MONTREAL, Can. (August 2, 2008) – David Ragan and the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion team survived the first NASCAR points race run in the rain at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Saturday afternoon. Ragan was able to make it to Montreal Saturday morning for qualifying, after traveling from Pocono; sight of the Cup series race this weekend. The Discount Tire team struggled early but stayed out of trouble as the rain hailed down and track conditions worsened throughout the day. When all was said and done NASCAR called the race 25 laps short of its scheduled distance of 74 laps. Ragan brought home a respectable 13th-place finish.
The race began under a dark sky at Montreal. Ragan and the Discount Tire team started in the 30th position and were optimistic about their chances at the vaunted road course. Crew chief Mike Kelley preached the importance of staying on the course and being patient. Ragan made his move quickly, gaining three positions by lap four. The first caution flew on lap six for rain. NASCAR ordered all crews to change to rain tires and setup for running in inclement weather. Each team was given three minutes to complete adjustments. The race was then red-flagged to asses track conditions. Ragan restarted the race on lap 13 in the 26th position.
Ragan ran in the 26th position until the caution flew again on lap 20. Ragan was ordered to the pit stall on the same lap for fuel only. Green-flag racing resumed on lap 23. As the skies darkened many drivers were having problems seeing the tight turns ahead. Ragan stayed patient and communicated with the multiple spotters required for a road course race. He gained eight positions over the next 13 laps. By lap 38 Ragan was in the 14th position.
NASCAR called a halt to the proceedings on lap 49 after cars started wrecking under caution. Ragan was able to bring his Discount Tire Ford Fusion home with a 13th-place finish.
“It was interesting,” said Ragan. “Certainly, I don’t have road course racing figured out on dry tracks, much less wet tracks. It was a learning experience. We weren’t fast by any means, but we were pretty smart, conservative on the pit stops and everything else. We just did the best we could with what we had to work with. It was a learning experience. NASCAR did what they had to do to get this race in. I credit them for trying.”
The 13th-place finish leaves Ragan fifth in the Nationwide Series point standings. Ragan and the team will return to action next Saturday, August 9 at Watkins Glen International.
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.