Ragan on Kansas"Kansas has really matured into a great track. It’s got multiple grooves, and we have run really well there over the past season and a half at Front Row Motorsports. We’ve worked really hard on our mile-and-a-half program, and I feel like we’re still putting a lot of effort into it, even these last five races. There’s a rule change coming next year, so these cars aren’t going to be the same. We’ll try to make them faster and have more downforce and drive better. So, Kansas is an important race for us. We’ve been able to run in the top 15, top 20 the last few races there.
"Our 2018 notebook will basically be put into archives. The racing next year is going to continue to evolve with the downforce engine package, and Goodyear will probably change the tires around to accommodate. And then you always have other developments throughout the year. So, the old notes won’t be thrown away, but they’ll probably be put away to where we can reference them if we need to. But things are going to change a lot going forward."
Ragan Kansas Stats
19 starts, 1 top-10, 3 top-15s, 9 top-20s
Best finish: 8th
Sunday, Oct. 21, 10:10am - Ford Performance display (Kansas Speedway Fan Zone)
No. 38 1000Bulbs.com Ford
Started: 16th | Finished: 39th
"Our race got off to a rough start, losing power right after the green flag. We had to take our 1000Bulbs.com Ford to the garage right away, and discovered a wiring issue that the team was able to correct pretty quickly. But it set us back a number of laps we couldn't make up. It was a great day for our partner, 1000Bulbs.com, being the title sponsor of the race, but unfortunately we couldn't bring them a good finish with our No. 38 Ford."
Ragan on Talladega"Talladega’s been great to Front Row Motorsports over the years. The team has a lot of top-fives, top-10s, and the win, of course. It will be a special race for us with 1000Bulbs.com on our Ford and the title sponsor of the race. It’s going to be a fun weekend having our partners hanging out with us all weekend.
"Talladega racing’s intense. You’ve got to be really smart, patient at times but aggressive at times. For me, you have to just know when to push the button or not to. With 500 miles at Talladega, you can’t be 100-percent aggressive every single lap, or you’ll usually find yourself in trouble. You’ve got to be smart and have good strategy, and our Fords are always fast there. I look forward to it. I know there’s a lot of risk involved. Wrecks happen. But if you can stay out of the wrecks and have a little bit of good luck, I think we’ll have a shot to take 1000Bulbs.com to Victory Lane.
"It’s a little different in the fall with the 12 guys in the playoffs trying to get the win and lock themselves in for the next round. But you’ve got almost 30 other cars in the field that are maybe racing for a job next year, or maybe a points position. So, there are a lot of different agendas going on, and I think that’s why the intensity level is ratcheted up in the fall race. You might see a few more accidents because there’s a little less give-and-take."
Ragan Talladega Stats
23 starts, 1 win, 4 top-5s, 10 top-10s
Best finish: 1st
Saturday, Oct. 13, 1pm - 1000Bulbs.com display (Talladega Superspeedway Fan Zone)
No. 38 MDS Transport Ford
Started: 26th | Finished: 24th
"We struggled a bit. The track really took a lot of rubber, and our front end didn't work as well as we needed it to. We had some good strategy. I felt like we were going to be able to get a lap on some of those cars we were racing, but the cautions at the end got us all back square again. Not our best day, but we look forward to heading to Talladega next weekend."
No. 38 MDS Transport Ford
Started: 30th | Finished: 16th
"I had a lot of fun. I wish we would've been a little bit faster to contend for a top-10 or -15 in some of the stages. But Seth (Barbour) and Angela (Ashmore) had a great strategy. We felt like we could've stolen a victory if we went green the rest of the way and made it on fuel. But we established some track position and were able to fight everybody off at the end despite some damage. I'm proud to come out of here with a top-20."
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
Team FRM PR