Here’s part two of our three part series with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver, David Ragan.
Q: Now you say you guys can give companies a larger value than bigger team, but you don’t have as much exposure on race broadcasts compared to other teams. How does it work out that you guys can give companies a better value than those larger teams?
A: I think the money that companies spend with large teams are about four to $500,000 per race and they may get some more TV time. The numbers that we’re looking for are less than that. If you average it out and do the math, it makes more sense to spend a little bit less and get more races for the same money. For a smaller team we have less overhead, we’re in the building process and given the product on the race track, you have the people in the stands and you never know when we can win another race or even qualify well. We get a lot of exposure (for a small team) and the numbers can back that up in comparison to the money that our program may have.
What do you feel like the team is lacking overall on the race track?
A: I think that Front Row Motorsports, given some more money, would be able to hire more people, test more. In the world of NASCAR, it’s all about money. You spend more money, you go faster. You spend more money, you have better people. I think we spend a third of what of some of the larger teams spend, but we’re right there with those guys a lot. That’s a big part (of it), just the dollars in any sport for that matter. Look at baseball teams with a smaller market that don’t have the revenue to pay big time contracts or hire big time free agents. Sometimes you get a small team that wins the World Series. It doesn’t happen regularly, but if you put good people in good places, utilize your money in different areas and be smart, it can certainly happen. I think the best comparison is a smaller market, NBA team or even a football team.
You guys are clearly strong on restrictor plate tracks, but everywhere else is a big question mark. How is the team attempting to perform better on other tracks?
A: You just work hard. You have to try to test some and you look at your set-ups and evaluate everything. You test a little bit more during the week and you’re a little more prepared on the weekends. You have to continue to experiment and learn by testing and eventually you’ll get better.
As of now, where have you guys tested this year?
A: We’ve tested at some short tracks and some of the NASCAR tests that they had earlier this season like Daytona and Charlotte. We had an open test at Kansas and Phoenix and Las Vegas. We have a couple coming up at a short track in Georgia, the road course at Watkins Glen and then we’re going to do an Atlanta tire test later on this fall.
You won at Talladega at few months ago thanks to help from your teammate, David Gilliland. What senses of confidence do you having going into Daytona this week?
A: We have a lot of confidence. Our race cars have been prepared well, we got a good strategy, a good game plan. David, myself and even Josh Wise, we all have a good attitude going into Daytona and we’re looking forward to it. It’s definitely fun to go into a race that you have a past history of running well at and you’re coming off of a good race.
Joseph Wolkin can be followed on Twitter at @JosephNASCAR.