Michael McDowell on Homestead 9 Starts | 1 Top-10 Best Finish: 10th
“I can already tell this weekend will be a mixed bag of emotions with it being the season finale and [my teammate] Ragan's last race. Homestead always provides an exciting show for the fans. As a driver, there isn't really a preferred lane, so you have a lot of options and can run all around the track. Obviously we're not in the Playoffs, but we'll do everything we can to help land a Ford Mustang (hopefully ours) in Victory Lane. It's great to have Love's Travel Stops and Luber Finer with us to close out the season. I'm grateful to the support they've shown our team throughout this year and their entire partnership.”
David Ragan on Homestead 12 Starts | 1 Top-10 Best Finish: 10th
"It's hard to put into words what this weekend means to me. It's certainly been the ride of a lifetime running in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for the last 14 years. I will forever be grateful to Bob Jenkins, Jerry Freeze and the entire Front Row Motorsports organization for my time with them. I'm honored to have Shriners Hospitals for Children, CITGARD, Mystik Lubricants, Select Blinds, Fr8Auctions and Schwarze Industries all back with me for my final race as a full-time driver. This paint scheme is extra special because it's the scheme that I won my first race in for Front Row Motorsports at Talladega Superspeedway and I'm hoping we can visit Victory Lane one last time this weekend.”
Michael McDowell on Martinsville 17 Starts Best Finish: 18th
“At Martinsville, a lot of strategy is about risk vs reward. You've got to think about making moves when you have the opportunity, but if that move causes you to push in a fender, or restrict airflow, it's going to hurt you for the rest of the day. And you also need to think about where you want to be in another 200, 300 laps as the race is winding down. It's a mentally tough day, for sure, but it can also be a lot of fun. I'm excited to hit the track in our No. 34 A&W Ford Mustang."
Matt Tifft on Martinsville 1 Start Best Finish: 29th
"Martinsville is definitely one of the more unique tracks on the circuit. You've really got to be good about managing your car and managing your focus. By the time you get comfortable going down the straightaway, you're back on the brakes as hard as you can. You don't have as much time as you would at other tracks to look around at your surroundings, check your gauges, look in your mirror, etc. so it's important to be smart and concentrate throughout the entire race. I'm glad to have our partners at Surface Sunscreen and Tunity back with us and I'm ready to go out and get a strong finish for them."
David Ragan on Martinsville 26 Starts | 3 Top-10 | 3 Top-5 Best Finish: 5th
"Martinsville is my favorite track and it's one that I always have circled on my calendar. It's just good, fun short track racing. There's little room for error because you're running so close to the people around you. You really need to take care of your equipment for all 500 laps because if you make a mistake early, you're paying for it the rest of the race -- these cars are tough, but not indestructible. I'm looking forward to having a good run in our No. 38 Ford Mustang, and maybe eating a hot dog or two."
Michael McDowell on Kansas 16 Starts Best Finish: 13th
“We've seen that a lot can happen on mile-and-a-half tracks so far this season, so I think we'll be able to take a lot of those learnings and observations and apply them at Kansas this week. Track position is important anywhere, but it's particularly important at Kansas, where restarts are pretty chaotic. We have Prime, Inc on our car this week as part of our Love's Travel Stops program, and I'm confident that we'll be able to get a strong finish for our partners."
Matt Tifft on Kansas 1 Start Best Finish: 21st
"We had a solid run at Kansas in the spring, so I'm ready to get back there and see where we can make improvements on our performance. Similar to Texas, there are a lot of lanes and you can run almost anywhere around the track. It will be a little different as a day race, rather than the night race that we saw before, but I'm looking forward to getting a good result for our partners at Louis Kemp Crab Delights in their last race of the season with us."
David Ragan on Kansas 21 Starts | 1 Top-10 Best Finish: 8th
"We've been able to run pretty well as an organization in our mile-and-a-half program and I think the extra effort shows. At Kansas specifically, dirty air is a real challenge, but it helps that you can try to run a different line than the car in front of you in the corner. This week, we've got a special tribute to Ned Yost on our No. 38 Ford, who recently retired from managing the Kansas City Royals. I'm excited to hit the track with him on the car."
