BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 22, 2008) – David Ragan and the No. 6 Discount Tire team struggled mightily in the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Friday night. Ragan and the team were looking to get that break-through victory in the Nationwide series. After being on top of the speed charts in practice, Ragan qualified in the 16th position. Ragan struggled with an ill-handling racecar most of the night and brought his Ford Fusion home with a 25th-place finish.
The NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 250 was an entertaining race from the outset with many of NASCAR’s elite drivers bouncing around the racing order the first 20 laps. On lap 36 Ragan commented his Ford Fusion was tight center off. On lap 51 he said it was tight all around. Ragan ran in the 20th position until the caution flew on lap 86 when Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards blew a tire. Crew chief Mike Kelley ordered Ragan to the pit stall on lap 89 for major adjustments. Kelley called for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Ragan exited the pit stall in the 21st position.
Green-flag racing resumed on lap 93. During an 87-lap green-flag run, Ragan said his Ford Fusion was bouncing through the center of the track. Ragan was able to gain two spots and settle into the 19th position by lap 185. The third caution of the night flew on lap 186 after a wreck on the front-stretch. Ragan was called to the pit stall on lap 190 for adjustments. Kelley ordered four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Upon exiting the pit stall, Ragan collided with the No.13, damaging his Ford Fusion. Ragan came back down pit road the very next lap for minor repairs. Green-flag racing resumed on lap 193 with Ragan in the 26th position.
Ragan and the Discount Tire team battled through handling problems the remainder of the race and a flat tire on lap 212. The team continued to run as hard as possible and never gave up hope for a good finish. Ragan managed to bring home a 25th-place finish.
“It felt like we had a top-five car in practice and we just seemed to dial ourselves out,” said Ragan. “We had poor track position and back there beating and banging certainly doesn’t help the cause. In the Nationwide races, we can’t afford to pit three times to get our car handling properly. We’ve got to get it right from the get-go because you just lose too much ground. It’s kind of pitiful to run 20th all night. We should be able to come out and run in the top 10 every week. It’s just a disappointing night.”
The 25th-place finish leaves Ragan sixth in the Nationwide Series point standings. Ragan and the team will return to action Saturday, August 30 at Auto Club Speedway.
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.