By Ford Racing
Ragan Gets First Cup Victory
David Ragan won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race with today’s win.
Today’s win is the fifth of the season for Ford Racing, which is one more than all of last season.
Ragan is the eighth different driver to win for owner Jack Roush in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
In addition, he becomes the 76th different driver to win for Ford Racing.
The win is the 124th all-time NSCS win for Roush Fenway Racing.
TREVOR BAYNE – No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion
“At the beginning of the race we didn’t really have a plan of who we were gonna work with. The other Ford cars had teammates already and we were gonna work on whoever we found and we worked with the 33 car at first and we were really fast. We only got a couple laps to prove that, but he dropped off to find the 31, which we knew he was gonna do, and as I was kind of falling through the field, we found the 2 car. I wanted to be a pusher because I know that these things can happen. He got to us and was pushing us down the frontstretch. I was still kind of lifting a little bit, letting him get to my bumper, and then I got back to the gas wide-open. I don’t know if I turned down more getting in or if he kind of came up across our bumper, but, either way, our bumpers caught wrong and it sent us spinning. You know that can happen here. It happens all the time, but it’s tough that it was our car. I hate tearing up a good race car and they duplicated what we had here in February, which is hard to do, so I’m thankful for the Wood Brothers standing behind me through everything I’ve been through this year, and for Ford and Quick Lane and Motorcraft and Ford Parts.com and everybody that’s been around all year long for everything. It’s good to have people like that around.”
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE WHEN IT GOES AWAY? “It’s not fun, I can promise you. It takes about a half-second and you say, ‘Oh, here it goes,’ because you get sideways and you know the point of correction. You know at what point you can still correct and then you know when it’s too far. I watched a little bit of it and it looked like I slowed down and I was kind of sliding sideways, and then when it finally slowed down enough it just hooked and went right. That happens when you’re at these high-speed places, so, like I said, I just hate that it was us. It’s gonna happen again tonight, I’m sure, but it’s just really unfortunate for us. I wanted to back-up what we did here in February, obviously, but we aren’t gonna get the chance to do that.”
WHAT’S THE RANGE OF EMOTION LIKE? “I can’t explain what I’ve been through this year. It’s tough at times and it’s good at times, but I just know that I’ve got really good people behind me and that’s why I say that about Ford and everybody at the Wood Brothers and Roush Fenway on the Nationwide side. I’ve got great people behind me, so that gives me confidence. If I didn’t have that and I didn’t have my faith and everything else, right now that would be a pretty bad blow I can promise you that.”
WERE YOU WORRIED ABOUT NOT HAVING A PARTNER COMING IN? “This time was different because last time we didn’t know how extreme this would be, so they didn’t work it out before they got here. They didn’t have their teams all set up. This time, they already had that planned before they got here, so you don’t even have a chance if you have a single-car team. You just have to wait on another guy to crash out and pick him up, but I was just planning on riding at the beginning. There’s no reason we should have already been out of this race with the mindset that we had. We were just gonna ride it out and keep the car in one piece until the end.”
DID YOU HAVE A CAR THAT COULD WIN? “Well, it was fast there at the beginning. The four Hendrick cars had to team up on us to get by me and Clint Bowyer, so I knew we had a good race car and it qualified really well. If it was gonna be a winner, we’ll never know, but I think it could have been for sure.”
DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion – VICTORY LANE INTERVIEW
“This is fun. There’s not a better place to do it than Daytona. First of all, I’ve got to thank the Lord for looking after me. Sprint. We delivered a win for UPS. I’ve been promising all those UPSers for a couple of years and finally got it in Daytona. It couldn’t be any better. It’s a great points night. Coke Zero 400. It couldn’t be a better night. I have to thank Matt Kenseth, my Ford teammate worked well together.”
HOW DOES IT FEEL AFTER WHAT HAPPENED IN THE 500. “Everybody kept talking about it and I just tried to take the positive from it and move on. I can’t thank my spotter and my crew chief and my team enough. They really humbled me and kept me focused. Matt pushed me to the finish line. The Roush Yates horsepower was great. Doug and Robert Yates back at the house, thanks for all the help. I thank the fans and Sprint. There’s not a better night to win. This is awesome.”
SO MANY GENERATIONS OF RAGAN’S HELPED YOU TO GET HERE. “I’m just proud. Everybody back home in Unadilla, Georgia – maybe the streets are rocking and rolling tonight. I’ve got my mom and dad here, my older brother, Adam. It’s a lot of fun times here to celebrate this July Fourth Weekend. Thanks to all the veterans back home and it’ll be a fun night.”
