Nashville: Ragan - Ford Friday interview

David Ragan, who shares driving duties with Mark Martin behind the wheel of the No. 6 Ford F-150, has posted four consecutive top-10 finishes heading into this weekend's Craftsman Truck Series event at Nashville Superspeedway. The Roush Racing ...

David Ragan, who shares driving duties with Mark Martin behind the wheel of the No. 6 Ford F-150, has posted four consecutive top-10 finishes heading into this weekend's Craftsman Truck Series event at Nashville Superspeedway. The Roush Racing entry has been driven to victory lane three times this season, and is currently second in the owner point standings, 90 points out of the lead. Ragan spoke about the recent momentum his team has built and his outlook for the final 10 races of the season.

DAVID RAGAN-6-Scotts Ford F-150

YOU HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE MOST CONSISTENT DRIVERS THE PAST FEW RACES, POSTING FOUR CONSECUTIVE TOP-10 FINISHES. "It's really good when you get in a rhythm. That's something other people can relate to whether you're playing football, basketball or you're racing stock cars. When you get in a rhythm and your confidence gets up, that can be a very powerful thing. But, we're just coming to some good race tracks and I've got some good race trucks week in and week out, and we're just having a good time and everything is going as it should."

YOU HAVE BOUNCED BACK FROM ADVERSITY WHEN YOU WERE FORCED TO MISS TWO RACES - MANSFIELD AND DOVER - EARLY IN THE SEASON. "The beginning of the year, we had a few highlights and some low spots in just me overdriving and not being smart and really needing to calm down a little bit. From Mansfield on, I went about things a little different. Not necessarily a different attitude, but just thinking about things a little more and going about things a little different. Like I said, when you get in that rhythm and get to rolling, everything usually works a little better."

FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, WAS THE PUNISHMENT TOO HARSH? "Yeah it was harsh, but sometimes harsh is good. I know my dad has disciplined me before and I know some parents don't believe in disciplining their kids, and it may be a little harsh, but I think it speaks pretty loud and I think it does a good job. I guess it was something that had to be done. I wish I wasn't hard-headed enough where it would just take a simple talking-to, but I guess it took a major whooping from Jack."

SO YOU FEEL IT WAS A MAJOR WHOOPING? "Yeah, maybe Jack used to give his kids a whooping (joking). If my dad was a car owner he might do something drastic. It was tough at the time, but that's in the past and hopefully I won't have to go through that again. I know I got the message and have changed my approach as a result."

DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU'VE BECOME MORE CONSERVATIVE IN TERMS OF YOUR DRIVING STYLE AS A RESULT? "Sometimes being a little conservative will help you in the long run, but after the race, in the short term, I'm like, 'Man, I wish I wasn't so conservative that last restart.' You've got some of these guys going three wide flying by on a green-white-checkered finish, but usually nines times out of 10, you get the finish you deserve. And, that's the way Mark Martin has succeeded in his career, to be there and not necessarily be conservative, but you have to know when to race and when not to. I think that was my problem earlier. I was trying to race every lap of every practice wide open, and you really have to know at times not to push it so hard. We're on a pretty good roll and everybody's confidence level is up and we're just having a good time."

YOU ARE DOING A LOT OF DEVELOPMENT WORK FOR A TEAM THAT MARK MARTIN IS SCHEDULED TO RUN FULL-TIME WITH NEXT YEAR. DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU'RE MAKING THIS A BETTER TEAM FOR MARK NEXT YEAR? "I don't know about that, but I hope so. It's an awesome team, and I don't know if this team could be a whole lot better. It's probably one of the best team's in the garage, if not the best, and the combination when Mark gets in here, and Mike Beam, the experience that those two guys have, and the great trucks and engines is really a powerful team. I'm just glad to be a part of it now."

DO YOU TALK ABOUT THE OWNER'S CHAMPIONSHIP, AND IS THAT THE MINDSET OF THIS TEAM HEADING INTO THE FINAL 10 RACES OF THE SEASON? "The mindset is to run as fast as we can and win races, but in the back of our mind, it would be cool for everyone at Ford Racing and Roush Racing to come home with an owner's championship, especially with this being Scotts' first year on the truck. It would be very cool to have them be a part of a winning team like this. That's something we're all thinking about and talking about a little bit, and I think that if I can do my part to keep them in striking distance, Mark can take care of everything the last few races of the year."

DO YOU GLANCE AT THE OWNER POINT STANDINGS EVERY WEEK? "I think about it some. Over the last year or two I really haven't run a full schedule and competed for points, whether it was the ARCA Series or a few hit-or-miss truck races. That's a little different for me thinking about points week in and week out. I've always been just thinking about running good and winning, so you have to come into a race with a little bit of a conservative driving style in the back of your mind, but at the same time, if you drive conservatively in the truck series a lot, you'll find yourself back there about 15th or 20th while all of those guys are racing and having fun up front."

-credit: ford racing

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers David Ragan , Mark Martin