David Ragan - Ford interview

This Week in Ford Racing David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion, is in 14th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings heading into this weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway. Ragan, who finished eighth at MIS ...

This Week in Ford Racing

David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion, is in 14th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings heading into this weekend's race at Michigan International Speedway. Ragan, who finished eighth at MIS in June, is just 89 points out of the 12th, and final, Chase position. Roush Fenway Racing has 10 all-time Cup wins at Michigan, second only to the Wood Brothers (11).

THIS WILL BE YOUR FOURTH CAREER START AT MICHIGAN, AND YOU'VE IMPROVED YOUR FINISHES (21st, 18th, 8th) EACH TIME. IS THAT A TRACK THAT GETS EASIER THE MORE YOU KNOW ABOUT IT? "I think so. Michigan is a track that you don't have a particular place on the track that you have to run to be fast, so I think the more you learn about how to relate how your car's handling to where you run on the race track is important. So, certainly the more times we've run up there, we have improved. You feel more comfortable, you know how to race your car, how it's handling, where you can be aggressive at, where you can't. So, certainly, that's a track that, again, I feel like we can improve on that some more. We'll bring a good car up there, and that should be a good track for us."

YOU - LIKE MANY OTHER DRIVERS - MENTIONED THE NUMBER OF GROOVES AT MICHIGAN. WHEN YOU RACE THERE, DO YOU PICK THE LINE, OR DO YOU GO WHERE THE CAR WANTS TO RUN? "You can ultimately run wherever you want to run, but the guys that are making the best times and are using their cars to the fullest, have that feel where your car is going to be fast or not. You know, not everyone is going to have the perfect race car, but if you can move around, if you can go searching for a little bit of grip somewhere on the race track, that's where you find speed. I think anybody can go out in qualifying and turn a fast lap, running right on the bottom and going fast. But once the race starts, and the groove widens, your car may still like to be on the bottom, it may like to run the middle or right by the wall. So, you have to learn, and you have to have that feeling, 'Well, the last time I was here my car was free, so I'm going to run where I did last time.' And, we just build on each race, and eventually you get to have a pretty good wealth of knowledge there in your brain, and you know what's going on."

WHY TO DRIVERS LIKE RACING AT MICHIGAN SO MUCH? "It's just exciting, and it's fun. Obviously, you look at Bristol and everybody says that's exciting and fun also, but this is a little bit different. There's just no one certain way to be fast there. You have to judge how your car's feeling and you just make the decision on where to run, and you just don't get that luxury at many tracks. Most tracks you have to be right on the bottom, at Darlington you have to right against the wall, there's only one place to go fast. But, at Michigan, the guy that's winning may be running the bottom, and the guy that's running second may be running the top. So, two different lines, and that just means that it's more forgiving and it's more fun."

IF BACK IN FEBRUARY AT THE DAYTONA 500 SOMEONE WOULD'VE TOLD YOU THAT YOU WOULD BE IN 14TH PLACE IN THE STANDINGS JUST FOUR RACES AHEAD OF THE CHASE, HOW WOULD YOU HAVE RECEIVED THAT NEWS? "I would've said, 'Well, I know we can do it, I know we've got the team to do it, I know we'll have the speed to do it, it's just a matter if we make the right calls and don't make any mistakes.' And so, we have. You know, I've made a few mistakes this year, a couple of calls on pit road, and we could be in 10th or 11th right now. But, I'm sure everybody can always go back and change what they have done in the past. But, yeah, we knew from the get-go that if we made the right decisions and didn't hurt ourselves that we would have the speed and have the team to be there. And that's why we're here today, and that's what we've got to stay focused on, trying not to make mistakes, trying to make good, wise decisions on pit road, and ultimately we'll have a good day and get a little closer to that Chase."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers David Ragan