While Sparta, Kentucky is not the same Sparta featured in the 2006 hit movie 300, and David Ragan is not Gerard Butler leading an army to battle the Persian King Xerxes, the No. 34 team is prepared to head into battle this Saturday night as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Kentucky Speedway for the running of the Quaker State 400.
Ragan finished eighth in last season's race at Kentucky Speedway and has three top-25 finishes at intermediate tracks this season. He is coming off of a 27th- place finish at Sonoma, after being caught up in the final wreck of the race.
David Ragan on Kentucky:
"I really like racing at Kentucky. I ran well here last season. Our intermediate program has hit on a few highlights this year. Hopefully we can take everything we've learned thus far and put together a good run at Kentucky.
"The biggest challenge for us will be adjusting the car from practicing during the day, to racing at night. With the heat wave sweeping across the nation right now, it will be interesting to see how changes in track temperature affect the handling of our cars as we transition from early to late evening during the race.
"Nutrition will be important. Staying hydrated and drinking lots of fluids. If it's hot outside, it's always hotter inside the car. You can only imagine what it's going to be like. Luckily, it is a night race so we won't have the sun beating down too much during the actual race. Still, it's going to be pretty hot."