CONCORD, N.C. (May 17, 2008) – This weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway was all about winning. Ragan and 26 other competitors competed in the Sprint Showdown to try and race their way into the All-Star Challenge and compete for $1 million dollars. The All-Star field is set by winning a race in 2007 and then the top two from the Showdown and the fan vote make it into the event. Ragan fell just short of achieving that goal. He qualified third and finished third, missing the All-Star Challenge by one position due to a tight handling car during the final few laps.
Elliott Sadler led the 27-car field to the green flag for the start of the Sprint Showdown followed by Brian Vickers in second and Ragan in third. The event is broken down into two 20-lap segments and Ragan held his ground in each. In the first segment Ragan had a car that was a little on the free side, but felt good overall. Ragan dropped back slightly to fourth seven laps into the first 20 when the caution came out when the 84 got into the back of the pole sitter, No. 19. This put Ragan up to third and from there he would gain an additional position to put himself second for the caution between segments.
Crew chief Jimmy Fennig made the call to stay out between the segments, telling Ragan his tires would cool off and would be just as good as those who pitted for four tires. Fennig made the right call, but Ragan’s car started to get tight at the end. With seven laps remaining the No. 77 passed Ragan, taking over the second position. Sitting third (just out of the top two that move on to the all-star) Ragan drove his heart out trying to catch the top two, but the No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion wasn’t handling as well as he needed it to and was left with a disappointing third-place finish in a race where only first and second matter.
“When it counted we just weren’t that good,” said Ragan. “Staying out was the right call, but it just wasn’t good enough at the end when it counted. We just got tight. We started out just a hair on the free side and we thought that would be pretty good. That was the right call to stay out, but the No. 77 could keep his momentum up through the corner and I had to slow down way too much to get the car turned, so it’s something we can learn from and, hopefully, some of our teammates can benefit tonight.”
THIS IS A DISAPPOINTED AS I’VE SEEN YOU AFTER A RACE. “Yeah. We had a good car. We could have got a little more. Third on any weekend would be great, but tonight it might as well be dead last.”
1.5-miles Lowe’s Motor Speedway
Saturday, May 25, 2008
About Roush Fenway Racing
Roush Fenway Racing is NASCAR’s largest team operating 13 motorsports teams. Five in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 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; and three in the Craftsman Truck Series with Darnell, Braun, Kvapil, John Wes Townley and Bobby East; and one in the ARCA RE/MAX Series with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.