STATESVILLE, N.C. - David Ragan calls New Hampshire Motor Speedway a "tough little racetrack." But he's ready to gain the upper hand on the 1.058-mile oval when the Sprint Cup Series heads to Loudon for this weekend's Camping World RV Sales 301.
After a weekend of restrictor plate racing at Daytona International Speedway, the No. 34 Taco Bell team will need to change gears and focus on bringing a car that handles well on a much shorter and flatter track.
The team will look for a solid finish before the series takes its last off week of the season with no race scheduled for the weekend of July 20-21.
Ragan has one top-10 and three top-15 finishes in 12 starts at New Hampshire.
"Loudon's a tough little racetrack. It's a track I've struggled at a little over the years. I've had a few good runs and I've had a few bad days up there. It's very flat, there's not a lot of banking and not a lot of grip, so you slide around. And usually there's one person who's hooked up and they can just whoop everyone.
But our Front Row Motorsports team has been working hard on our flat track cars. We need to go up to Loudon and have a good race. It's the last race before an off weekend and then the rest of our stretch.
"It's always a great time. New Hampshire has a lot of race fans up there. They pack that place. Since Bruton Smith (of Speedway Motorsports Inc.) has bought the facility, they've made some nice improvements and there's a lot of good stuff up there.
"It is a tough racetrack. It's a long 300 laps. So hopefully we can have a good handling car and be able to have some fun. You can get a comfortable car and be able to roll through the centers OK and get to the throttle, but there's always something you can do to go faster. At least at these other high-speed racetracks, the issues stand out a little more.
It can be tough at Loudon. When you don't have the banking and you don't have that lateral load that's on the car, it's tough to fine-tune it. And we'll have to see what type of tire Goodyear brings, too. Hopefully Goodyear brings a good tire, we have good weather and it can be a great race."
Front Row Motorsports