Michael McDowell on Dover 17 Starts Best Finish: 19th
“Every racetrack we visit has its unique challenges, but Dover is always towards the top of the 'most challenging' list. It's tricky to pass and we don't have as much tire falloff as we did in the past, so you might not get as many opportunities to really drive through the field. I'm looking forward to having our partners at The Pete Store on the car with us this weekend. I think we'll be able to see some great speed from our No. 34 Ford Mustang.”
David Ragan on Dover 26 Starts Best Finish: 13th
"We saw greater speeds at Dover with this downforce package in the spring, than we have in previous years. It's already such a fast and treacherous track, which makes dirty air this weekend even more of a challenge. I'm confident that Mike Kelley and our crew will put together a great car for us to be able to tame the 'Monster Mile.'”
Michael McDowell on the ROVAL 1 Start Best Finish: 18th
“Obviously, I'm excited to race at the ROVAL this weekend. I always enjoy going to a road course, but this one is certainly different from Watkins Glen and Sonoma in that there's very little room for error. If something happens or you make a mistake at Sonoma, you can go off course, but there's less opportunity to do that here. We had some good speed in this race last year, and I'm looking forward to putting on a good show in our No. 34 Love's Travel Stops Ford Mustang."
Matt Tifft on the ROVAL (Xfinity Series) 1 Start Best Finish: 6th
"I'm looking forward to racing at the ROVAL this weekend, and I'm looking forward to having our partners at Louis Kemp Crab Delights back on the car. I think with the change to the backstretch chicane, it'll open up that area to become more of a passing zone. However, as we saw last year, passing zones can quickly become 'crashing zones,' so it will be important to keep your nose clean in order to have a good finish at the end."
David Ragan on the ROVAL 1 Start Best Finish: 16th
"I think the ROVAL still carries a lot of the excitement that we saw when it was new last year. The backstretch chicane will become much more of a braking zone, which I think will provide an even better source of passing and entertainment for the fans. Our No. 38 CITGARD team is ready to finish out the rest of the season strong and capitalize on the speed we've seen so far this year."
Michael McDowell on Richmond 17 Starts Best Finish: 12th
“Richmond is always a great short track. It's tough to pass, but the groove usually widens out as the night goes on. These last nine races are really important for us. We know where we've run well and where we want to make improvements for the rest of the year. Our No. 34 Long John Silver's team is going to do everything we can to finish out the season on a high note."
Matt Tifft on Richmond 1 Start Best Finish: 29th
"It's so important to find grip and take care of your tires at Richmond. Track position is going to be key throughout the race, so we know that we need to start strong in order to finish strong. I'm looking forward to having Plan B Sales back on the car as an Associate Sponsor this weekend. Our No. 36 Ford is going to look really great as a diecast thanks to their help."
David Ragan on Richmond 25 Starts | 3 Top-10 | 3 Top-5 Best Finish: 3rd
"It's always a challenge to race at Richmond, but it's also one of my favorite tracks on the schedule. We've seen some good speed there in the past, but it's difficult to maneuver through the field. I'm hoping we'll be able to take our learnings from the spring race and other short tracks and apply it this weekend to get a good finish for our partners at MDS and Xtreme Vac by ODB."
Michael McDowell on Las Vegas 11 Starts Best Finish: 18th
“It's typically pretty hard to pass at Las Vegas. You've got to find the right speed in the car both in traffic and running by yourself. Back in March, we had a good car but made some mistakes that we couldn't recover from. We've made a lot of progress on our No. 34 Ford Mustang since then and I'm ready to show our partners at Love's Travel Stops and International Trucks what we are capable of at this track."
Matt Tifft on Las Vegas 1 Start Best Finish: 34th
"I'm looking forward to going back to Las Vegas this weekend. Anytime you go back to a track you've visited earlier in the year, it's a chance to improve on your previous results. We've learned so much since that race in March, and we had great speed last week in Indy - I'm excited to see what we can do with our No. 36 Maui Jim/Surface Sunscreen Ford."
