STATESVILLE, N.C. (FRONT ROW MOTORSPORTS) - If history repeats itself, the No. 34 Taco Bell team should be looking at another quality finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. David Ragan and crew earned a 19th-place finish in the Sprint Cup Series' first trip to the 1.058-mile oval this season, and they'll aim for a few spots better in the return trip.
Despite the challenging nature of the flat track, the Front Row Motorsports team made significant strides throughout the race weekend in July, improving on the car each day and also throughout the race. Ragan has 13 starts at the flat oval, with one top-10 and three top-15 finishes. His best result was seventh in 2011.
Comments from Taco Bell team driver David Ragan heading to Loudon:
"We ran pretty good with our Front Row Motorsports team at New Hampshire a couple months ago. And to go back there this time, the temperature is a little cooler usually, but it's still the same kind of race. You've really got to work on your racecar to roll through the center of those corners. You don't have a lot of banking to help you out. So you've got to rely on mechanical grip, making sure your tires are all working together and try to qualify well.
"We had a good run there the first trip out. And it felt good because that's a track that I've struggled at a bit throughout my career. But it's fun to go there to be challenged and try to work hard to get your car to handle good. And, for us, a top-15 finish would be a good day at New Hampshire.
"There's less room for error. There's no banking to aid your car with any handling issues that you may have. If you're at a Bristol, for instance, or a track like Phoenix, you can move around. You can run the very bottom, you can run the middle, you can clip the apron to help your car turn. But at New Hampshire, you're just so restricted to one groove. And usually a guy or girl can get their car figured out and just really put a show on and dominate the race. But if you're off just a little bit, it's tough to overcome when you don't have many options to fix whatever issues you have."