Q and A with David Ragan
David Ragan talks with The Racing Experts in the garage area at Sonoma Raceway Friday.
Photo by Isabel Gonzalez/The Racing Experts
By Dominic Aragon
June 26, 2016
SONOMA, Calif.—David Ragan will start Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway 30th, the highest of his BK Racing teammates.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series veteran talked exclusively with The Racing Experts about Friday practices, goals for the weekend and road course ringers.
Q. You were 28th and 27th in the Friday practices, how would you assess Friday?
David Ragan: “You know, it was good and fast. Practice goes by really quick here at Sonoma. I’d kind of like a night to sleep on things and talk to my crew about our adjustments.
“...I think our Dr. Pepper Toyota is a decent car. I don’t think it’s a race winner, but we can tune on it a little bit, and I think there’s a lot of cars that are in the mid-teens, maybe the low-20s, from a speed perspective, that have good drive ability, that we can have a little bit of luck, and have the right strategy for Sunday, we’ll have a shot at a good finish.” Q. If you don’t have a race-winning car, what would be a successful weekend for you and your team?
Ragan: “Any time we can run in the top-15 to top-20, those are good days for us.
David Ragan leads Chris Buescher during a practice session at Sonoma Raceway Friday.
Photo by Brian DeGruchy/The Racing Experts
“Obviously, being a little smaller team, a three-car team this weekend, a little less resources from an engineering perspective and simulation perspective, than what some of the top teams have, it just takes us a little longer to get up to speed and to make the quality adjustments we need to in order to get faster.
“I think our engines are solid, are racecars are good, we’ve got good guys working on them, and we’re not talking but a few tenths here and there.”
Ragan: “I think ten, twelve, fourteen years ago, they could come into the Sprint Cup Series and be successful. The guys like Ron Fellows and Boris Said, and obviously Patrick Carpentier who’s here this weekend had a lot of extensive road racing background, and they could really show well, but I think the field has gotten so competitive, they’re going to struggle to run in the top-25 or top-30.
“You look at the guys in the top-ten or fifteen, and they’re your traditional, short track guys, open-wheel guys, with all kinds of backgrounds, and we take these two road courses very serious. We’ve got really good technology that's helped the drivers become better road racers with only two events a year.
“So, I’m guaranteeing you’ll see a Sprint Cup regular win the race.”