Brooklyn, Mich. (June 13, 2010) – Michigan is always a favorite stop on the circuit for the Roush Fenway team. Roush Industries and Ford are both located in Michigan, making the Speedway their hometown track. On top of that, it’s a place where over the years the Fords have always run well. David Ragan had one of his best weekends of the season going, when the bad luck that’s been plaguing the team all season continued. Ragan earned the top starting spot out of the Roush Fenway Fords of 14th and was running solidly in the top 10 the first half of the race. Halfway through the race Ragan came down pit road for a routine stop, but instead his luck took a turn for the worse. As Ragan pulled out of his pit stall the No. 83 of Casey Mears pulled into his. The two made contact, damaging the right-front fenderof the UPS Ford. Multiple stops for repair put Ragan in the back of the pack, just to have a right-rear tire go down under a long green-flag run. Repairs for both put Ragan two laps down to the leaders, resulting in a 34th-place finish while Denny Hamlin took the checkered flag.
After posting solid times in practice, and earning a 14th-place starting position, all the members of the UPS team were excited for 200-laps of racing at Michigan. From the drop of the green flag Ragan hovered inside the top 15 battling a Ford that needed more rear grip and wanted to slide off the corners. The first two cautions of the race came on lap 18 and lap 48. Both times Ragan pitted for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments. Ragan worked his way up inside the top 10, but the adjustments were not enough to correct the loose-handling condition.
Next up was a long green-flag run in which Ragan discovered his UPS Ford continued to be way too free through the center of the turns. Ragan played with his fans in order to try and help tighten himself up until his next opportunity to pit. Ragan held on until it was his turn for a green-flag stop on lap 90. Crew chief Donnie Wingo gave him four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Just a few laps later on lap 99 the caution flag was out for the third time.
In an effort to gain some more track position Wingo brought Ragan down pit road for just two tires and a splash of fuel. Unfortunately as Ragan went to pull out of his pit stall after service the No. 83 of Casey Mears was pulling into his. The two made contact, severely damaging the right-front fender of the UPS Ford. Ragan backed back into his stall so his team could make repairs. They took a short break so Ragan could get caught back up with the field as to not go a lap down and return back to pit road for more repairs. Service took longer than expected and when the field returned to green-flag racing Ragan was left bringing up the rear.
Ragan continued to turn fast lap times until lap 118 when he came over the radio and said he had a flat right-rear tire. He immediately brought his UPS Ford in for service, but the damage was already done to the sheet metal. Under green-flag conditions the service cost them valuable time on the track, Ragan returned to the track, but was left playing catch up. Long green-flag runs did not leave much opportunity to pick up spots on the track, so Ragan was left with a disappointing 34th-place finish.
“I felt like our UPS Ford was very good from the get-go and we were able to drive up inside of the top 10,” said Ragan. “I felt like our first couple of pit stops were very, very good. Our team did a great job in the pits and that contact was just a bad move. We thought he knew we were only coming in for two and would be cleared out of there, but he didn’t stop and just knocked our right-front tire off and that really ended our day. We were strong all weekend and it’s not the finish we wanted. We worked very hard all weekend and it’s disappointing that cost us a solid finish.”
Toyota/Save Mart 350
1.99-mile Infineon Raceway
Sunday, June 20, 2010