David Ragan returns to the No.38 Ford in preparation for Round 29 of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
This time, it’s the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval Course in Concord, North Carolina.
The timed lap begins most of the left & right turns, then a mini-oval battle on the left before completing a lap around the track with a chicane.
That’s what makes this new layout so challenging.
But he’s looking to tame it with extreme patience and excitement.
His Charlotte Motor Speedway Record
Four months ago, he did make his 23rd and latest appearance in CLT where he came home 25th.
It’s not the best weekend he’s after having started from 18th. But, it’s okay since he finished around mid-pack of the field.
Though, nearly a year ago, it’s not okay when he crashed on Lap 263, leaving the race early in 37th.
Beforehand, Ragan scored at P23 twice between October 2016 & May 2017 after three years of inconsistency.
His average runs were at Top 30 and below during that time in late 2013-16 plus both races in 2012.
Plus the double engine failure throughout 2015 doesn’t look any good at all.
Don’t forget out of his two stints at Front Row Motorsports, Ragan achieved One Top 25 during May 2013 plus two more between back to back Coca-Cola 600s at recent times.
As well as three Top 25s in his previous five races regarding his overall Charlotte Cup Record.
So his Fall event form in CLT needs some fine-tuning somehow if he can push himself towards the Top 20 this weekend.
Overall, Ragan has Three Top 10s during his time at Roush Fenway Racing during October 2008 & 2010.
That includes his notable runner-up spot during the 2011 Coca-Cola 600 behind Kevin Harvick.
- 23 Starts
- 7650 of 8309 Laps Completed, 92.1%
- 13 Laps Led
- One Top 5, 4.3%
- Three Top 10, 13%
- Average Start: 24.7 & Finish: 25.9
- DNF: Five
His 2018 Season So Far.
- 28 Starts
- 7525 of 7861 Laps Completed, 95.7%
- Highest Starting Spot: 12th, April 2018 in Talladega
- Best Finish: 6th, April 2018 in Talladega
- One Top 10, 3.6%
- Average Start: 23.2 & Finish: 23
- DNF: Two
- He currently sits 25th in the Drivers’ Standings with 405 Points.
- 30th/DNF, Daytona 500
- 23rd, Atlanta & Las Vegas
- 22nd, Phoenix
- 25th, Fontana & Martinsville
- 23rd, Texas
- 12th, Bristol
- 33rd, Richmond
- 6th, Talladega
- 27th, Dover
- 13th, Kansas
- 25th, Charlotte
- 16th, Pocono
- 38th/DNF, Michigan
- 22nd, Sonoma
- 38th, Chicago
- 15th, Daytona
- 18th, Kentucky
- 29th, New Hampshire
- 19th, Pocono 2
- 26th, Watkins Glen
- 27th, Bristol 2
- 17th, Darlington
- 24th, Indianapolis
- 27th, Las Vegas
- 23rd, Richmond
In the last five races, Ragan has finished within the Top 25 four out of five times bar 27th at Las Vegas.
Watkins Glen & Michigan might’ve not been okay having finished 26th & 27th respectively from the back end of Pocono in July.
But he did have two inside Top 20 finishes in the bag towards the end of August:
- 17th, Bristol
- 18th, Darlington
Then it’s regular outside Top 20 runs as September closes out before transitioning into October by next week at Dover.
Last weekend’s qualifying run may have hit them a low blow following failed inspection.
But Ragan raced well to pull off from the last row and finish closer to the Top 20.
Now, He & the No.38 FRM crew will work on getting their Ford faster when Practice and Qualifying hit tomorrow.
Building up regular Top 20 runs both in qualifying and race day will help plenty of momentum moving forward.
So some of the drivers who aren’t in the Playoffs but drive top-quality equipment for larger organizations will need to be wary.
It’s because as long as this weekend doesn’t struggle too much regarding the overall performance, he will be good to go.
Experience does matter as Ragan is pushing himself and Front Row Motorsports towards better heights.
If they can keep themselves towards meeting their target, then Ragan can go big at the larger ovals of Talladega & Kansas.
It’s not too far away as Ragan’s restrictor-plate experience are his best secret weapon.
Although, he knows his team-mate Michael McDowell’s strength at running road courses.
So, he would like to share some of the feedback with McDowell regarding his runs in this new layout.
That’s where the real test takes place on Sunday.
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