David Ragan has a new ride in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, and that’s going to be a good thing.
In fact, at this point in his career, it’s exactly the right move for Ragan.
Ragan, a Unadilla native, had been with Roush Fenway Racing since joining NASCAR’s top series full time in 2007, and he claimed his first Sprint Cup win last summer.
Still, it was going to be hard for Ragan to become the lead driver at Roush, not with Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle entrenched with that team. No matter what Ragan accomplished, and he has become a terrific Sprint Cup driver, it was going to be difficult for him to leap those three and become the top driver in that group.
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That means a fresh start is probably the best thing for him, even if that means leaving one of NASCAR’s top teams.
“Front Row has made great progress in the last few years, and I look forward to helping them advance to the next level,” Ragan said in a release announcing his new deal. “I think the team appreciates what I can bring to the table, and I think it’s a good opportunity for both of us. I’ve also enjoyed a long relationship with Ford, and I’m glad that I’ll get to keep working with them.”
Ragan is right; it should be a good relationship all the way around.
Ragan had his best year in Sprint Cup in 2011. He won two poles and had eight top-10 finishes, including four in the top five. The year was highlighted by his victory in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, which certainly was a thrill for Ragan’s family and all Middle Georgia race fans.
With Front Row, which is entering its fourth full year in Sprint Cup, Ragan will partner with David Gilliland to form a talented duo as the team looks to move up the ranks in the series.
That is exactly what Ragan needs right now in his career. He has shown he can compete for good finishes and knows what it takes to win, and the next step is to join the Sprint Cup elite.
Could he have done that at Roush? With that team’s resources, he definitely could have continued to climb the Sprint Cup ladder. But with his new team, he can take on a larger role, a leadership role, and do really good things with Gilliland.
Instead of being overlooked with Roush, Ragan can be showcased and featured with his new team, and that will be a good thing as he continues to grow as a driver and make big steps forward in his career.
Contact Daniel Shirley at 744-4227 or email@example.com