Daytona Beach, FLA. (July 3, 2009) – David Ragan and the No. 6 Discount Tire team had an electrifying run Friday night in the Subway Jalapeno 250 at Daytona International Speedway. After two stellar practice sessions and qualifying second on Friday afternoon, Ragan kept his Ford Fusion up-front the majority of the race, leading seven laps and bringing home his 38th career top-10 finish in the Nationwide Series.
The field was stacked with NASCAR Cup Series superstars like Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne, each one trying to score their first win in Nationwide competition in 2009. The race was NASCAR Nationwide Series first use of the double-file restart with lead-lap cars taking the green-flag side by side.The lead changed hands five times the first 50 laps of the race. Ragan was steady from the outset, running in between the second and third position the first 40 laps of the race. Ragan did not move around the running order in typical Daytona fashion early on, showing the patience of a veteran driver.
Ragan mixed it up early on may despite a slightly ill-handling race car. Ragan commented his Ford Fusion needed more rear grip and was a little loose in turn one. Despite the handling problems Ragan stayed in the top three until a caution halted the action on lap 44. Crew chief Mike Kelley ordered Ragan to the pits for major adjustments on lap 45. Kelley ordered four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Green-flag racing resumed on lap 49 with Ragan in the fourth position.
On lap 50, Ragan made an aggressive move to take the lead for the first time in the race. Ragan used the draft wisely and got a great push from the No. 99 car of Michael Waltrip to blow past the No. 18 of Kyle Busch. Ragan went on to lead seven laps of the race and stayed in the top two until the caution flew again on lap 70. Kelley called Ragan to the pit stall for four fresh tires. It was a bold move because none of the top 10 came down pit road. Ragan was scored in the 20th position on the restart on lap 74.
Ragan showed controlled aggression in making his move to the front the next 15 laps. Ragan fought his way back to the top 10, weaving his way through traffic and was in the sixth position by lap 87 and third by lap 89. Ragan decided to move up the race track during the last green-flag run, but was hung out to dry for the next three laps, sliding into the ninth position when the caution flew for the fifth time of the night on lap 94. The stoppage set up a green-white-checkered finish that took the race two laps past its scheduled 100 laps. Ragan was in the eighth position when the field took the white flag, but a six-car wreck froze the field and race leader Clint Bowyer was crowned the winner.
“Our Discount Ford Fusion was fast today”, said Ragan. We had the car to win this race, but a few things didn’t go our way at the end of the race. We made good decisions and were smart early in the race. I think I should have stayed on the inside lane those last few laps, but I thought we had a good run on the outside with the No. 33. It just didn’t work out like I thought. Nonetheless, it was a great run and I am proud of our Discount Tire team. It was a great points day and we will take this momentum into Chicago next week.”
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating nine motorsports teams. Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with drivers Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and David Ragan; three in the Nationwide Series with Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, Ragan, Erik Darnell, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Colin Braun; and one in the Camping World Truck Series with Braun. 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.