Ragan posts best qualifying effort since 2011
Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images
David Ragan stands by the No.18 Toyota Camry at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Ragan will start on the outside of row two Sunday.
Joe Gibbs Racing interim driver David Ragan’s fourth place starting spot for Sunday’s Auto Club 400 will be his best starting position since November 2011.
Ragan, who laid down the fourth fastest time in each of Friday’s three rounds of qualifying, said he has been retold about the No. 18 car’s history at the speedway.
reminded me often that the 18 car has won both races in the previous two years,
but that generally gives you some confidence coming into the weekend,” Ragan
said Friday in the media center. “I spoke to Kyle [Busch]… he gave me a few
things to think about.”
Ragan will start alongside teammate Matt Kenseth.
Sunday will mark Ragan’s fourth race with Joe Gibbs Racing. While Ragan has learned team member’s names and communicates with his three teammates, the driver commented about his finishing positions.
“I’ve been a little disappointed with just our overall results on Sundays,” he said. “We’ve had moments of brilliance through the weekends, but we really haven’t been able to put an entire weekend together, so it’s encouraging to get back to the race track and again have some speed.”
David Ragan stands in the garage area at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Ragan, who will return to Front Row Motorsports later this season, described what it’s like to be running with a team with larger resources.
“You definitely have to elevate and not make any mistakes,” he said. “There’s some really, really good drivers, really good crew chiefs and the engineers that are out there and then they make you a better driver.
“Just in the last few weeks, the tools that have been at my fingertips and some of the information just to help me drive and be a smarter driver, it’s been unbelievable and so it’s something that’s definitely given me a shot in the arm to keep digging and keep working hard being a young guy.
Note: Ragan’s qualifying effort in November 2011 was an outside pole start at Texas Motor Speedway.