STATESVILLE, NC - The red and yellow colors of Love's Travel Stops will be back on a Front Row Motorsports Ford this week - this time under the lights at the always-fast Texas Motor Speedway with David Ragan and the No. 34 team.
Saturday night's event will be a "home game" for team partner Love's, which is based in nearby Oklahoma City, Okla. The company is family-owned and operated with more than 290 locations in 39 states and is currently ranked No. 9 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Companies. This week's race is the second of three in which a Front Row car will carry the Love's colors.
"The partnership with Front Row Motorsports allows us to not only connect with our valued customers across the country, but with our employees that have made our success possible," said Jon Archard, Director of Fleet Sales for Love's. "We're looking forward to seeing the familiar colors of the Love's Travel Stops Ford shine under the lights in Texas."
Saturday's race at the 1.5-mile Ft. Worth oval marks the first night race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The 501-mile event will air live on FOX at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Ragan has shown good speed at the Texas track, with two top-10 finishes and one pole in 12 starts at the venue. His best finish was seventh in 2011.
Comments from Love's Travel Stops team driver David Ragan heading to Texas:
"We're excited to have Love's Travel Stops on our Ford Fusion at Texas. They first partnered with Front Row Motorsports at Daytona earlier this year and we're happy to have them on our No. 34 for this weekend. Their headquarters is right up the road in Oklahoma City, so it's nice for them to get some attention at what's sort of a home track for them. I know (wife) Jacquelyn and I appreciate the convenience of stopping at a Love's when we're on a road trip, and I'm sure all the NASCAR fans coming out to the race will find everything they need there, too.
"I like racing at Texas. I think the mile-and-a-half tracks that have six or eight or 10 years on their pavement are perfect. You look at Atlanta, Texas, Chicago, and they've aged very well. Even just in the four or five years that Vegas and Charlotte have been repaved, those tracks are becoming pretty racy, a little bumpy. The asphalt's becoming a little bit more abrasive, which is good for Goodyear because they can build a little bit more aggressive tire that wears out some that's also fast.
"Texas is a very fast racetrack. You qualify right around 190 miles an hour and it's a fast place for 500 miles. The race fans are always come out to support us and it's always a big crowd and it should be a good race for us as a team.
"Texas gives some options to pass, but I think the fast cars still run the bottom. I think the guy that's leading the race or who's making some headway throughout the field is going to be running the bottom groove. But you have to be able to move up and run the middle groove and the top if you're passing lapped cars or if you're racing someone who's just running the bottom and is very hard to pass. So you have to be able to move around and be a little bit mobile.
"Texas is a track that's got some bumps in the top of Turns 1 and 2, so you have to get over them fairly well. These races like Texas, which will be on Saturday night, the racetrack changes a little bit, so you've got to be able to move around some."