STATESVILLE, MAY 20, 2014 – David Ragan, driver of the No. 34 Taco Bell Ford, comments on racing 600 miles at Charlotte Motor Speedway:
“These mile-and-a-half tracks are tough because there’s such a critical balance between aero grip and mechanical grip of your racecar. The Showdown and the All-Star race last week gave David (Gilliland) and me two different races at two different times of the day to try some things, so that was a big help for our team.
“It’s such a long race and the conditions change so much that, if you try something that doesn’t work, you’re not stuck with it for 600 miles. The track gains a lot of grip as it gets later. It’s really tough on the crew chief to make adjustments throughout the night, trying to predict how fast the racetrack’s going to get. When they drop the green flag, you usually have an issue to fight, and it’s going to be a different issue when they drop the checkered flag. You’re definitely making adjustments every single stop.”
JUST THE FACTS: Ragan has 14 Sprint Cup starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway … He has one top-five, three top-10 and five top-15 finishes at the 1.5-mile oval … His best finish in a Sprint Cup points race at Charlotte is second (2011).