Ford Performance NASCAR Notes and Quotes
Kobalt 400 Advance – Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Friday, March 10, 2017
David Ragan, driver of the No. 38 Juice Batteries Ford Fusion, held a Q&A session after practice to talk about his new sponsor and what he and his team need to do this afternoon in qualifying.
DAVID RAGAN – No. 38 Juice Batteries Ford Fusion – “When I joined Front Row Motorsports back in December or January, we didn’t have a lot of races sold on the 38. We had CSX and Love’s Travel Stops coming back on the 34 car, and we had a couple of partners that were in the works on the 38, but we really hit it hard and I think at Front Row Motorsports we have a good story to tell. We made a huge investment on the competition side to continue to get a little bit better. Bob Jenkins has continued to leverage some of his businesses outside of racing to make it more interesting for new partners to join Front Row Motorsports. We’ve got a good price point, and I think we offer good return on their investment, so I think that over the last 60 days we’ve been able to sign Camping World and Good Sam, Juice Batteries, Jacob Company is gonna be on our car next weekend for their first race, so we’ve got a lot of inventory that we sold in a short amount of time. Kudos to everybody at Front Row Motorsports and our sales staff for making some things work, but I think Bob has been able to keep Front Row Motorsports nice and steady and grow conservatively over the years. They’ve never really made a huge splash, but they consistently have gotten a little bit better on track and off track. You can see with Love’s and CSX coming back for the third, fourth, fifth consecutive year that we’ve got a good program and a great little team that really works for the partners and it shows on the race track.”
HOW WAS PRACTICE? “Practice was a little challenge for the 38 car. We unloaded in race trim and made a couple of runs, but our heights were off a little bit. Our car was on the splitter some over the bumps and, again, we’re grateful that we have a good relationship with the Roush Fenway team that they made a few gains. Our teammate, Landon Cassill, he spent a little bit more time in qualifying trim than us, so we were able to lean on those guys. We didn’t get our final run on stickers. I think we could have picked up a little bit of speed, so it’s a good thing for a driver to have some teammates that are a little bit faster because I know we can look at their race cars and there are a few things we’ve made some adjustments on our Juice Batteries Ford that we can go out and I think we can qualify a little better than what we practiced, and the track is gonna change a lot. It’s gonna be warm on Sunday. We were the first cars on the track and so the track had a lot of grip, it didn’t have a lot of rubber, so as the XFINITY cars practice, as we have our practices tomorrow the track is gonna change a lot before the green flag on Sunday. We’ll get the best lap we can in this afternoon and the real work will start tomorrow.”
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT QUALIFYING? “Qualifying is important. We want to qualify as best you can, but we don’t want to lose focus on getting our car to drive good in the race. So often there are a lot of little, small tricks and some things that you can do to really go fast in qualifying, and certainly here we’ve got those bumps getting into turn one. You can be a little bit more aggressive and get over those bumps in qualifying and it doesn’t really hurt the grip level, but once the race rolls around you really have to work on getting through there to keep your splitter height right throughout the corner. The track is gonna widen up. Everybody is gonna be on the bottom on both ends in qualifying. It won’t be like Atlanta, where you see guys running the middle and the top for one lap. Guys will be on the bottom, but once the race rolls around you’ll be running the middle groove, maybe the third groove will come in some in Happy Hour on Saturday, but for our Juice Batteries Ford we just need to make a few conservative adjustments and make sure we get a good lap in.”