David Ragan’s most recent finish at Watkins Glen International (August 2012) was also his career best, and he’ll look to top that result one year later as the Sprint Cup Series heads back to the 2.45-mile road course in New York’s Finger Lakes region.
Ragan earned a 22nd-place finish in his first Watkins Glen start in a Front Row Motorsports Ford one year ago, topping his previous five starts at the track. The driver of the No. 34 Taco Bell Ford cites mastering the course’s “Inner Loop” turn as a key to a good finish at The Glen. The bus stop chicane at the end of the backstretch provides opportunities for both passing and wrecking. The No. 34 team will look to stay “in the loop” to use it to an advantage in Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at The Glen.
Comments from Taco Bell team driver David Ragan heading to Watkins Glen:
“The two road courses we race on are pretty different. Some of the parts and pieces on your road course cars from Sonoma and Watkins Glen are the same, and you can get a true test from one track to the other. But as far as driving techniques and handling, it’s really different. Watkins Glen is such a fast racetrack. Our Front Row Motorsports team enjoys going to the road courses. It gives us a chance to play some strategy and have an opportunity at a great finish.
“The road races in the Sprint Cup Series have really gotten super competitive. I think there’s 20 guys that can have a shot to win. We’ve seen a lot of road course first-time victories in the last couple years. The Glen is a fun track and a challenging track. We’ll look to get up to speed on Friday and have a nice clean race on Sunday.
“The Inner Loop is tough. You’ve got a really fine line with how aggressive you can be. You can lose or gain a lot of time getting out of the Inner Loop, setting yourself up for that squeezing right-hander. That’s a good passing zone to get out of that corner fast. But you can’t overshoot it. You can’t knock your splitter off running through the curves and the dirt and the grass. It’s very unique and it’s a tough corner, but it’s fun. I know that there’s a lot of fans who always sit around on top of their motorhomes on that Inner Loop, and they’re seeing some action every single lap.”