HOMESTEAD, FLA. (November 15, 2008) – David Ragan and the No. 6 Discount Tire team had a rough end to a great day at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Ragan and the team qualified third for the Ford 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday afternoon, but finished 23rd after an unfortunate scrape with the wall and blown tire on lap 157. Ragan was running in the fourth position at the time of the accident and the team went two laps down due to extensive repairs on pit road.
Ragan and the No. 6 Discount Tire team were ready to let it all hang out from the outset of the race. Ragan was instructed by crew chief Mike Kelley to take care of his race car and go after a win with controlled aggression. Ragan ran in the top 10 the first 50 laps with minimal handling problem. On lap 34 Ragan commented his Ford Fusion was a little tight and needed to cut a little better. The race started with a long green-flag run and most teams were forced to pit around the 50 lap mark. Kelley called Ragan to the pit stall on lap 55 for four tires, fuel, an air pressure adjustment and a track bar adjustment. After cycling through pit stops Ragan settled in the eighth position.
A debris caution halted the action on lap 64. Kelley told Ragan to stay out on the race track while many other teams opted to pit. When green-flag racing resumed Ragan was in the seventh position. Ragan continued his march to the front of the pack until another caution on lap 77 halted the action yet again. After the caution flew, Ragan commented his Ford Fusion was a little free and the back end slides around. Kelley called Ragan to the pit stall on lap 78 for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Many teams opted to take two tires, but Kelley believed it would play to their advantage on a long run if they took four. The Discount Tire pit crew had one of their fastest stops of the year, getting Ragan back on the track in 12.4 seconds. Ragan restarted the race in the 11th position on lap 82.
Ragan began to hit his marks and was among the fastest in the field the next 30 laps. The caution flew on lap 101 for a three-car wreck on the back-stretch. Kelley told Ragan to stay out on the race track when the pits opened. All the leaders decided to pit except the No. 18. Ragan was being shown in the second position when the race restarted on lap 113. Ragan continued to impress, running lap for lap with the No. 18 and the No. 60 for the next 40 laps. By lap 143 the Discount Tire team needed to pit for fuel, but a timely debris caution flew on lap 144. Ragan was ordered to the pit stall on lap 146 for fuel and four fresh tires. Upon exiting the pit stall Ragan was in the fourth position. Green-flag racing resumed on lap 149.
On lap 155, Ragan got loose and brushed the wall. The damage did not appear to be extensive, but two laps later Ragan blew a right front tire and slapped the wall, which brought out the seventh caution of the day. Ragan was called to the pit stall for major repairs. After extensive work, Ragan was able to get back on the track but ended up two laps down by the end of the race. Ragan finished the race in the 23rd position.
"I just ran on the high side and got loose in one and two and slapped the wall,” said Ragan. We had our front fender rubbing and I cut a tire and hit the wall a second time and it was kind of downhill from there. We got it fixed and were able to finish because it was better than having a DNF."
The 23rd-place finish leaves Ragan fourth in the final Nationwide Series point standings.
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.