STATESVILLE, MARCH 18, 2014 – David Ragan, driver of the No. 34 Taco Bell Ford, comments on racing at Auto Club Speedway:
“California is a fun racetrack. It loses grip throughout the course of a run. You put on new tires and you feel like Superman for a few laps. It’s very bumpy and there are a lot of different grooves you can run around.
“Usually for qualifying, you want to be right down on the bottom. That’s where the grip’s at. But throughout the course of the weekend, that groove widens out. So, by the time ‘Happy Hour’ rolls around on Saturday for the Sprint Cup cars, you can definitely move around to the middle and the top. A lot of times you can get your car to run faster on the bottom, but it is harder on the tires.
“We’ve had a bit of a rough start to our season on the 34 team. We’ve had a couple mechanical issues, but we’ve also had some plain old bad luck, too, getting caught up in other people’s mistakes. The next couple weeks will be important for us to turn things around.”
JUST THE FACTS: Ragan has 11 Sprint Cup career starts at Auto Club Speedway … His best finish at the two-mile oval is seventh (2009) … The black and purple paint scheme of Taco Bell returns at Fontana.