TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 25, 2009) – David Ragan and the No. 6 Discount Tire team captured their first win in NASCAR competition with a thrilling last lap pass in the Aaron’s 312 at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday afternoon. It was a breath-taking display of skill and strategy that propelled Ragan and the team to victory. The race ended in a green-white-checkered finish that took the race three laps past its scheduled distance of 117. Ragan ran in the fourth position on the last lap, but going into turn four he found an opening and a push from Joey Logano that helped him pass Ryan Newman at the stripe and secure the monumental victory.
The race started with very little fireworks because of a record 54 lap green-flag run. Ragan started the race in the 14th position and seemed content with running in the middle of the pack for the first 60 laps. Ragan commented his water temperature was rising each lap, so he was forced to back off and watch the action unfold in front of him. Ragan cracked the top 10 on lap 32 and immediately became a factor in the race. Green-flag pit stops began a few laps later and crew chief Mike Kelley called Ragan to the pit stall on lap 39 for two tires and fuel. However, NASCAR flagged Ragan for speeding on pit road and assessed a pass through penalty for the violation. This left Ragan in the 28th position when green-flag stops cycled through. Ragan did not appear flustered at all. Instead, he marched his way back to the front with the controlled aggression of a seasoned veteran.
By lap 102 Ragan ran in the fifth position behind Roush Fenway Racing eammate Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch. On lap 105, Kenseth jumped out of line on the back-stretch to block Busch and then returned to the inside line in front of Ragan, but contact between the two sent Kenseth barrel rolling down turn three. It was an unfortunate accident, but thankfully Kenseth escaped unharmed. The accident brought out the fourth caution of the evening. The race was halted two more times for multi-car wrecks on lap 109 and lap 115. The last wreck set the stage for NASCAR’s version of overtime. Ragan ran in the fourth position until he found a small opening on the outside coming out of turn four and with a push from Joey Logano, Ragan saw his Ford Fusion door to door with polesitter Ryan Newman as the checkered flag waved. Ragan crossed the stripe.030 seconds ahead of Newman, securing his first NASCAR Nationwide Series victory.
“We had an awesome run today,” said Ragan. “It means the world to me to get that first win. I would like to thank Discount Tire, Ford and Roush Fenway Racing for making all of my dreams a reality. Our guys have worked hard for two years and to see that hard-work payoff is an unbelievable feeling. I am going to savor this win for a while, but I know there are many more to come. We have to remain focused and continue to work as has hard as possible if we want to get to victory lane again.”
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, McMurray, Ragan, Erik Darnell, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Colin Braun; and one in the Camping World Truck Series with Braun.