Short Day For David Ragan At MIS Brooklyn, Michigan - - David Ragan had high hopes entering Saturday's Line-X Truck Bedliners 200 at Michigan International Speedway. Last month, Ragan rocketed to the front of the pack...
Short Day For David Ragan At MIS
Brooklyn, Michigan - - David Ragan had high hopes entering Saturday's Line-X Truck Bedliners 200 at Michigan International Speedway. Last month, Ragan rocketed to the front of the pack in the ARCA RE/MAX Series event but engine failure nearing the end of the event doomed his hopes for a victory. He hoped that wasn't going to happen again.
The teams endured in a practice session Friday afternoon with Ragan posting the 29th fastest lap time, commenting to his crew that his No. 67 Ford F-150 was tight. The team opted to make changes to the truck prior to qualifying with a goal of sitting near the front of the field.
As qualifying was just getting underway, Mother Nature invaded the Irish-Hills based track, washing out qualifying for the event for the fourth time this season, and the third in the last four events. David, an avid late model competitor was placed 24th on the starting grid based on his FBR Racing owners points.
With qualifying set, Ragan turned his thoughts to Happy Hour. Hoping the rain would lift, the track would dry and allow the team another stab at the two-mile oval. "I really would like Happy Hour, I would like to see how our truck is going to handle under race conditions, and I could use the seat time," explained the North Carolina native.
Indeed, the team improved considerably from the afternoon practice being credited with the 24th fastest lap time in only ten tries around MIS. Mother Nature returned 0x7879 into the session, washing out the remainder of the final practice session. "We're better, I think we'll be okay in the race, " stated a confident Ragan.
Under bright sunny skies, 34 of the best NASCAR Craftsman Trucks Series drivers took to the green flag. Quickly, Ragan found the high line and began his march towards the front. By lap three the Palm Beach Grading, Inc. Ford F-150 had climbed into the 17th position. A strong field with heavy drafting put Ragan in the midst of the pack hovering the red and black truck inside the top-20.
Remaining quiet on the radio throughout the first twenty circuits, Ragan radioed to crew chief Gary Showalter that the inside of his automobile began very hot, while also fighting a tight condition on the exits. Showalter radioed his Fiddle Back crew to take wedge out, while bolting on four tires, and Sunoco Racing fuel under the first caution approaching lap 23.
David returned to the track locking the 20th positions with nearly sixty-five markers remaining. On the restart, he fought hard with the No. 50 Ford F-150 with pilot Jon Wood winning the battle in turn one.
A quick caution appeared on the track, placing David 21st.
Thus following the caution, and in the footsteps of Wood, Ragan began his quiet mode where he feel into a single file position, trying to draft back to the No. 50 and holding off the No. 8 Dodge of Chase Montgomery.
A hefty battle on lap 35 proved to be exciting for the fans, but disastrous for FBR. While racing hard with Jon Wood, J.J. Yeley, and Chase Montgomery, Wood's No. 50 broke loose which shot the truck into the rear of Ragan's truck sending him hard into the wall. He was able to drive the trucks back to the pits, but he had sustained major damage on both sides of his machine.
The crew quickly tried repairing the truck, loosing two laps in the process on pit road. However, after sending the young-gun back on the track, the rookie could barley hang on to his machine. He returned to pit road on the next lap, while making the hard dreaded left hand turn into the garage and done for the day.
Upon further review of the truck, the team noticed a bent lower control arm on the right front among the battered sheet metal. David Ragan would be credited with a disappointing 31st place finish.
"I really hate what happened to us today," said the dejected driver climbing from his truck. "We had a solid truck, but when Jon got into us, it forced us hard into the wall." The second generation driver added "I hate it for this team, and our sponsors, everyone has worked so hard this weekend, it was just one of them racin deals, we'll get them at IRP."
The series will take a breathe from competing at one of the fastest tracks on the circuit and head to the bull ring of Indianapolis Raceway Park. The Power Stoke Diesel 200 is set for next Saturday, August 6th with live coverage on the Speed channel.