David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion held a media chat behind his hauler before Friday's first practice at Nashville Superspeedway. Ragan talked about his season, outlook on this weekend's stand-alone race and teammate Colin...
David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion held a media chat behind his hauler before Friday's first practice at Nashville Superspeedway. Ragan talked about his season, outlook on this weekend's stand-alone race and teammate Colin Braun.
WILL THIS WEEKEND BRING THE POINTS RACE CLOSER? "We think about that a little bit. Just five or six races in the '08 season, we're just thinking about top-fives and top-10s and we're still wanting to get that first win pretty soon. It's cool that a couple of guys in front of us aren't going to be here, but at the same time in the long run of things, we're not running against those guys. We're running against Carl [Edwards], Reutimann, Clint Bowyer, people like that. So that's who we're focused about. When Stewart, Harvick and Jeff Burton and some of those guys come down and run with us, its great for the sport and great competition to get out there and race some veterans that can get the job. It makes us a better race team. But at the end of the day, we always look at where those championship contenders finish."
HAVE YOU PULLED CARL ASIDE AND ASKED HIM WHAT THE SECRET IS TO WIN HERE? "He's just had good race cars and had good fortune. I think we've had good race cars equally as he has last year. We just haven't had the good luck. We got wrecked here in the spring and I think we finished sixth or seventh in the fall. I think the key today is just having a good race car and not so much getting worried about that first or second practice. The track changes so much here with the amount of rubber that gets laid down from the first few laps we'll take to the end of the race. We just have to stay focus on what we need to be focused on and that's the last 50 or 60 laps of the race. I'm sure we'll be talking some through practice."
HOW UNIQUE IS THIS TRACK? "Dover is the only thing that is relative in speed as Nashville, this concrete. But Nashville is like a Kentucky that's concrete. It's cool. It's something different. I don't know that it's anything really special. It's just another race track to us. Coming here to a concrete surface that's 160, 170 miles an hour is just something that you don't get to see fairly often."
ON THE WINNING THE GUITAR TROPHY. "If I won the race, I would probably play it a little bit just to say I've made a few notes or made a little bit of music or noise, probably. Just to win a race right now would be awesome. I didn't care if they give a trophy at all, I'd be happy. Yeah, Nashville is probably the best place if you're gonna get that win at to get the trophy to get the guitar to take home. We're in the position now we just want to win. If we had to pay them for the trophy, we would do that. This is a pretty cool place."
TALK ABOUT YOUR CAR. "This is a proven car. We've got some top-fives and top-10s with this race car and always, every year we try to do a few updates on the body and a few things that we've learned. We haven't run this car yet this year, only time will tell. It should be fast. I think all of our Discount Tire Fords that the guys prepared back in Charlotte, they're all pretty fast. It's just a matter of fine-tuning it at the race track. Yeah, I'm excited. There's no reason why we can't be a top five car here and contend for the win."
WHAT ARE YOU AND YOUR TEAM GOING FOR TODAY DURING THE TWO PRACTICE SESSIONS? "The track changes so much here at Nashville. Rubber gets laid down. The track gets tighter as the weekend goes on. We'll go out and just make sure our clearances are right, check some air pressure, make sure our cambers and stuff are right or we're wearing our tires or we don't have any tire issues. I think the biggest thing is the last 30 minutes of that second practice and getting the car dialed in. The weather looks like it's going to be great, so we'll finally get a chance to qualify. We haven't got to qualify too many times this year. Just kind of get back in the rhythm of things. Usually we've got a Cup practice and we've been on the track all morning so far, so it's kinda weird to just be sitting around all morning."
YOU'RE RACING AGAINST A NEW TEAMMATE HERE. TALK ABOUT RACING WITH COLIN BRAUN. "It's going to be a lot of seeing Colin making his first start. It is something that I can relate to just a year or two ago, I was kinda in his shoes doing that same thing he was doing. I got a chance to go up to VIR last week and test with him. He's an outstanding road racer. I can learn a few things from him on the road course. It's fun to be able to help him out a little bit. He's a good guy and I think Eddie [Pardue, crew chief] and the whole 16 team will probably have a lot of fun working with him. There's no reason why he can't run up there in the top 10 and be right there with us."
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO COLIN BRAUN SINCE IT IS HIS FIRST TRIP HERE? "Just don't worry about trying to be the fastest every lap and lead every lap and don't get disappointed so many times you come into this sport. You've been used to dominating the short tracks or the road courses, or whatever you've been running. Then you get here and you're running 10th, your like, 'man, I need to be up there first or second. This feels weird.' The biggest thing is to get out there make laps. This is a tough series. You've got a lot of great teams, a lot of great sponsors and great drivers that make it tough. Just don't get too crazy if you're not running up there in the top two or three your first few laps."
-credit: ford racing