David Ragan is riding the momentum of a 12th place finish last weekend at the Bristol Motor Speedway into his home track, the Atlanta Motor Speedway. He will be looking to turn up the heat on the competition courtesy of his sponsor for this race, Peanut Patch Hot Boiled Peanuts.
The Cajun-spiced snacks are the perfect mix with the action under the lights for Sunday night’s AdvoCare 500. Ragan and his Front Row Motorsports team are looking to improve on that 12th place finish.
“Atlanta Motor Speedway is a challenging racetrack even though it appears to be very similar to Charlotte or Texas or even Chicago and Kansas somewhat. That asphalt is just really wore out and it’s just very hard on the tires. It drives a lot differently than those other tracks. It is a 1.5-mile tri-oval but it’s a lot different than the others,” commented Ragan.
The secret to his success will be getting his car to handle with new and old tires. Getting that dialed in will be key for what is a big race for the driver, team, and sponsor. “We really have to work hard at getting our car to handle well on old tires. Five hundred miles at Atlanta is one of the longest races of the year. It seems like it goes on forever. It’s a tough race, but I always look forward to it because it’s in my backyard. I love being back home in Georgia. It’s a big race for our sponsor, Peanut Patch Hot Boiled Peanuts, and for our team owner, Bob Jenkins. It’s going to be a fun weekend and we’re looking forward to it.”
Atlanta is a very unique track that has similar sister tracks in Charlotte and Texas. When it’s all said and done, Atlanta is its own beast.
“Atlanta is one of the raciest mile-and-a-half’s we go to just because of the fact that there’s multiple grooves and the tires fall off a lot. Charlotte is very, very close, and Texas is very, very close. They’ve aged well since they’ve been paved years ago. But Atlanta has some characteristics that make it tough. You’ve got guys that can run the bottom, run the middle and run the very top. You’ve got guys that are good on new tires for a few laps but then the tires wear out, and then you see a different group of guys that are fast. I think it’s got a lot of different characteristics that make for a good race,” explained Ragan.
The action gets underway for the AdvoCare 500 Sunday night at 7:30. All the action from the Atlanta Motor Speedway can be seen on ESPN.