STATESVILLE, N.C. - David Ragan is back in black. The black paint scheme with the red Barrett-Jackson logo returns to the No. 34 Ford for the upcoming race weekend at Kansas Speedway.
The 1.5-mile oval could be the scene of Ragan's first top-20 finish with Front Row Motorsports. His previous six Sprint Cup starts at Kansas have seen him run in the front half of the pack and the No. 34 team is working to keep him there during Sunday's STP 400. NASCAR statistics over the last eight races at the Kansas City, Kan., track show Ragan among the top 20 drivers in average running position (19th), driver rating (18th), green-flag passes (17th) and green-flag speed (20th).
Sunday's race will be the second that the colors of the automotive auction house adorn the No. 34 Ford. The Barrett-Jackson scheme debuted in March in Phoenix, where Ragan drove it to a 25th-place finish.
"I like Kansas. It's a little similar to Texas, which is another track I like but a place where we didn't get the chance to run up to potential," said Ragan. We had a fluke thing send us to the garage for a few laps and that put us behind for the rest of the race. But (crew chief) Jay Guy and the crew put together a pretty good car for us and I expect we'll have another decent car at Kansas, too."
"It's great to have Barrett-Jackson back again. It's always fun to work with new race partners and it's even better when they return for more races. They just had one of their big auctions a couple weeks ago on Easter weekend. I caught some of it on TV while I was home in Georgia, and there were definitely a few things that caught my eye," the Unadilla, GA native said. "But I've got a wedding to pay for coming up in December, so now's not the best time for me to be bidding on anything. I might get in trouble for that. Maybe next year."
"This is the last time we're going to race on this Kansas surface before they repave it. I always like the older, bumpier tracks. They have a lot of character. But I understand that after they get worn down so much, you have to repave them. So, it'll be interesting to see what the changes bring," Ragan commented. "They're going to add some progressive banking, too, I understand. That'll change the racing there a bit, I expect - make it more like a Homestead (Homestead-Miami Speedway) type of track. We'll find out in October when we go back."