RICHMOND, Va. (September 7, 2008) – David Ragan and the No. 6 Discount Tire team bounced back in a major way in the Emerson Radio 250 at Richmond International Raceway on Sunday night. Ragan lined up eighth on the starting grid after all track activity washed out on Friday night due to Tropical Storm Hanna. Ragan ran among the race leaders all night and challenged Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards for the win. Ragan and the team eventually settled for a fifth-place finish. It was Ragan’s fifth top-five finish of the season.
Ragan ran in the top 10 for the first 50 laps, but fought an ill-handling race car. On lap 53 he commented his Ford Fusion was tight through the center and it needed to turn a little better. The car appeared to get worse by lap 80 when Ragan lost three positions in the running order. Crew chief Mike Kelley kept Ragan focused through his early struggles, commenting his lap times were still among the fastest of the field at the time. A debris caution flew on lap 96. Kelley ordered Ragan to the pit stall for adjustments on lap 97. Kelley called for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Ragan exited the pit stall in the 12th position.
Green-flag racing resumed on lap 100. There was very little radio conversation over the next 60 laps, but Ragan battled through the field and appeared reinvigorated after lackluster performances in recent weeks. Ragan cracked the top 10 by lap 160, but a caution halted the action on lap 161. Ragan was ordered to the pit stall on lap 162 for four tires and fuel. The Discount Tire pit crew ripped off a 13 second pit stop, allowing Ragan to gain two spots when green-flag racing resumed on lap 167. Ragan stayed in the ninth position for the next 35 laps until the caution flew yet again on lap 203. Kelley ordered Ragan to the pit stall on lap 206 for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. The Discount Tire pit crew had their best stop of the evening, getting Ragan back on the track in the sixth position.
When green-flag racing resumed on lap 215, Ragan seized the moment. He moved into the top five just 15 laps later and never looked back. Ragan crossed the finish line in fifth.
“We earned this top-five tonight,” said Ragan. “Nothing came easy tonight, but we never stopped working on our Ford Fusion and it paid off at the end of the race. I think we are going in the right direction and I am confident we can continue to get better every week.”
The fifth-place finish leaves Ragan fifth in the Nationwide Series point standings. Ragan and the team will return to action Saturday, September 20 at Dover International Speedway
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing operates 13 full-time motorsports teams, five in NASCAR Sprint Cup with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; four in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell and Colin Braun; three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, Bobby East and John Wes Townley; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.