Sunday, April 29, 2012

Front Row Report: Capital City 400


Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway turned out to be a bigger struggle for the Front Row Motorsports than expected. Just a few laps into the 400-lap race, David Gilliland headed to the garage when mechanical issues arose that had to be addressed quickly. Teammate David Ragan received a pit road penalty with just over 100 laps remaining in the race.

David Ragan, No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford -- Start: 38th, Finish: 32nd

From the drop of the green flag during practice on Friday, the No. 34 team focused more on race setup than the qualifying setup. That was obvious when it came time for qualifying when David Ragan earned a 38th starting position for Saturday night’s Capital City 400. Once the race started, Ragan didn’t really make any real progress forward. He ran outside the top 30 for pretty much the entire race.

A competition caution was set for Lap 50 due to the rain that fell just prior to the race. It would be the first caution of the night, and by then, Ragan had moved up to the 34th position. He had been battling tight handling conditions in the No. 34 Ford so his team made air pressure adjustments as well as chassis adjustments to try and resolve the issue. The changes helped some, but the problem persisted. Just like a majority of the Sprint Cup Series races so far this season, green-flag runs dominated the race and left Ragan struggling to gain positions. Around lap 295, he was penalized for speeding while entering pit road and had to serve a pass-through penalty. Ragan managed to pass the No. 10 of David Reutimann in the closing laps to finish 32nd. He is now 29th in the standings.

David Gilliland had a rough night at Richmond. (seen here at Texas)
Credit: Lisa Janine Cloud/Skirts and Scuffs
David Gilliland, No. 38 Long John Silver's Ford -- Start: 41st, Finish: 36th

Just like his teammate, David Gilliland and his team focused more on the race setup on Friday. The 41st qualifying effort later that evening left the No. 38 team nowhere to go but up for the race on Saturday. Gilliland felt confident he had a good car on Saturday night, but that all went away just 32 laps into the race when he reported that the car had no brakes. He took the No. 38 Ford to the garage where his team assessed the problem and began repairs. They replaced the master cylinder, and Gilliland returned to the track on lap 74 in the 39th position.

Being so far behind, there really weren't too many positions he would be able to gain. Gilliland fought hard to gain three more positions throughout the race to finish 36th. He lost one position in the standings and is now 30th.

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