JOLIET, Ill. (July 11, 2008) –David Ragan and the No. 6 Discount Tire team had an average run in the Dollar General 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Friday night. After qualifying third, Ragan and the Discount Tire team were primed for a great run in the Nationwide series race, but on a night when the caution flew only twice, there was little hope for the team to rebound from handling problems during the race. Ragan was able to secure a hard earned 13th-place finish. Ragan is sixth in the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings.
Ragan and the Discount Tire team started the race in the third position, but handling problems knocked Ragan out of the top-five just 11 laps into the race. Ragan commented his Ford Fusion was a little free and the back end had no grip. He also commented the car slides the nose in turn two. A cycle of green-flag pit stops began on lap 50. Crew chief Mike Kelley ordered Ragan to the pits on lap 52 for major adjustments. Kelley ordered four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Ragan exited the pit stall in the 15th position. An untimely caution flew just two laps later that put Ragan and the Discount Tire team a lap down.
Green-flag racing resumed on lap 60 with Ragan in the 15th position. For the next 25 laps Ragan fought hard to stay in the top-15. He tried different lines on the track with little success. Ragan commented on lap 86 his Ford Fusion was very loose on long runs. A much needed debris caution flew on lap 88. Ragan entered the pit stall on lap 90 for another round of adjustments. Kelley ordered four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Ragan was able to gain a position upon exiting the pit stall. He restarted the race in the 12th position.
As Kyle Busch ran away with the race, Ragan was trying to make his move in the middle of the pack. He moved around the running ordered for the next 50 laps, running as high as 12th and as low as the 15th position. At the end of the night there were only 14 cars on the lead lap. Ragan was able to secure a 13th-place finish.
"We just were behind from the get-go”, said Ragan. “Our car was totally different yesterday. It felt like it had a lot of speed, but we started the race way too free and could never get it comfortable to go fast. We adjusted on it every stop, and our Discount Tire pit crew did a great job on pit road, but just didn't have enough cautions to work on it a lot. When you start off that bad, you get far behind, so it just wasn't a great night. We managed an average finish. We didn't lose a lot of ground in the points, but certainly we've just got to keep working on our program.”
The 13th-place finish leaves Ragan sixth in the Nationwide Series point standings. Ragan and the team will return to action next Saturday, July 19 at Gateway.
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. 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. www.RoushFenway.com.