By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
TALLADEGA, Alabama – Five years after pulling off the upset at Talladega for his last win in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, David Ragan found himself in the hunt once more, scoring a sixth-place finish when the checkered flag flew over Sunday’s GEICO 500.
“We had a fast car all weekend,” Ragan said. “We qualified 12th and if it wasn’t for my speeding penalty early I think we could have run in the top-15 all day. Kudos to the Front Row Motorsports guys for assembling this car and the team at the shop and the engine shop and even Roush Fenway Racing who put a lot of effort in. Special thanks to Jimmy Fennig for helping us on this car.”
When it comes to the restrictor plate tracks of Talladega and Daytona, underdog teams like Front Row Motorsports, which field’s Ragan’s car, are put on an even playing field with the major teams in the garage area and they have just as good a shot at coming away with a win as anyone else.
On Sunday, Ragan was on a mission to make that a reality, especially since Talladega ranks as one of his best tracks.
Starting the day in 12th place, Ragan first made his presence known at the end of the second stage, taking the green-checkered flag in sixth place.
Over the course of the second half of the race, he would keep his nose clean, avoiding the big 14-car pileup on lap 167, putting himself in position to make a charge over the closing laps. However, like many of the Fords he was running with, none of them could get a run going against leader Joey Logano and he would finish the race exactly where he had finished the second stage – sixth place.
While not technically a win, his sixth-place finish on Sunday is a victory for Ragan and Front Row Motorsports as it is his first top-10 of 2018 and marks his best finish since Daytona last July, where he finished, you guessed it…. sixth.
“I feel like our expectations are really high when we come here and even on some of the other tracks, I feel like we’ve really improved our program a lot at Front Row Motorsports to run in the top-15, run in the top-10 on some consistent basis.”