|David Ragan drives the No. 34 Ford in his|
first season for Front Row Motorsports.
Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR
David Ragan earned his best finish of 2012 in Sunday’s Sprint Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Driving the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports, Ragan finished seventh in the Aaron’s 499 and earned the USG Improving the Finish Award after improving 25 spots from a starting position of 32nd. The $5,000 award is given each race to the driver who improves the most from the start of the race to the finish.
Sunday’s top-10 finish was the first of the season for Ragan as well as for his Front Row Motorsports team, which also fields the No. 38 Ford driven by David Gilliland. In 11 career races at Talladega, Ragan has two top fives and four top 10s with a best finish of third.
Unlike teammate Gilliland who is now in his third full season with Front Row, Ragan is still adjusting to his new team and the differences that come with driving for a small team versus a large operation like his previous team Roush Fenway Racing. Ragan left Roush Fenway last year when sponsor UPS decided to cut back.
NewsOK.com spoke with Ragan in April about how he’s adjusting to his new team. “It has taken some adjustment, but I’ve enjoyed it,” said Ragan. “I find myself having a more personal relationship with each of the guys in the shop who work on and build our race cars. And I’ve found myself getting more involved with the team. Anytime you’re part of a big organization, whether it’s a racing team or a business, you tend to do your job and you don’t really venture off. With a smaller group, I find myself getting involved in more areas of the team than in years past. So I have a lot of fun with that.”
Since entering the Sprint Cup Series full time in 2007 Ragan has earned one win (2011 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona), two poles, 12 top fives and 31 top 10s through 192 races.
The series heads to Darlington May 12 for the Bojangles’ Southern 500. Ragan’s career-best finish at Darlington is fifth. Front Row Motorsports issued a press release May 2 announcing the acquisition of South Carolina-based McCall Farms as a primary sponsor for the upcoming Darlington race. Ragan’s No. 34 Ford will feature “The South’s Favorite Snack” – Peanut Patch Boiled Peanuts, a product of McCall Farms.
In addition to sponsorship rights for the Darlington race, the company will also receive associate rights for the remainder of the 2012 season. “I couldn’t think of a better fit for our race team,” Ragan said in the press release. “Growing up in the Southeast, I’ve been familiar with Peanut Patch and Margaret Holmes products my entire life. I think it is really neat that McCall Farms is a family-run business and I come from a family of racecar drivers.”