David Ragan and his Front Row Motorsports team are looking for some luck this Sunday at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to change the course of their season.
Daytona opened with high expectations, but a wreck on lap 150 not only took out Ragan, but also his teammates David Gilliland and Josh Wise. Phoenix was more of the same; Danica Patrick blew a tire, hit the wall, came back across the track and Ragan had nowhere to go. Later in the race, Gilliland also had his day end prematurely due to an accident.
The good thing for Ragan is he felt no affects from the hard wreck with Patrick. “I wasn’t very sore at all; it was a hard hit for her. Usually when you hit another car there’s more stuff that gives than versus when you hit the wall. Her car acted as my safer barrier, I guess; we were fine. Just disappointed we were caught up in someone else’s wreck. I really hate that for our team,” said Ragan Friday morning in an interview with Start ‘N’ Park Blog. Patrick on the other hand told the media on Friday she had a sore neck for a few days after the wreck.
Having lost five cars in two weeks is not ideal, but luckily the team has been working feverishly to build the new Generation 6 cars. “We’re still in good shape (for car count). Our Vegas cars were back in North Carolina at the shop ready to go. Our Bristol cars are ready to go. We’re working on California stuff now. We’re still in good shape. We can’t afford to have another week like we did last week, but our guys have worked extremely hard this offseason. Really for three cars: you have six cars in Daytona, six cars in Phoenix, six cars here. We got a lot of cars, but we don’t want to overwhelm our guys back at the shop fixing a lot of tore up stuff,” said Ragan.
You especially don’t want to wreck too many cars when none of the three Front Row Motorsports have full funding. As Ragan explained, “our owner Bob Jenkins subsides all three teams. We have some great partners, but no one full primary sponsor that allows us to R&D and have new inventory throughout the year.”
That is why days like Thursday’s test session for the Sprint Cup cars is critical for teams like Front Row Motorsports. “We’re still developing this new Gen 6 car and learning some of the mechanical side that changed during the offseason; the aero specs that this car has versus the previous generation car. We really weren’t fine tuning a lot for this car, this track, we were just doing some general testing to try to help us develop and build these cars. We did toward the end of the day try to make some longer runs and we tuned on the car for the weekend. Just having the third race of the year we still got a lot more cars to build and a lot more racing, so we wanted to learn as much as we could that would hopefully help us in the future.”
Ragan has confidence in his and his team’s ability and with a little luck can find themselves climbing back up the charts.
After rain washed out practice and qualifying on Friday, David Ragan and his team will be back on track for two practice sessions today in preparation for Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400, which can be seen at 3 PM EST on FOX.