DOVER, Del. (May 31, 2008) – David Ragan and the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion team endured one of the toughest days of the season at Dover International Speedway. Ragan and the Discount Tire team were very optimistic when they unloaded on Friday morning, but they struggled mightily in the second practice and during qualifying on Saturday morning. After qualifying in the 28th position, Ragan ran in the 23rd and 24th position much of the race until being taken out on lap 163 by the No.11 driven by Jason Keller. It was an unlucky break and disappointing end to a promising weekend.
David Ragan rolled off the starting grid very optimistic about his chances at Dover International Speedway. Ragan was confident his Ford Fusion would come alive during the race.
Ragan came out with wreck-less abandon, passing four cars the first five laps of the race. By lap 20 Ragan ran in the 23rd position, but the excitement was short-lived. On lap 19 Ragan commented his Ford Fusion was loose in the middle, tight off and bouncing getting into the corners. The first caution flew a lap later and Ragan was called to the pits on lap 21 for major adjustments. Crew chief Mike Kelley ordered four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment and pulled two spring rubbers out of the left rear. Ragan got back on the track in the 27th position.
Green-flag racing resumed on lap 25.
The next 80 laps were very difficult for Ragan and the Discount Tire team. Ragan said his Ford Fusion was bouncing all over the track and the back end was over rotating. The teams handling problems were evident when on lap 85 Ragan went a lap down. A much needed caution flew on lap 103 for a wreck in turn four. Kelley ordered Ragan to the pit stall on lap 106. Kelley called for fuel, four tires and an air pressure adjustment. Ragan came out of the pit stall in the 24th position. Green-flag racing resumed on lap 108.
For the next 40 laps Ragan picked up four positions and began to settle into a comfort zone on the race track, but on lap 163 Ragan was hit in the left rear by the No.11 driven by Jason Keller. Ragan’s Ford Fusion was spun out and slammed into the wall very hard. Ragan drove his damaged Ford Fusion to the garage for major repairs. The damage was too extensive for the Discount Tire team to repair. It was a disappointing end to a tough day.
“The 11 [Jason Keller] just dumped us. It was kind of payback from earlier in the year,” said Ragan. “We’ve had few contacts here and there and just got back at us. I saw him coming and he hit us and wrecked us. It was one of those things, its racing. We’ll learn from it and move on. We’ve got a strong enough team, we can rebound from it. We were wrecking loose all night. We went a little different way set-up wise just trying to work a little bit. We were really loose all day, all weekend. I just couldn’t find a handle. We were trying a little different set-up and just trying to find some speed. We learned from it and we’ll do something a little different next time.”
The 29th-place finish leaves Ragan seventh in the Nationwide Series point standings. Ragan and the team will return to action next Saturday, June 7th at Nashville Superspeedway.
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.