AVONDALE, Ariz. (November 8, 2008) – David Ragan and the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion team struggled with an ill-handling race car the latter part of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Hefty Odor Block 200 on Saturday afternoon, collecting a 14th-place finish. It was a tale of two races for Ragan and the Discount Tire team. Ragan ran in the top 10 for most of the race, showing patience and poise as he picked his way through the field. On lap 160, Ragan ran into handling problems which cost him the rest of the race.
Ragan rolled off the grid in the eighth position, but quickly made his presence felt, gaining two positions and threatening to crack the top five the first 30 laps of the race. On lap 16, Ragan commented his Ford Fusion was tight through the middle and bouncing in the corners. The handling problems did not phase Ragan. He stayed among the race leaders the next few laps. The first caution of the day flew on lap 22. On lap 24, crew chief Mike Kelley called Ragan to the pits for major adjustments. Kelley ordered four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment. The Discount Tire pit crew ripped off an amazing stop and got Ragan back on the track in less than 14 seconds. Ragan gained one spot upon exiting pit road and restarted in the eighth position on lap 27.
Ragan was able to get in a nice groove the next 100 laps, maneuvering through the field with the poise of a veteran, gaining three positions and securing the sixth position by lap 120. On lap 122, a wreck in turn three slowed the action. Kelley ordered Ragan to the pit stall on lap 124 for minor adjustments. Kelley called for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Ragan gained another position upon exiting the pit stall. When green-flag racing resumed Ragan was in the seventh position. On lap 150, Ragan said his Ford Fusion was tight through the center and needed to cut a little better. Ragan continued to struggle with an ill-handling racecar the remainder of the race. At the end of the day Ragan managed to secure a respectable 14th-place finish.
“We probably had a 12th to 15th place car,” said Ragan. We could run in the top 10 because there were a lot of short runs at the beginning of the race. The one long run, we just weren’t very good and we got bit for it at the end of the day.”
The 14th-place finish leaves Ragan fourth in the Nationwide Series point standings. Ragan and the team will return to action next Saturday at Homestead-Miami 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.