David Ragan: On Pit Row
Most everyone knows that David Ragan had big shoes to fill in 2007. He stepped into the #6 Roush Fenway Ford in a situation many would dream of, but few could succeed. David Ragan has done just that – he is on the verge of winning at the Sprint Cup level and is a contender for the Chase, after nearly getting in last year and taking the $1 million prize for being the top finisher outside of the top 12.
Ragan has made huge strides since his Gong Show days on the Discovery Channel. He was benched for a few races in 2006 in the Truck Series, but by the end of the year he was named the replacement for Mark Martin. His second career Sprint Cup start came at Martinsville in the fall of 2006, and by all accounts he pissed off everyone he came in contact with. Tony Stewart called his a “dart without feathers” and as a result, Ragan was barred from racing in Sprint Cup the rest of the season. Undaunted, Ragan bid and won a chance to ride around with Stewart the very next week at Atlanta to get advice from Stewart. That’s character and class.
Fast forward to the end of the 2007 season when Ragan recorded the most crashes in the series on the way to a mediocre points finish. He wasn’t even Rookie Of The Year, as that honor went to Juan Pablo Montoya.
2008 proved to be a different story. Ragan ran up front, ran races clean, and he earned a helluva lot of respect. He recorded multiple top 5 and top 10 finishes and became a darkhorse Chase contender before ultimately finishing behind Clint Bowyer for 12th after Richmond. He turned enough heads to get major sponsorship money from UPS and is currently becoming an A-list driver on the circuit.
Look for at least 1 win and a Chase slot from Ragan this year. He has a veteran championship-winning crew chief in Jimmy Fennig and the strength of the Roush Fenway organization. For someone as talented and determined as Ragan, that’s more than enough help.
Here are his Loop Data numbers for the 2008 season. David Ragan 2008 race by race Loop Stats
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