FORT WORTH, Texas (November 1, 2008) – David Ragan and the No. 6 Discount Tire team continued their stellar run this year in the O’Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon. Ragan rolled off the starting grid in the 12th position and stayed in the top-10 for much of the race, settling in the fifth position on lap 119 and securing a brilliant top-five finish.
It was a beautiful day at Texas Motor Speedway. The temperature at the start of the race was 81 degrees. The Discount Tire team devised a great game plan for the race. Crew chief Mike Kelley instructed Ragan to go after the race leaders early and stay aggressive every lap. Ragan was extremely focused early in the race. He gained four positions the first five laps of the race and by the time the first caution flew on lap 49, Ragan was threatening to crack the top-five, running in the seventh position. Ragan commented his Ford Fusion was a little tight and needed a little rear grip. Kelley ordered Ragan to the pit stall on lap 50 for minor adjustments. Kelley called for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. After a tremendous effort on pit road by the Discount Tire pit crew, Ragan exited the pit stall in the sixth position. Green-flag racing resumed on lap 53.
For the next 50 laps, Ragan stayed in the sixth position, battling point leader Clint Bowyer and Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards for the fourth and fifth positions. It was a clean race to that point with many of NASCAR’s best Nationwide drivers waiting patiently to move around the running order. On lap 104, Ragan commented his Ford Fusion needed to turn better later exit. The second caution of the day flew on lap 113. Ragan entered the pit stall for adjustments on lap 115. Kelley called for four tires, fuel and another air pressure adjustment. The Discount Tire pit crew performed brilliantly, getting Ragan back on the track in less than 13 seconds. Ragan restarted the race in the fifth position.
Green-flag racing resumed on lap 119. Ragan continued his assault on the field, gaining two positions the next 20 laps. Ragan had minimal handling problems during the race and it appeared his Ford Fusion was one of the five best cars in the field. Ragan ran as high as the third position on lap 155. Three late cautions slowed the action, but Ragan managed to stay in contention the rest of the day. At the end of the day, nobody caught race leader Kyle Busch, but the race for third through fifth position was up for grabs. Ragan performed with poise and drove away from point leader Clint Bowyer on lap 186 to secure the fifth position to end the race. It was Ragan’s seventh top-five finish of the season.
“I’m proud of my Discount Tires guys,” said Ragan. They were awesome on pit road. It was another top-five, but we came up a little bit short, nevertheless we learned a little something that will maybe help us for Homestead. It’s going to be tight the last few weeks for the third and fourth spot in the standings. The teams just ahead of us are good teams with good drivers. Hopefully, we’ll carry a little momentum to Phoenix next week.”
The fifth-place finish leaves Ragan fourth in the Nationwide Series point standings. Ragan and the team will return to action next Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.
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.