Roush Fenway Racing press release
Ragan and Blickensderfer – What a Difference a Year Makes
CONCORD, N.C. (October 5, 2011) – Last weekend’s race at Dover International Speedway marked the one-year anniversary of David Ragan being paired up with crew chief Drew Blickensderfer. It was the Dover race one year ago that Jack Roush decided to move Blickensderfer from Carl Edwards’ Nationwide program and place him at the helm of the No. 6 UPS team. Ragan and Blickensderfer clicked well together and in the final nine races of 2010 were able to earn two of Ragan’s three top-10 finishes. With just seven races remaining in the 2011 season the two have already racked up one win, two pole positions, four top-five and eight top-10 finishes.
It’s hard to believe a year has gone by so fast, but I feel like we have accomplished a lot over the past year.
Ragan and Blickensderfer started the 2011 season by almost winning the Daytona 500, but a penalty on the final restart cost them the win. They rebounded back in the second trip to Daytona by winning the Coke Zero 400. The win put Ragan in a “wild card” position to make the field for the Chase, but they fell just short of making the Chase. Ragan needed to win Richmond to secure a spot in the Chasse, and he came close, but ultimately crossed the finish line fourth.
“Drew has been a great addition to our team,” said Ragan. “It’s hard to believe a year has gone by so fast, but I feel like we have accomplished a lot over the past year. We won our first race together, and came close to winning a few more. Our UPS team is much more competitive from where we were a year ago. Working with Drew has been great and our team has really come together. I feel good about what we can achieve in these final seven races.”
Under Blickensderfer’s guidance Ragan did not only earn his first Sprint Cup Series pole starting position, but has already had two poles. The first one came at Texas in the spring and the second came at the Brickyard as Ragan led the field to the green flag at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Ragan has increased his average starting position by over six spots and average finish by over three spots. Ragan and Blickesnderfer have their eyes fixed on finishing 13th in the point standings, as that is the highest they can finish without being in the Chase field. There are seven races remaining and many of them are strong tracks for Ragan and his UPS Ford.