tracks and Road Courses
Statesville, N.C. (February 14, 2012) - As Front Row Motorsports makes its final preparations for Daytona 500 activities, drivers David Gilliland and David Ragan head to the track knowing that they have more than a realistic chance of winning any event in the coming weeks. Gilliland, who raced with the team last season, finished third in last year's Daytona 500. Front Row Motorsports newcomer Ragan had a penalty that spoiled his chances of winning last year's Daytona 500 while leading in the final laps, but was met with sweet redemption in his return to Daytona in July by winning the famed 400-mile summer classic.
As the team has made continued improvements during the off-season, including hiring Pat Tryson, moving Jay Guy to work with David Ragan and adding two additional sponsors in Maximum Human Performance (MHP) and ModSpace, the team is stronger than ever to win at tracks where it has been in contention in the past. This has Ragan more than optimistic heading into Saturday night's Bud Shootout.
"Yeah, of course we can win the Shootout," said Ragan. "But, not only that race, I feel we can win our '150' and the Daytona 500. Front Row Motorsports last year, they had some of the fastest plate cars in the garage. I'm comfortable with the Ford Fusions and the power from Roush-Yates engines, so I think all the ingredients are in place. It's just making it happen. But, no, I will not be surprised if we won any or all races at Daytona. We hope we don't see any shocked expressions Saturday night if the MHP Ford is leading."
Although the team may not be looked upon as a heavy favorite heading into Speedweeks, the stats show a finishing average of 8.5 for the last four races at Daytona for Ragan and Gilliland. It makes this duo one of the best in the field. As a veteran at Front Row Motorsports, Gilliland knows the plate races create tremendous opportunity for a win.
"Last year we just had a great plate program," commented Gilliland. "This year is the same. We have added great people to the organization and our cars should be just as fast on the plate tracks. Our focus is going to be on plate races, short tracks and the road courses. The intermediate tracks, we're going to make a lot of progress, but Daytona is a place we can win."
Team general manager Jerry Freeze agrees with Gilliland and is happy with the team's position for Daytona.
"We'll know more after Saturday night, but there is no reason we can't compete for a win this weekend and next. We've added some great sponsors with MHP and ModSpace for this year. That has helped us take that next step to win at certain places. Our Davids are some of the best at plate tracks so we feel good about where we stand for Daytona."
Front Row Motorsports will start its season this Saturday night during the Budweiser Shootout. Ragan will make his debut for the team in the No. 34 MHP/Power Pak Pudding Ford. The race is scheduled to air live on FOX at 8 p.m. (ET).