STATESVILLE, N.C. – Like most drivers, David Ragan circles the Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway race on the calendar as one to look forward to. But this year, he also put a question mark next to it. Without any Sprint Cup Series testing at the .533-mile oval in the new Gen-6 car, the driver says the short track will be the first “wild card” on the 2013 schedule.
But he likes his chances. Ragan earned his second NASCAR win at the track in 2009 in the Nationwide Series. He has 12 Sprint Cup starts at Bristol with a top finish of 10th.
Sunday’s race will mark the NASCAR debut of Dockside Logistics on the No. 34 Ford. The company provides distribution, warehouse services, port operations and transportation, serving the Southeast from Charleston, S.C.
Comments from Dockside Logistics team driver David Ragan heading to Bristol: “They altered the racetrack a little bit last year. And a lot of what you can do on track depends on what kind of tire Goodyear brings – how you can pass, how you race. But whoever gets their car to handle on the bottom is usually the car that can pass and run fast. It’s ironic that they altered the very top groove, then during the race that’s the groove that everyone wanted to be in. So it will be interesting to see how the racetrack has aged, what kind of tire Goodyear brings and how these new Gen-6 cars react.
“I think Bristol could be one of the bigger wild cards in the first few races of the season. Goodyear had a test at Phoenix and a test at Vegas, but nothing at Bristol so far. So I think Bristol will be a pretty good wild card to see what we’ve got at a short track where the track’s been altered in the last year, the tire’s different and we have a different racecar.
“Bristol, Richmond and Martinsville are some of my favorite races of the year. I like short-track racing. I like the atmosphere at a short track. Bristol always has passionate fans and it’s a great venue. So I’m absolutely a short track fan and I’m looking forward to going to Bristol. We’ll have Dockside Logistics on the car for the first time and I can’t think of a better track to introduce them to NASCAR at than Bristol.”