By admin | January 4, 2012
By Richard Allen
Poor David Ragan is having what must be a miserable off season. After having his ride at Roush Fenway Racing essentially evaporate when that organization failed to land adequate sponsorship, the second generation driver has been near the top of the list to take over at least three different rides. Trouble is, he has only been near the top rather than at the top.
The Unadilla, Georgia native won his first Sprint Cup race in 2011 when he beat the field in the July event at Daytona International Speedway. Since then, Ragan has been on somewhat of a career roller coaster ride that has mostly been headed down. He eventually went on to miss the Chase for the Championship playoff and register a disappointing 23rd place finish in the final standings. He ended the season with four top-5s and eight top-10s to go along with that lone victory.
After sponsor UPS made it known that they wanted to become an associate sponsor on Carl Edwardsâ€™ #99 Ford rather than the primary backer of Raganâ€™s ride, the writing was on the wall in regard to the driverâ€™s future at RFR. Ragan has been allowed to seek other opportunities, which he has, only to be frustrated time and again.
When Kurt Busch â€œmutually agreedâ€ to separate from Penske Racing, some reported it as a mere formality that Ragan would be named as his replacement. However, A.J. Allmendinger landed the ride in what seemed to be an eleventh hour decision by Penske.
Allmendingerâ€™s departure from Richard Petty Motorsports appeared to open the way for Ragan to assume the wheel of the #43 Ford. And with that teamâ€™s ties to RFR, the move looked to be a near certainty. But again, another driver swooped in claimed the seat that Ragan seemed poised to take. Aric Almirola, along with Smithfield Farms as a sponsor, will take over the most famous car number in NASCAR history when he buckles into the RPM machine.
With the Sprint Cup opportunities dwindling, Almirolaâ€™s former Nationwide Series ride in the #88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet looked like Raganâ€™s destination. However, it now appears as though Cole Whitt will be named to drive that car instead. One more time, Ragan seems to have been the second choice when only first mattered.
To say that the off season has been a major tease and disappointment for David Ragan in terms of his racing career would be accurate. However, he did recently propose marriage to his girlfriend, Jacquelyn Butler, and she did say yes.
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