DOVER, Del. (September 20, 2008) – David Ragan and the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion team continued their solid run in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season, securing a top-10 finish at Dover International Speedway. Ragan and the team were stout in both practices on Friday and qualified in the fourth position on Saturday morning. Ragan ran up front all afternoon and brought his Discount Tire Ford Fusion home with an impressive ninth-place finish.
Ragan and the Discount Tire team were optimistic they had a car that could challenge for a win. Ragan ran in the top 10 the first 40 laps of the race, but his Ford Fusion handled poorly from the outset of the race. On lap 28 Ragan commented the car needed more rear grip. He also said his Ford Fusion needed to turn better. The first caution of the day flew on lap70 for a wreck in turn three and four. Ragan was called to the pit stall on lap 72 for major adjustments. Crew chief Mike Kelley ordered four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment. Ragan exited the pit stall in the 12th position. Green-flag racing resumed on lap 76.
Ragan fought an ill-handling race car the next 25 laps, but maintained the 12th position. Kelley assured Ragan that major adjustments were coming on the next pit stop. Ragan battled through the field, running the high line as well as the low line on the race track. A much needed caution flew on lap 98 for a wreck on the front-stretch. Kelley called Ragan to the pit stall on lap 99 for adjustments. Kelley ordered fuel, two right side tires and an air pressure adjustment. The pit strategy gave Ragan valuable track position. He exited the pit stall in the sixth position. Green-flag racing resumed on lap 104.
Ragan continued to struggle with handling problems, but continued to race hard and put his Ford Fusion in position for a great finish. The fifth caution of the day flew on lap 140 for another wreck in turn three and four. Ragan was called to the pit stall for the final time on lap 142. Kelley ordered four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. A phenomenal pit stop allowed Ragan to gain four spots upon exiting the pit stall. When green-flag racing resumed Ragan was in the sixth position.
Despite two more cautions and a green-white-checkered finish that took the race seven laps beyond its scheduled distance, Ragan was able to stay in the top 10 and bring home a ninth-place finish. It was Ragan’s 18th top-10 finish of the season.
“Dover is a great race track and it’s an exciting place to race, but we always seem to just be missing out a little bit,” said Ragan. “We can qualify and practice well, but we’re always a 10th-to-15th-place car when they drop the green. So, hopefully we can learn from this experience and keep working on our program. Again, a solid day, but we’ve just got to keep getting better to try to contend for some of these wins.”
The ninth-place finish leaves Ragan fifth in the Nationwide Series point standings. Ragan and the team will return to action next Saturday, September 27th at Kansas 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. For more information on any of the Roush Fenway Racing teams, log onto www.RoushFenway.com. For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Robin Johnson at 704.720.4645. www.RoushFenway.com.