Ragan on Charlotte Roval"I don’t really know what to expect at the Roval. Michael McDowell did the test for Front Row Motorsports. I’ll be able to lean on him quite a bit. Some of the uncertainty going in is going to go away. Even though it’s a new track and a new tire and new problems that you’re going to face, we’re all professional drivers and teams. We’re going to work through some of those things. And I think you’re going to see the same fast group of cars up in the top 10 or 15 and the same group in the middle of the pack.
"I do think there will be some carnage during the race because there are some really tight parts of the racetrack. It’s a playoff race and a cutoff race, so there should be extra excitement, and I am looking forward to it. I think the fans are going to get a treat because it’s going to be something new and fresh, and it should be a very exciting race."
Ragan Road Course (Sonoma and Watkins Glen) Stats
24 starts, 1 top-20
Best finish: 19th
Ragan Charlotte Stats
23 starts, 1 top-5, 3 top-10s, 5 top-15s
Best finish: 2nd
No. 38 The Pete Store Ford
Started: 40th | Finished: 23rd
"We had a good pit call during the first stage that allowed us to get the Lucky Dog and stay on the lead lap. That was a great call by Seth (Barbour) and Angela (Ashmore). We just never quite got the car exactly right. I felt like we were just on the cusp of being a top-20 car, but we fought forward drive on the long runs. And with all the long green-flag runs, we didn't have as many opportunities to work on it."
Ragan on Richmond"Earlier this year in Richmond, we had a top-15 car and were able to stay on the lead lap for a lot of the race. And we just had a flat tire near the end. We were just riding along – were going to finish 16th, I think – and I felt it go down on the back straightaway. That just shows you that the race isn’t over until that checkered flag drops. You can have a perfect 395 laps, and something can happen at the end.
"I’m really optimistic as we go back to Richmond. It’s one of my favorite racetracks. I love the Saturday night atmosphere. Richmond has aged perfectly to where you can still go fast and be aggressive on tires. But tires do wear out, and you have a lot of good passing opportunities late in a run. It’s a fun race, and I can’t wait to get back there in our Pete Store Ford."
Ragan Richmond Stats
23 starts, 3 top-5s, 3 top-10s, 8 top-20s
Best finish: 3rd
Saturday, Sept. 22, 4pm - Ford Performance display (Richmond Raceway Fan Zone)
No. 38 MDS Transport Ford
Started: 27th | Finished: 27th
"Obviously a disappointing finish to our race. We were in the top 15 and should've just held it steady to the finish. But I put myself in a bad position going into Turn 3 and wound up spinning. I hate it for our team and for the 34 team as well. We had a shot at a great finish and lost it in those last few laps."
Ragan on Las Vegas"I think you’ll see a lot of things that are different going back to Vegas. We haven’t been there when it’s been this hot. The Goodyear tires are going to experience something a little different than what we have in March. It will be really interesting to see how it correlates with the first race we had in Vegas this season.
"We won’t be racing the exact same cars we raced in March. We have two or three different generations of some body builds, chassis updates and engine updates. And even some NASCAR rules have changed since March. It will be interesting to see who’s adapted well. I think the speeds will be a little different because of the temperature and because everybody’s got a little faster race car today than we had six months ago."
Ragan Las Vegas Stats
12 starts, 1 top 10
Best finish: 7th
No. 38 MDS Transport Ford
Started: 25th | Finished: 24th
"We started a bit too far off on our balance, but we made a great effort with adjustments. When you have no practice, and you don't have a lot of opportunities to make big changes in the race, you kind of stay with what you started with. I was glad we were able to get a top-25, but I wish we could've been a little bit better."
Ragan on Indianapolis"Indy is a very unique track, and it’s a neat track to drive. I think qualifying at Indy is one of the more mentally challenging tracks because you have to hit every mark just right. Even if you mess up just a little bit in Turns 1 and 2, you pay for it the rest of the track. It’s a fun track to drive on. It’s really a rhythm track. You’ve got to get your rhythm and hit your marks.
"Indy is always extremely hot. We’re going to be going there a little later in the summer this year, so it might be a little bit cooler. But I think there are a few things that make Indy hot. You’ve got the pagoda and the grandstands in the center of the infield, so you don’t have a lot of air movement. So, sometimes it’s like a little bowl. It creates heat inside the racetrack. And the race cars are so sealed off the entire racetrack. You don’t have a lot of bumps, you don’t have a lot of difference in banking where the cars can move up and down and let some air underneath. The splitter is sealed down the entire lap, and you don’t get a lot of off-throttle time. The engine temperatures are really hot, too. That all combines for a really hot race. We always have to prepare ourselves for that race."
Ragan Indianapolis Stats
11 starts, 1 pole, 1 top-15, 3 top-20s
Best finish: 14th
No. 38 CITGARD 700 Ford
Started: 23rd | Finished: 18th
"We struggled a little bit when they dropped the green flag. Our car just wasn’t balanced as good as it could have been, but as the track cooled off we made some pretty good adjustments. We had a little different strategy, too, and I think it all played out. I’m proud of our CITGARD 700 team for overcoming some adversity in practice. We didn’t get a lot of practice, but that was a good recovery and a top-20 finish. We would have liked to have gotten a little bit more, but that was a lot of fun."
Team FRM PR