David Ragan Looks to Continue Restrictor Plate Success Roush Fenway's driver No. 6 leads all others in last 10 restricted races CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 27, 2010) -- Roush Fenway's David Ragan will look to continue his success at NASCAR's ...
David Ragan Looks to Continue Restrictor Plate Success
Roush Fenway's driver No. 6 leads all others in last 10 restricted races
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 27, 2010) -- Roush Fenway's David Ragan will look to continue his success at NASCAR's restrictor-plate tracks as the Sprint Cup Series rolls into Talladega Superspeedway this weekend. Over the course of the last 10 restrictor-plate races, the diver from Unadilla, Ga., has scored more points and collected more lead-lap finishes than any other driver in the Sprint Cup Series.
Furthermore, his average finish of 12th in those races is a full position ahead of the next best. During that span he has tallied three top fives (ties for most) and four top 10s (ties for second most).
Ragan admits he did not start out as a big fan of the restrictor-plate tracks, but after a top-five run in the Daytona 500 to kick off his rookie season he began to embrace the style.
"At first I was not a big fan of restrictor-plate racing and then we happened to have a good run at the Daytona 500 in 2007 and I started to enjoy it more," said Ragan. "I've been fortunate to have some pretty good cars and that has been a big part of it. The Roush Yates horsepower has been a big help and you have to have some luck at restrictor plate tracks as well. The combination of all of that has made me a fan of the restrictor plate races."
In seven career starts at Talladega, Ragan has scored a career-best three top-10 finishes and two top fives, while averaging a 13.3 average finish and leading a career-high 22 laps. He finished a Roush Fenway team-high sixth earlier this year at Talladega.
In addition, Ragan boasts the third highest driver rating at Talladega, trailing only Denny Hamlin and Dale Earnhardt Jr., and he earned his first career NASCAR win there in the Nationwide race last spring.
Ragan says thinking through every move on the track has been a key in his success.
"My first ever time down at Daytona was in the trucks and (former Roush Fenway driver) Mark (Martin) was driving in the race and he told me that sometimes the best move is no move at all," said Ragan. "I guess that being said, he meant to really think about what you are about to do and make sure that you have some help coming in order to pass some cars. I try to keep that in mind when I'm racing that style of racing."
Ragan also feels that the mindset a driver takes into the race can play a factor in how his day goes at a track like Talladega.
"I think that the first thing is that if you enjoy it, you tend to run a little better," said Ragan. "Some guys just seem to go down to Daytona or Talladega with the mindset that they are going to wreck or that they are not going to run well and I think that's half the battle. We always think that we have a good shot to run well and that has happened for us."
Ragan hopes that mindset can help him and the No. 6 UPS team reach victory lane this Sunday when the Sprint Cup circuit takes to Talladega for the season's fourth and final restrictor-plate event.