Wednesday, July 31, 2013

David Ragan and CSX: Safe race at Indy. Perhaps TOO safe?

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
David Ragan and CSX: Safe race at Indy. Perhaps TOO safe? Ford Motor Company
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Ragan and the CSX Ford Fusion brought the railroad’s “Play It Safe” safety message to Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 28. The campaign efforts included an “I Promise To Brake For Trains” decal with fan signatures adorning the hood of the No. 34.

Starting in 36th position, Ragan and Front Row Motorsports learned early in the 400-mile race that he and his team would be chasing the car’s handling on the big, flat track all afternoon. The car was tight-handling (understeering) in the early laps of a run, and then got looser and looser (oversteering) as it ran. Ragan also dealt with a brake issue that prevented him from running the line around the track that he wanted to.

DavidRagan1The CSX crew worked hard on improving their Ford Fusion all day, making quick work of their pit stops as they made adjustments on each stop. But the race saw only three cautions for 14 yellow-flag laps (a very safe race, indeed), stringing out the field for much of the race and making it difficult to gain track position.

Ragan grabbed opportunities where he could and crossed the finish line in 34th.

“It was a challenging day here at Indianapolis,” Ragan said after the race. “We didn’t start off that great, had some handling problems and some brake issues throughout the day. But we kept it in one piece all day, the CSX team did a great job, and we had a good day on pit road. We just didn’t have the speed in the car. So we’ll go back to the drawing board and work on it and get ready to head to Pocono.”