David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion, is in 13th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, just 10 points out of the top 12, heading into this weekend's race. Ragan appeared in the infield media center at Infineon Raceway...
David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 AAA Insurance Ford Fusion, is in 13th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings, just 10 points out of the top 12, heading into this weekend's race. Ragan appeared in the infield media center at Infineon Raceway prior to Friday's first practice.
"I think our season has gone as expected. We thought we had a shot to contend for the Chase; we wanted to be within striking distance, in the top 15, and we've been there. We've had some strong runs. We've had a few bad runs, and then we've learned from them, and we're going on to some good tracks here over the next months. So this weekend, this is a kind of a weekend just to survive and not lose any ground. There's a lot of great road-course racers here, and it's kind of tough to expect to qualify in the top 10 and contend. Certainly, anything can happen, but just a good, solid weekend, a top-15, top-10 finish would be great, just to maintain points position. The guys that we're racing with for that 12th spot are, I think, kind of on the same level at the road courses as we are, so we just got to maintain a focus, even though it's kind of a different weekend -- a lot of traveling back and forth between Milwaukee and Sonoma, Saturday and Sunday. It's still pays the same amount of points as all of the other ones, so just keep that in focus, and I think we'll be all right."
WITH THIS BEING A ROAD RACE, IS THIS A WEEKEND, FROM A POINTS STANDPOINT, WHEN YOU FEEL YOU NEED TO PLAY DEFENSE A LITTLE? "Defense is a good word. You can't afford to just throw any one or two particular races away when you're looking at just 10 points, a 25-point swing and that's two positions up or two positions back. You just can't afford to give up any of those. So, we've put a little bit of extra effort into going to Road Atlanta and testing, going to Virginia International Raceway and testing for this race. I came out here last week and drove a Southwest Tour car. So, just maintain, be on the defensive side. We know we can't have the attitude we're going to go in and be aggressive and try to pick up a of points, because we'll probably get ourselves in a lot of trouble. So, maintain this weekend is a big word -- top-15, stay on the race track all day and, like I said, the guys we're racing with will be right there with us."
IN YOUR MIND, WHO HAS MORE OF AN ADVANTAGE THIS WEEKEND: CUP REGULARS WHO DON'T RACE MUCH ON ROAD COURSES LIKE THIS ONE, OR ROAD RACERS WHO DON'T HAVE AS MUCH EXPERIENCE IN CUP CARS LIKE THESE? "I think, eventually, if I put enough effort into this road-racing deal I can have an advantage coming here. I think the guys like Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Robby Gordon -- they'll have the advantage at the road course because they're good racers and they're familiar with the way things are run in the NASCAR circuit, where you have Ron Fellows, Boris Said, Scott Pruett, some of those guys, are excellent road racers, but sometimes they lose the way we, you know, pitch strategy from taking care of the brakes and handling the car, versus me, certainly, they have the upper hand on me right now, but in years to come, if I can continue to develop my road-course skills and still am racing a stock care every weekend, I should have the advantage."
-credit: ford racing