Ragan - Ford interview 2009-03-03

This Week in Ford Racing David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion, returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend looking to do what Kyle Busch did on Sunday in Las Vegas - win in front of his hometown fans. Ragan spoke about the best...

This Week in Ford Racing

David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion, returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend looking to do what Kyle Busch did on Sunday in Las Vegas - win in front of his hometown fans. Ragan spoke about the best and worst part about going back to Atlanta.

WHAT'S THE BEST PART ABOUT GOING HOME TO ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY? "Probably just knowing the best way in and out of traffic and knowing where to park at, and just the simple things that come on a race weekend. I've been there for probably 10 straight Cup races and even though I've only raced in a couple of them, just being at home and seeing the family. All of that is great, but just being comfortable with everything that's going on around the weekend and knowing a lot of people, and the racing should be fun as well at Atlanta."

WHAT'S THE WORST PART ABOUT GOING HOME TO ATLANTA MOTOR SPEEDWAY? "Trying to get everybody passes. I think that everyone thinks that Mike Helton gives me about 25 garage passes for Atlanta and it doesn't work that way, so we try to accommodate everybody when we can, but I'm just trying not to have too many Ragans on the NASCAR guest list."

SOME KIDS WHO GROW UP IN CHICAGO LOOK AT A PLACE LIKE WRIGLEY FIELD AND DREAM OF PLAYING THERE ONE DAY. WAS THAT THE WAY YOU FELT ABOUT AMS GROWING UP IN GEORGIA AND BEING A RACE CAR DRIVER? "Absolutely. I think every racer loves to dream about Daytona and Indy and places like that, but Atlanta is a track that I could relate to as a young kid. I never got a chance to go to a Daytona 500 as a kid or even to the Indy 500 or the Brickyard, so Atlanta was the closest thing to NASCAR that I had growing up, and going and seeing all the grandstands and all the race cars and trying to take pictures through the garage fence - stuff like that is what I can remember as a kid. It's always a lot of fun to go back and see what's changed over the years and certainly the things that are familiar to you."

AMS SEEMS TO BE UNDER THE GUN SOMEWHAT FROM A FAN PERSPECTIVE AND HOW MANY PEOPLE TURN OUT EACH YEAR. AS A LOCAL GUY WHO KNOWS THE AREA IS THAT AN UNFAIR CRITICISM? "I think everyone loves Atlanta Motor Speedway and I think if you look at the racing overall the last 10 years it's got to be one of the best race tracks on an average year after year. I know there are some tracks that may have a closer finish here or there, but on an average the racing in Atlanta does not get any better. I think everyone back home in South Georgia, they're faced with a tough challenge because there are just tons of things to do in Atlanta. You've got baseball. There's the National Hockey League. There's football. There's all kinds of shows and events, so Atlanta is just a happening city and it's a tough job on Atlanta Motor Speedway's part to try to go up against a lot of that other stuff happening in town, but I think we always hear that talk about ticket sales and the amount of people coming, but every race I remember, when they drop the green flag, there's a lot of people there. I think every one back home in Georgia, they're busy working and they can't go out and buy their tickets and do everything until the day of the race, so I think all the talk will quiet down a little bit when they open the gates on Sunday and all the working men and women back home have a chance to breathe and they get out of Sunday school and they can go watch a race."

-credit: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Mike Helton , David Ragan , Kyle Busch