CORNELIUS, N.C.  —  No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver David Ragan believes most NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers share a love-hate relationship with Pocono Raceway where they’ll race 400 miles on Sunday.

 

Ragan says when the race car is good, Pennsylvania’s 2.5-mile triangular shaped track “is a lot of fun” for drivers.

 

When it isn’t, they “despise the place.” 

 

Fifty-six days from Sunday the Sprint Cup Series will return to Pocono for a second race which he says can be good or bad depending on success at the first race.

 

In just his third points race with Michael Waltrip Racing, Ragan finished 13th Sunday at Dover.

 

DAVID RAGAN ON LOVE/HATE WITH POCONO: “Pocono is one of those tracks you won’t like until you get a decent run there. It’s challenging. My first couple of visits to Pocono I ran an ARCA car, had a lot of fun there, and loved the place. I went back there in a Sprint Cup car, struggled and despised it for a while. I didn’t start liking the track again until I had some success.”

 

KEY TO POCONO: “You spend your whole time working on the car trying to get a decent balance between Pocono’s three very different turns. Turn one is more of your traditional banking, turn two is somewhat tight and turn three is flat and sweeping. The loads are different in each turn, you brake different in every corner and you shift in some.

 

“With this new rules package we’ll have to find out where you shift at and what makes speed then work on finding the happy medium with all the different corners. What you have to make sure you do is get your car right off turn three so you can carry that momentum down the long straightaway. Every time that I have had a good car at Pocono turn three has been a really good corner and I’ve been able to get a good run off that turn.”

 

POCONO RACES 56 DAYS APART: – “You don’t have a lot of time from the first to the second Poconos. You got Michigan, an off weekend, a long trip to Sonoma, a speedway race then Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indy in-between. So, you often bring the same car back. If guys have a good package from the first race it's normally pretty good the second race. By the same token, if you are struggling at the first race then it’s tough to turn around to be ready for the next race. That’s why you see guys sweep Pocono because what is good in June is usually the same setup for the August race.”

 

ADVICE FOR RACE FANS GOING TO POCONO: “They’ll get to see good racing at Pocono. Away from the track, you have to find the good restaurants around there. There are a couple of good restaurants just around the corner from the track kind of off the beaten path. They are local places so you kind of get the flavor of the area.”

 

MWR TENURE: “We ran well at Dover, but we’ve just got to keep getting better. In order to win these races you’ve got to be perfect. Dover was a step in the right direction and hopefully we can learn from it.”

 

NOTES:

 

  • MWR EMPLOYEE NOW ALL TIME LEADER AT BOWMAN GRAY: Tim Brown won his 75th feature race in the modified series at Bowman Gray Stadium last Saturday leading the 100-lap race flag to flag. The victory made Brown the all-time winningest driver at the historic quarter-mile track in Winston Salem, N.C. that held NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races 1949-’71. During the week, Brown heads Michael Waltrip Racing’s suspension department in Cornelius, N.C. MWR celebrated Brown’s achievement on Tuesday with the luncheon at the shop.

 

·     AARON’S: The Atlanta-based company, with more than 2,100 stores across the country, helps customers own the life they want. Aaron's carries only the best brand names in furniture, electronics, and appliances with a variety of flexible payment options. It's really easy to “Own It” at Aaron’s with customers who are now pre-approved for up to $2,500 in merchandise - no credit needed.

 

·     MWR FANTERN: MWR is offering fans a chance to become an official MWR Fantern. This person will get the opportunity to be an “intern” on race day with MWR; duties including helping the pit crews with set-up activities, attending driver appearances and getting full access to the pit and garage areas. Fans can write in a submission to webmaster@michaelwaltrip.com or share a video on our social channels explaining why they should be the Fantern at the race of their choosing during the 2015 season. We're now accepting ‪#‎Fantern submissions for the following races: Daytona, Kentucky, New Hampshire and Indianapolis

 

  • CREW CHIEF BILLY SCOTT: Scott began racing motorcycles as a 5-year-old and stock cars when he turned 15. He worked in the truck series as a mechanic before he returned to college to obtain an engineering degree. After graduating in 2005 Scott worked at Robert Yates Racing and began as an engineer at MWR in 2008. The 36-year-old served exclusively as the No. 55 team’s lead engineer before taking over crew chief duties in 2014.

 

  • 55 CREW:

Billy Scott

Crew Chief

Ryan Langley

Front Tire Changer

Chris Hall

Front Tire Carrier

Shannon Myers

Rear Tire Changer

Blake Haugland

Rear Tire Carrier

Wes Evans

Jack Man

Jeff Kerr

Gas Man

Steve Channing

Car Chief

David Cropps

Interior Mechanic

Roman Pemberton

Spotter

Brandon Pope

Race Engineer

Joe Bisson

2nd Engineer

Jeremy Sharpley

Shock Specialist

Kevin White

Front Mechanic

Joe Zanolini

Rear Mechanic

Scott Swift

Tire Specialist

Kirk Butterfield

TRD

Tim Bruce

TRD

Stump Lewis

Truck Driver

Al Nelson

2nd Truck Driver

 

  • TELEVISION

Friday, June 5
Noon, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1
4:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1
6 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1
8:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Setup, FOX Sports 1
9 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series WinStar World Casino 400, FOX Sports 1

Saturday, June 6
9 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, FOX Sports 1
11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, FOX Sports 1
12:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FOX Sports 1

Sunday, June 7
11:30 a.m., NASCAR RaceDay: Dover, FOX Sports 1
1 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Axalta 'We Paint Winners' 400, FOX Sports 1


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