“It is good to comeback to a race track where you had success and obviously come back as the previous year winner,” Ragan said. “It is good, it is exciting and it definitely adds some pressure to everybody when we won in May. We were the under dogs and that guy that no one was predicting to win. I don’t think it was a huge surprise, but no one had you favored. Coming back the roles are reversed, if we don’t have a good day I am sure we will be in the spotlight soon. We are bringing the same race car that we won with in May and I like this race. Obviously, being a five mile race you have to be conservative throughout the day. You have to pick and choose your battles. I feel like we have a good game plan and strategy and a little extra confidence that we can do it again if all the stars align right.”
Earlier in the week, David Gilliland and Ragan secured a ride for next season as they signed a one year deal with Front Row Furniture.
“We are excited to have that in our back pockets,” Ragan said. “David Gilliland and myself coming back to Front Row Furniture Motorsports next year. It is important to start as early as you can prepping for the 2014 season. I know a lot of our guys getting cars ready for next year already. I know some of the NASCAR rule meetings have taken place and hopefully, we get some of those rules changes as soon as this race is over I know our speedway cars will get stripped down and ready for Daytona. That process starts very quickly and the sooner we get our driver agreements done our teams can go ahead and start working on sponsor agreements and other partnerships we have with our team and manufacture. In getting that done and we have gotten a lot better performance wise the last year and half in my time at the Front Row Motorsports.”
Ragan feels like the guys that didn’t make the Chase can be more aggressive in Sunday’s Camping World RV sales 500.
“I think the folks in the Chase have to be a little bit more conservative because they have to get through this week without a 30th place finish, without a DNF,” Ragan said. “The guys not in the Chase can be a little bit more aggressive behind the wheel and our crew chiefs can take a few more chances on pit road, maybe stretch fuel mileage, maybe not take tires that last pit stop. Yes, we can be a little bit more aggressive but if you look at those three or four guys battling for the championship their track record here is pretty good. I think we can have to learned with the Gen 6 car is that you can’t be conservative throughout the day and just expect an easy move towards the front in the closing laps.
“You have to make a commitment to get to the front as soon as you can and you will see some harder racing throughout the day and trying to keep that track position.”
Ragan said going into Sunday’s race he has intentions on staying in the front, but if that doesn’t go well expect him to move to the very back of the pack.
“My strategy has always been if I can stay up front that’s great, but if I can’t I’m going to ride in the back,” Ragan said. “There is no sense in racing from 12th to 22nd. Those 10 spots that is just no man land. If we can stay in the top 10 then I’m comfortable racing up there. You can get on pit road easy; you can see what’s going on. If you are stuck back there 16th or 18th spot there is no help in front or behind and you are in other people discretion. A lot that you can’t plan for you just have to make a decision when you are there and a lot of it depends on how we qualify and how the first four or five laps take place. If we get up front, I would love to stay upfront and lead some laps that definitely make my team and crew chief less nervous at the end of the race if I ran upfront. I am not opposed to being conservative and just trying to make my way up there when the time is right.”