David Ragan, No. 34 Scorpion Coating’s/Al Liner’s Ford
Starting Position: 32
Finishing Position: 22
With Indiana-based Scorpion Coatings/Al’s Liners on the hood of the No. 34 Ford for their final race this season, David Ragan and the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports team headed to Watkins Glen International looking to improve on past performances. Despite posting the 32nd quickest speed in time trials, Ragan was able to rebound from an unscheduled green flag pit stop early in the race to post a track-best 22nd-place finish.
Starting the race from the 32nd position, Ragan quickly advanced two positions by the completion of lap one and remained there for the first eight circuits. Shortly thereafter, Ragan informed his crew of a left front tire rub caused by contact with the No. 32 car. Ultimately, this forced him to make an unscheduled green flag pit stop, on Lap 11, to repair the damage. While there, the team changed four tires and added fuel. Upon returning to the track, the team was scored in the 40th position, one lap down to the race leader.
As the race continued under green, Ragan was able to make good use of the fresh tires and advance to the 34th position by Lap 24. A caution on Lap 25 allowed the No. 34 Scorpions Coatings/Al’s Liners Ford to remain on track and receive the “wave around”, placing the team back on the lead lap in the 31st position.
Unfortunately, the team didn’t receive the quick caution they needed for the “wave around” to pay dividends, so Ragan was forced once again to pit, under green conditions, for four tires and fuel. By the halfway marker of the race, Ragan had worked his way back up to the 30th position.
The second round of green flag pit stops began on Lap 46, but since Ragan had just visited pit road for a routine service, he was able to remain on track longer than most and advance to the 24th position by the time the event’s second caution flag waved on Lap 58.
Although he was battling a car that was tight in the “esses”, he remained on track to receive the “wave around”, and as a result, he was scored in the 24th position when the race resumed on Lap 61. In the end, Ragan was able to advance two to post a 22nd-place finish. It was the best finish for the team on a non-superspeedway this season.
David Ragan Comments after Watkins Glen:
“The strategy really played into our hands today and gave us a nice finish. This where we want to race each and every week. We’re easily capable of running in the top-25 and get some better finishes. This will hopefully be the springboard that we needed. The guys did a good job on pit road and it was a good race for us.”
David Gilliland, No. 38 ModSpace Motorsports Ford
Starting Position: 34
Finishing Position: 20
After posting the 34th quickest speed in time trials, David Gilliland was able to stay out of trouble and bring the No. 38 ModSpace Ford home with a 20th-place finish in Sunday’s Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen International.
Early in the race, Gilliland worked his way through the field and was scored in the top-25 when the event’s first caution flag waved on Lap 25. The team took advantage of the yellow flag period to bring the car to pit road for a routine four tire and fuel service, and when the race resumed, Gilliland was able to maintain the 25th position in the running order.
As the race continued, Gilliland steadily progressed through the field and, by Lap 45, he was scored in the 20th position. Green flag pit stops began on lap 46 with Gilliland making his routine stop on Lap 56. Upon returning to the track, he had lost the positions he had previously gained and was one lap down to the race leader. Luckily, the event’s second caution flag waved just as the No. 38 ModSpace Ford exited the pits and, as a result, Gilliland received the “lucky dog” award, placing him back on the lead lap.
Gilliland made one last visit to pit road during the event’s final caution period for four fresh tires, fuel, and a small chassis adjustment, hoping to have an advantage when the race resumed. In the end, the decision proved to be advantageous as Gilliland was able to advance five positions in the closing laps to post his track-best finish of 20th at Watkins Glen International.
David Gilliland Comments after Watkins Glen:
“It’s amazing the finishes we have with ModSpace on board. The last two weeks have been some of our best finishes this season. We have momentum and we’re going to keep riding this out.
“Today, we had some great calls on pit road by Pat Tryson. We just kep climbing up the board. It was very slick at the end, but we held on for a good day.”