STATESVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 15, 2017) – David Ragan will close out the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season with a familiar name on board his No. 38 Ford Fusion. The Weather Company, via The Weather Channel brand, in collaboration with Flagship Solutions Group, will be the primary partner of Ragan’s team for Sunday’s EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
NASCAR recently named The Weather Company, an IBM Business, the official weather partner of the sport, providing officials with insights that allow them to make critical weather-related decisions that impact race operations. Flagship Solutions Group, an IBM business partner, is the technology provider working with The Weather Company to develop a weather insights dashboard that integrates into NASCAR’s racing operations and decision-support system.
“Through this partnership, The Weather Company and NASCAR are helping us better understand the needs and requirements for not only the operations team, but also the drivers,” said Mark Wyllie, CEO of Flagship Solutions Group. “Our relationship with David Ragan will further help to provide that insight so we can develop the correct analytical view of all weather data. It’s truly where the rubber meets the road.”
The 2017 race season finale will mark the first time The Weather Channel blue and white logo will adorn a Front Row Motorsports entry.
“When you have 38 race events outdoors, you’re going to be affected by the weather,” Ragan said. “So, this official partnership between The Weather Company and NASCAR will be a tremendous help to the officials who make weather-related decisions throughout the season.”
“We are thrilled to be the official weather partner of NASCAR, working closely with them to improve the race experience not only for race operations, but also for fans,” said Michelle Boockoff-Bajdek, head of marketing, global business solutions, for The Weather Company, an IBM Business. “Weather impacts every aspect of a race, and this collaboration will help drive more confidence into NASCAR decision-making, reducing uncertainty.”
The EcoBoost 400 airs live on NBC Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.
About Front Row Motorsports
Front Row Motorsports is a winning organization in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the premier division of NASCAR competition. The team was founded in 2004 and is owned by Tennessean Bob Jenkins. FRM fields two full-time entries, the No. 34 of Landon Cassill and the No. 38 of David Ragan, from its Statesville, N.C., headquarters just outside of Charlotte. The team’s partnership base includes organizations such as Ford Motor Company, Camping World, Love's Travel Stops and CSX Transportation. Visit teamfrm.com and follow FRM on Twitter at @Team_FRM and on Facebook at facebook.com/FrontRowMotorsports.
No. 38 1000Bulbs.com Ford
Started: 26th | Finished: 33rd
"We had a really solid 1000Bulbs.com car for three quarters of the race. We couldn’t catch the cautions at the right time. But sometimes you’re in the wrong place at the right time, and that was the case at the end. Someone in front of us had a problem and we were right in the middle and couldn’t avoid it. We had some damage and had to pit under green. But I’m proud of my team. We had a pretty respectful car today."
Ragan on Phoenix"We're excited to get to Phoenix. We have a new partner on board -- 1000Bulbs.com. They're an Internet-based lighting retailer, and they're new to the sport. They're actually based out of the Dallas area, and we went and spent some time with them at their headquarters last week when we were in Texas. Then they came out to Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday to soak everything in. Now this week at Phoenix Raceway, they're going to be the primary partner on our 38 car. We're excited to have them and introduce them to our team and our sport.
"The upcoming changes for Phoenix are interesting. It’ll be really crazy driving off into Turn 1 for restarts, which would now be Turn 3. It’s a great short track where you have a lot of speed, but it still races very much like a short track. As an industry, we’ve gotten really good at paving these tracks the last few years, and we know how to artificially age the surface so it makes the racing a lot better. And it allows Goodyear to bring a softer tire that won’t blister and won’t overheat. The cars have grip and we can move around."
Friday, Nov. 10, 2-3pm - Camping World (10255 Papago Fwy, Avondale)
No. 38 TheHouse.com Ford
Started: 24th | Finished: 30th
"It was a tough day at the racetrack. We had an early speeding penalty and then got off with our adjustments about halfway through, and we caught a couple unlucky cautions. So, kind of a tough day for our TheHouse.com team at a track where we had made some gains at the beginning of the weekend, but we just didn’t cap it off."
