Ragan is the little engine that could.
David Ragan proved that sometimes you don’t have to be the biggest or most funded NASCAR team in the garage. Last weekend Ragan and team David Gilliland provided Front Row Motorsports their first victory and a 1-2 finish at Talladega Superspeedway.
Rain, darkness, and of course wrecks, all contributed to putting Ragan in a spot to get the victory on a last lap pass of Carl Edwards.
With eight laps to go, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. tried squeezing to the outside of J.J. Yeley, a move that would collect 11 cars, including Kurt Busch, whose car went airborne landing on the hood of Ryan Newman. Also involved were contenders Clint Bowyer, Danica Patrick, and Jeff Gordon. Matt Kenseth had just taken over the lead from Jimmie Johnson as the caution flew. Kenseth had been the premier car all day long again, leading 142 of the 192 laps.
NASCAR made the call to only allow one green/white/checkered restart due to the impending darkness, as the race passed its 7 hour mark since the green flag. A 3:36 minute rain delay left the final 63 laps in question for a good part of the day.
On the restart, Ragan and Gilliland would start 10th and 11th. By the time the white flag flew, the teammates were locked together and making a run to the front. Going into turn two, they started their move. Carl Edwards looked like he might win the race, but was trying to block and keep everyone behind him, when Ragan slipped by him and sped away to his second career Sprint Cup Win, the other, also coming on a restrictor plate track in 2011 in Daytona.
Front Row Motorsports Team owner Bob Jenkins has 406 starts, with just two previous top 5 finishes. Last Sunday, he added two more and his first win.