Pole winner interview

Pole winner interview


Post-qualifying interview with David Ragan

David Ragan, Roush Fenway Racing Ford
David Ragan, Roush Fenway Racing Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

DAVID RAGAN – No. 6 UPS Ford (Qualified 1st)

TALK ABOUT YOUR RUN. “It was good. Our UPS Ford was fast when we unloaded and there is a little bit more to sitting on the pole and qualifying well nowadays with the new procedure and how they line everybody up. I think Drew did a nice job of figuring out when to make our qualifying lap in practice. We were able to knock out a fast lap in practice which gave us a good draw for tonight. It was a fast lap and the car stuck good and it gives us a good spot obviously on pit road and I think our car is pretty fast in race trim. It should be a fine Saturday night.”

YOU HAVE BEEN FAST IN PRACTICE BEFORE BUT TODAY YOU CONVERTED IT INTO THE POLE. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE TODAY? “First thing is that I wasn’t backwards coming off turn two like I was at Vegas, so that helped. When you are fast in practice, and we have qualified in the top five and top 10 two or three times this year, when you do that you eventually qualify on pole. If you finish second, fifth and eighth you eventually win a race. That is our main goal. Our cars are just faster. I think you could look across the board at all the Roush qualifying efforts and typically Matt and Greg are in a middle pack and so have we been the last year or two. I think we are all qualifying better because our cars are faster and easier to drive and we don’t have to reinvent the wheel on qualifying days.”

CLINT MENTIONED HE ISN’T A FAN OF THIS QUALIFYING STYLE, WHAT ABOUT YOU? “Probably at Phoenix when the schedule was funny and we had those two practices on Friday and then qualified on Saturday. Some guys were doing their mock runs in that first practice and then I thought that was weird but when Saturday rolled around we realized why. That is a neat thing that NASCAR did changing the schedule around. It gives us an opportunity for a little strategy work on Friday or Saturday and obviously yesterday it was a mad house in the No. 6 car garage because we planned on doing race runs that whole first practice and then we slowly started to see ourselves drop back. With 15 minutes left we were 25th on the sheet and we realized everyone was doing qualifying runs. So we changed over and were able to get a good lap and that is the reason we are on the pole today. If we would have went 10 cars from then I don’t think we could have got it.”

WHAT ARE YOUR EMOTIONS ABOUT THIS POLE? “Obviously to get my first pole here at Texas, it has been a long time coming. I feel like we have had several opportunities to get some pole’s and it is a great thing. I am really happy. I can’t wait to get back to the hauler and talk about our car for tomorrow night. When the green flag drops tomorrow night people will forget that we were on the pole. I will remember it and I will get to walk by and check out my gun but we have to get out front and lead some laps and get some solid finishes. I think our car is really good for tomorrow night and we have a good game plan for the race. I can’t wait to get back and talk about our race car for tomorrow.”

...to get my first pole here at Texas, it has been a long time coming...

David Ragan

HOW IMPORTANT IS IT THAT YOU STEP UP YOUR PERFORMANCE WITH THE STATUS OF UPS? “Very important. We feel like the last couple of years we have underperformed for our sponsors and fans and everyone really went to work at Roush Fenway and Ford in developing this new engine and getting new chassis components and race cars. I put a lot of pressure on myself and our team to run comparable races as our teammates and I think the three guys on our team with me are the three best drivers in the garage. They do a good job and that puts pressure on us to go run fast. It is good to have come out of the box with some good runs and good qualifying runs and good races. We have to continue to get better and concentrate week to week.”

WHAT DO YOU GUYS NEED TO DO TO GET THOSE GOOD FINISHES IN RACES? “Qualifying is part of the weekend just like practice is. Pit stops are part of the weekend. Being competitive on restarts is a part. We have to put all those parts together. You can’t win races if you qualify poorly every week. That is one of the first steps in getting better. You can’t win races unloading on Friday and be 30th off the truck. I think that we have taken those necessary steps to get better at unloading faster, practicing better and our pit crew is better than it was this time a year ago. All those steps are a process of becoming a great team like Carl has or like the 48 and 29 have. The final step in that equation is the hardest step and that is doing it 500 times consecutive around other cars and racing hard on Saturday or Sunday. That is a step. We know that qualifying is part of it and it gives us some confidence and motivation to keep doing better.”

-source: ford racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers David Ragan
Teams Roush Fenway Racing
Tags ford, ragan, sprint cup, texas