WHAT HAVE YOU PROVED TONIGHT? SOME THOUGHT YOU WEREN’T READY FOR CUP? “I wasn’t ready a few years ago, but Jack Roush gave me a chance and this is all we needed. We’ve been so close so many times and finally we’re here. I can’t thank UPS enough for standing behind us. We’re here and we’ll enjoy it. We’ll enjoy it Monday and Tuesday and then we’ll go back to work for Kentucky next week.”
MATT KENSETH – No. 17 Affliction Clothing Ford Fusion
“It was a great win for the company, a great win for Roush Fenway Racing. I want to thank Affliction for being on the car these last few races and Crown Royal for all their support as well. Our Ford Fusions were really fast today. David did a great job. We switched back and forth a lot. We had a plan made out yesterday and stuck to it and it worked out today. We had real fast cars.”
HOW WAS THE RACING? “Since I wrecked in the first two I kind of expected to wreck, so I was glad I didn’t do that and glad we had a shot at the end. If it would have gone green, we made some moves and I was on the other end of David and he was pushing me. We got up to the lead and lost it right before that last green-white-checker, but I’m glad everything lined up. I’m really happy for David and that group. It was a cool race.”
GREG BIFFLE – No. 16 3M Ford Fusion
“I’m really excited for David. We had great cars tonight. The guys at the shop and at the engine shop – everybody has worked really, really hard and how well we ran tonight just shows that. Carl and I just got caught up racing too hard too early. He was loose off of four and he darted to the top. He moved so fast and I tried to follow him and his car was loose and spun out. It’s unfortunate, and then we had some other trouble, but it was a good night for our company.”
CARL EDWARDS – No. 99 Aflac Ford Fusion
“We don’t ever give up and that’s the thing. I told my guys to keep their heads up. We’ll take this bad day and keep our pride. This is part of it. We knew coming here we could come out losing a bunch of points and we lost about as many as we could, but that’s OK. We’re still right there. Hopefully, we’ll be leading it after next week.”
IN THE BIG PICTURE DOES IT MEAN MUCH AND WHAT IS THE FOCUS FOR KENTUCKY? “In the big picture it doesn’t mean much, but there is a lot of pride in leading those points, so we’ll try to get that points lead back. But, in the end, this is one of those things that could actually be good, it could be something that pays off for us. That’s a pretty big lesson right there. I kind of strayed from my normal m.o. at these places and was being pretty aggressive at the beginning and it bit me, so we’ll go to Talladega in the fall and we’ll have a better plan.”
WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR CAR? “It was just the timing of everything. I was being aggressive and kind of having a little bit of fun, but that’s what we decided we were gonna try to do. We were gonna go out there and race a little harder this time. We had the points lead and not a lot to lose, so it’s no big deal. It is what it is. If you take the last five restrictor plate races and average them out, we’ve done really well. We just have to make sure we do well in the chase.”
THOUGHTS ON DAVID WINNING. “That’s cool. That’s huge for David. I’m very happy for him.”
AJ ALLMENDINGER – No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion – YOU WERE 31ST ON THE FIRST GWC RESTART AND FINISHED 10TH. HOW? “A lot of guys wrecked (laughing). I don’t know. I felt like Marcos and I were worked good and we were trying to be smart and bide our time, but then it all fell apart. We lost the draft a little bit and then we got caught behind the 7 and 35 and by the time we got hooked back up everybody was gone. We’re not sure if we have a fuel pump issue, but we ran out of fuel when we weren’t supposed to, so the pit stop took even longer. After that it was just survival. I felt kind of bad because Marcos and I were racing for the lucky dog, but I was happy that the yellow came out twice so we both got our laps back. After that, it was just trying to miss the wreck. We didn’t quite miss it but I stayed wide open when it happened and kind of bulled my way through there and finished 10th.”
DAVID GILLILAND – No. 34 Taco Bell Ford Fusion
“Our guys did a great job this weekend. We worked with Tony (Stewart) all night, just like we planned, and we were fast. After running up front for a bit, we dropped back out of the lead pack because we knew we were fast and thought it'd be safer toward the back for a while. But then Tony got clipped in one of those wrecks toward the end, and we restarted that last green-white-checkered by ourselves. We were hoping for better than 15th, but I guess we could've been in the middle of the last big wreck. I really don't know how I made it through."
TRAVIS KVAPIL – No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford Fusion
“We had a pretty good race car. Just probably not as fast as I thought we were going to be. I hooked up with Nemechek all night and got to the front pretty good. Pit stops held us up a little and we got back on track position. But, just got caught up in a wreck. One of those green-white-checkered deals where you're just in the wrong spot. The guys right behind me made it through, and the guys in front of me made it through, but I just got clipped. I had a pretty good car. Just wish we could bring one of these home."