STATESVILLE, N.C. (September 24, 2013) – Don’t mess with the Monster, but don’t let him walk all over you either. Racing at the track known as the “Monster Mile” can be a difficult balance. Driver David Ragan believes that attacking Dover (Del.) International Speedway requires being both aggressive and conservative. The challenging part is figuring out how to walk that line.
The No. 34 Taco Bell team will take on that challenge this weekend as Ragan and his crew returns for its second visit to Dover in 2013 for Sunday’s AAA 400. During the June race at the one-mile oval, the team made good adjustments to their car and used smart pit strategy to earn a 22nd-place finish. They look to take what they learned and build on it for the Generation-6 car’s second race on the concrete track.
Ragan has 14 career starts at Dover, with one top-10, three top-15 and six top-10 finishes. His best result was seventh in 2011.
Comments from Taco Bell team driver David Ragan heading to Dover:
“Dover is a fun racetrack. We took the Generation-6 car there for the first time earlier this year, and the car is fast, being a little more lightweight with a little more downforce. So it made for a fun race, taking that speed with us. But it’s one of the more grueling 400-lap races that we have all year long. Physically and mentally, it’s tough.
“For us and our Front Row Motorsports team, we look at races like this as an opportunity to learn from the first race and try to improve on that. That’s what we look forward to certainly in the second half of the year at a lot of tracks like Dover.
“I think everyone tries to take care of their racecar at Dover. You hear that a lot of times at a track like Darlington, which is a very physically and mentally tough track. And Dover, too. It’s one of those places that you can get yourself in trouble pretty quick. But you’ve just got to be aware of your surroundings, be conservative at times but also aggressive at times. And there’s a very fine line in figuring out how to do that.
“Dover is a track that is a lot of fun, and it always gives you opportunities to play some strategy. You do have some long green-flag runs, but you always end up having some late-race cautions that bunch the field up.”