David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion, is 12th in the Sprint Cup Series point standings, marking the first time he has been in a chase-eligible position in his brief stock car career. Ragan held a Q&A session to talk about...
David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 AAA Ford Fusion, is 12th in the Sprint Cup Series point standings, marking the first time he has been in a chase-eligible position in his brief stock car career. Ragan held a Q&A session to talk about his improvement and his position in the standings.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT RACING HERE TOMORROW? "This is an excellent track for what we're doing tonight. It's got a lot of speed. The race track is aging very well to where we can run on the bottom and run on the top. It seems to have a lot of grip in the evening, so it's gonna be a lot of fun. I think these cars after the test last week resembled the old-style car just as much as any track we've been on this year, so they feel really comfortable and I feel like our AAA Ford has a lot of speed. We tested our 600 car, so this is a car we're running today that has not seen the race track yet, but for the most part, I feel like we've got a pretty good idea set up-wise and where we need to be tonight to qualify and, obviously, tomorrow to start the race. So it's gonna be a lot of fun. It's two 20-lap segments. It's a short race, but we'll be able to make some adjustments. This is what it's all about, to come out and try to be good when it counts. Our pit crew will be ready to help me out between the breaks and it should be a lot of fun."
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW YOUR APPROACH CHANGES IN THE ALL-STAR RACE COMPARED TO A POINTS RACE? "In most races you have four or five hundred, or next week 600 miles, to get the job done and you're thinking about the last 50 laps and last 100 miles of the race trying to make your car the best and basically just survive until that point. The All-Star race is something that you have to go out and drive hard every lap. You have to get the job done quick. From the drop of the green to the end of the race, you don't have 10 pit stops throughout the race to make your car better, so you'd better make good adjustments and your crew chief has got to make good adjustments on your car to be ready to go from the drop of the green. So from my point, I'll just make sure that we have a car that I can drive hard on sticker tires, full of fuel, early in a run try to get some good track position and just be out front."
LOOKING TO NEXT WEEK. THE 600 HAS HAD SOME FIRST-TIME WINNERS. DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT? "I don't really think about going to tracks that have produced first-time winners and things like that. Last year we had a race car to win the race in the 600 and were running in the top five and top 10 all day and we had a DNF, so I think that, first of all, we have to be around at the end to capitalize on having a good car and good track position toward the end of the race, but I really don't think about tracks and what the history has been at them. I just try to look at the future and see what we can do to make adjustments to be there and then, obviously, toward the end of the race, if we're close for the win, we'll do all we can to try to win the thing, but our number one goal now is to finish all the laps and post top 10s and top fives every week."
ONE OF YOUR TEAMMATES WAS UPSET LAST WEEK BECAUSE OF WHAT HAPPENED IN THE PITS. HOW DO YOU HANDLE SOMETHING LIKE THAT? "It's not my job to jump on the guys on the pit crew. That's a crew chief's job and Robbie Reiser's job and Jack Roush's job, so I'll let them handle that. They do a great job at what they do. Certainly I can give them some constructive criticism afterwards, but you've got to go about it the right way. They're trying as hard as they car every week to get the job done and sometimes you just make mistakes. Greg was obviously pretty hot when that happened and anybody would have been -- to have a car capable of winning like he had and to have it all go down the drain pretty quick is frustrating, but there's a right time and a right place to do that, and I wouldn't throw my team under the bus. Like I said, it's hard for me to try to punish those guys because I'm not their boss. I've got enough doing my job and trying to make sure I don't make mistakes. Jimmy Fennig does a great job doing what he does best and that's directing the team and calling the shots. I feel like I've got all the confidence in the world in Jimmy. If there are any problems, he'll make the correct changes and fix them. I don't have to worry about it."
-credit: ford racing