Ragan on Texas"Texas used to be really worn out and bumpy, but now it’s super smooth and really fast through Turns 3 and 4. Turns 1 and 2, they took some banking out and made it a lot wider. They did a really nice job with the repave, and I think the Speedway Motorsports team has a really good plan for rubbering in the racetrack. I thought you could race side by side, and the groove widened out some. It’s going to take a few years for that track to really get back where it should be. But, they did a nice job repaving it. It definitely creates some new problems for the teams to figure out and try to get up to speed quicker.
"Our TheHouse.com team is looking forward to going to Texas. We're back on a more regular schedule, qualifying on Friday, and that will give us the opportunity to really tune on our car on Saturday to get it ready to race on Sunday. We've got some team partners joining us from ModSpace and Schwarze Industries, so we want to have a good race with them at the track."
Sunday, Nov. 5, 10:15am - Ford Performance display (Texas Motor Speedway Fan Zone)
No. 38 TheHouse.com Ford
Started: 31st | Finished: 28th
"I put myself in a hole, getting involved in an accident early on and losing a lap. We were really close to getting back on the lead lap several times with Lucky Dogs and wave-arounds, but we just couldn't catch the cautions how we wanted. Our TheHouse.com Ford was better the second half of the race, but we just were never on the lead lap to show anything. So, a little disappointing. I like Martinsville and always hope to run well here."
Ragan on Martinsville"Martinsville is such a fun weekend for me. If I had to pick any racetrack on the schedule that I enjoy racing at the most, Martinsville is probably it. You can kind of throw out a lot of your aero platform and your splitter height variation and a lot of things that we work on at mile-and-a-half tracks. It’s still important but not nearly as important as mechanical grip. It’s a more old-fashioned approach of getting your car low, getting it turning well, working on forward drive.
"I feel like I can help with the set-up there, and I understand more about what it takes in a racecar to go fast. Man, that’s a fun race. I look forward to the ‘Paperclip.’ It’s a great stop on our schedule in the closing four or five races to determine a champion."
- Saturday, Oct. 28, 8pm - Martinsville Speedway FanFest (The Plaza, Martinsville Speedway)
- Sunday, Oct. 29, 10:30am - Ford Performance Display (Martinsville Speedway Fan Zone)
No. 38 TheHouse.com Ford
Started: 27th | Finished: 17th
"Our TheHouse.com Ford was really good on the short runs. I just feel like we gave up a little speed after 30, 35 laps on tires. With the set-up that we had in the car, I really couldn't run the top groove, and that’s where the fast guys were running. I’m really proud of our team. We had a lucky break and dodged the big accident on the back straightaway. We were fast enough that we were able to hang in there and get back on the lead lap and get a good finish."
Ragan on Kansas"The Goodyear tires have been a little more consistent and grippy as the Kansas track surface has aged over the last couple years. You can run all over the place -- you can run the middle, run the top. It's always a good event. A lot of race fans come out to Kansas. It's always a fun weekend for us.
"It's another mile-and-a-half track, and we finish our season on a mile-and-a-half at Homestead. So, for our Front Row Motorsports team, we want to keep trying to push it as hard as we can to get better on these intermediate tracks. We want to make sure we finish off the season on a high note. We had a top-20 at Kansas in the spring race, but there are always things we can improve on."
Sunday, Oct. 22, 11am - Fanatics Ford Merchandise Hauler (Kansas Speedway Fan Zone)
No. 38 Juice Battery Ford
Started: 33rd | Finished: 10th
"I feel like we survived this one. We had a little bit of luck on our side. Our team did a nice job repairing some of the damage we got in one of the big wrecks. It had been a quiet, low-key race. And then the last 30 laps, everybody raced really hard. I'm proud of our Juice Battery team for fixing me back up so we could come out of it with a top-10
Team FRM PR