David Ragan on Las Vegas 14 Starts | 1 Top-10 Best Finish: 6th
"We've been able to build up our mile-and-a-half and 550 spec track notebook a lot over the course of the season, so I think we'll be able to see some decent speed in our No. 38 Select Blinds Ford. The temperatures are expected to soar this weekend, so I think that will make things interesting for a transitioning night race like we will have on Sunday. I look forward to giving Rick Steele and our partners at Select Blinds the finish they deserve in their final race of the season with us.
Our partners at Shriners Hospitals for Children are also gearing up for the annual Shriners Hospitals for Children Open golf tournament at the beginning of next month, and I encourage everyone in the area to check it out this year."
Michael McDowell on Bristol 18 Starts Best Finish: 18th
“The night race at Bristol always has such an amazing atmosphere, but being the home track for our owner, it's just a big deal for us at FRM. Bob Jenkins puts his heart and soul into this sport and this team. I really like running strong at Bristol to get Bob and his employees all excited.
But, even more important and just as cool, it's such a big race for Love's and their customers. They always bring a big group, and it's fun to show them around, take photos and race hard for them. They also give so much to support our team and we want to show them a great night.
This is a great track for FRM. The field is really balanced and I can really drive the car and make a big difference. I'm going to be pretty motivated for Saturday night."
Matt Tifft on Bristol 1 Start Best Finish: 27th
"We had some good speed at times during the spring race at Bristol, so I'm ready for another run. It's a challenging track, so you've got to bring your A-game. The preferred line tends to move around as the race goes on. The key is to have a car that can race where other drivers are not. We've been able to build up our short track notebook over the season, so I think we'll be able to take what we've learned and improve upon our previous performance.
I have to thank Plan B Sales for coming on board as an Associate Sponsor this weekend. It's the place to go to get diecast cars. We're working with them now on getting my rookie car made and that's awesome for them to support it."
David Ragan on Bristol 25 Starts | 1 Top-10 Best Finish: 10th
"We've got some good momentum coming off of a strong run last week, and Bristol is one of my favorite tracks. The night race is a lot of fun for both fans and drivers because there are a variety of options for passing. Bristol is also where I had one of my Xfinity wins with Mike Kelley as my crew chief, so I'm excited to see what we can do working together again.
It will be a bittersweet weekend, coming after today's announcement. Bristol has meant a lot to me over the years, and I want to put on a good showing for our fans. It's such a big weekend for Bob Jenkins and the folks at MDS. They are having fun and I want to give them something to cheer for Saturday night."
Michael McDowell on Michigan 11 Starts Best Finish: 23rd
“I'm ready to head back to Michigan. You always welcome an opportunity to improve your performance going to a track for the second time, especially when we're racing with a blue oval on our car in the Irish Hills. Typically, you have a lot of green flag racing at this track, and if you've got the car handling the way you need it to, you can really drive through the field. I'm looking forward to having a fast car and a great run this weekend.”
David Ragan on Michigan 25 Starts | 1 Top-5 | 2 Top-10 Best Finish: 3rd
"Michigan is a really fast racetrack. We've been working to improve upon our speedway notebook throughout the season, and I think this weekend will be a good test of our strategies. You've got to walk a fine line between having patience and making aggressive moves. I'm confident that we'll be able to get some good speed out of our No. 38 Ford. Being in Ford's backyard for this race makes it that much more significant for us, and pushes us to put on a good show for our partners.”
Michael McDowell on Watkins Glen 10 Starts Best Finish: 12th
“I always love going to Watkins Glen - and any road course, for that matter. It's one of my favorite tracks to race at. You've got to be smart about your restarts and braking zones. We've had some great speed in our Front Row Motorsports cars there in the past, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what Drew and the guys can put together for our No. 34 Long John Silver's Ford Mustang.”
David Ragan on Watkins Glen 12 Starts Best Finish: 19th
"Heading to Watkins Glen this weekend, it's just so different from Sonoma, the only other road course we visit this year. It's very fast, with very sharp corners and Sonoma is almost the total opposite. Obviously, strategy comes into play a lot at a place like Watkins Glen. I'm looking forward to seeing what Mike Kelley has in store for our No. 38 MDS Ford. It's going to be a challenging race and we've got to make sure we're still there at the end in order to get a good finish.”