Furniture Row Racing press release
Ragan Looks for Strong Finish to West Coast Swing
No. 34 Team Hopes to Cash In on Improvements
Statesville, N.C. (March 20, 2012) - David Ragan and the No. 34 Ford team continued their strong start to the season last weekend at Bristol, earning their third straight top-25 finish in as many races. Following a disappointing wreck in the Daytona 500, the team has made consistent improvement and hopes to turn in another good finish to end the West Coast swing of races this weekend at Auto Club Speedway.
At the start of the season, the team targeted intermediate-length tracks as a point for improvement, but they haven't posed a problem for Ragan and his team in the early going. Ragan finished 25th at Phoenix (Ariz.) International Raceway and 21st at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in his first two intermediate track races of the season. After a third straight top-25 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway last weekend, the team is confident heading into this weekend's race at the two-mile oval in Fontana, Calif.
Ragan has performed well at Fontana in the past, earning seven top-25 finishes and one top-10 in nine career starts. With an average finish of 17.3, the No. 34 team is eyeing Fontana as a good track for a breakthrough performance before heading back east.
Comments from Front Row Motorsports team driver David Ragan heading to Fontana:
"Fontana's been a fun track in the past. It's unique; it's not like your typical mile and a half. It's a lot like Michigan - really, really long straightaway's, not a lot of banking so you slip and slide around a lot and you can move around. The racetrack at Fontana's gotten bumpy over the years, so I enjoy that. It's got a lot of character and it's a challenge to get the car to drive well. The racetrack's lost a lot of grip over the years, so it's always a lot of fun to go there and see how fast you can get your car going.
"I think that we've learned some things from Vegas so that we can come off the truck a little closer to where we need to be. And we can maybe make a couple better adjustments throughout the weekend based on what we learned at Vegas.
"For all the teams traveling back and forth from the West Coast to the East Coast it's a lot of expense, it's a lot of extra hours being in the shop and on the road. Being just a two-car team we have it a little easier than some of the other teams that have to send four or five trucks out there. We've got a good group of guys at the shop that keep our cars ready to go, and it's been really tough on the truck drivers these first few weeks because they get back to the shop, and they may have a day before they're back on the road again."
"California's a little different type of animal than Vegas, but I'm really looking forward to Texas and Darlington and Charlotte - some of these races coming up in April and May - so it should be fun getting through California to get through with our West Coast swing before we get back here on the East Coast."