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« Bowyer, Martin, Reutimann and Kurt Busch have downgraded this off season | Main | Will the end of Rusty Wallace Racing also be the end of Steve Wallace’s NASCAR career? »

David Ragan getting frequently teased but never hired this off season

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 Edwards’ #99 Ford rather than the primary backer of Ragan’s ride, the writing was on the wall in regard to the driver’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 “mutually agreed” 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.

Allmendinger’s departure from Richard Petty Motorsports appeared to open the way for Ragan to assume the wheel of the #43 Ford. And with that team’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, Almirola’s former Nationwide Series ride in the #88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet looked like Ragan’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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Topics: Articles |

22 Responses to “David Ragan getting frequently teased but never hired this off season”

  1. Sue Rarick Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I’ve never met Ragan but from all the interviews on TV I think the problem is that he just appears to be fake. And no matter how much he smiles it comes across as though it’s an act.

    And for any sponsor a drivers Q score is probably the most important factor. And a big factor in a Qscore is believeability. FYI: Q score is a personalities perceived likeability.

  2. Sue Rarick Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 8:48 am

    My definition for Q score was kind of lame so here is a link that better defines it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q_Score

  3. zhills fan Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 11:12 am

    A good driver that deserves a good ride, just goes to show you that NASCAR now is sponsor driven, and that isn’t good.

  4. Skunk Ape Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Don’t forget Phoenix Racing. Ragan had a deal with James Finch to drive the 51 car unless “something better” came along. When it looked like Ragan was going to RPM or Penske Finch hired Kurt Busch.

  5. fuzzy Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    What a sad race team RPM has become !!

  6. Bill B Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Sue,
    I have the opposite view of Ragan. I think he’s a genuine nice guy.

    Trouble is, he hasn’t impressed me as a driver. The results just haven’t been there. Apparently, he hasn’t impressed too many owners either. I think Roush used this lack of sponsorship as an opportunity to get rid of Ragan without being the bad guy.

  7. Darren Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I’ve always thought that Ragan was an overrated and under-performing driver. That’s not to say he is without any skill but maybe Nationwide is more appropriate for him. It seems some owners or sponsors may share my opinion. Maybe a good year or two of real performance at the NW level will allow him to return to Cup and be successful.

  8. Brian Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    David Ragan is a super nice guy, but car owners and sponsors aren’t looking for that. They want winners, and David had several years of chances to prove he could do it, and he failed miserably. Another example is Colin Braun. He too was a super nice guy, and a Roush driver in good equipment, however, he like Ragan is short on talent. Now Colin is without a ride.
    I’ll admit I don’t know how some Sprint drivers even have a ride, because they never run up front or even have decent finishes. Look at Jeff Burton, Marcus Ambrose, Robby Gordon, Casey Mears, Joey Lagano, Martin Truex, and many more.
    Brian Vickers lacks the talent as well is why he too is on the sidelines. I was hoping he or Ragan would land the Petty ride, but Richard Petty is going to regret hiring Almirola. That will be one of the many blunder’s of 2012, and the cars haven’t even hit the track yet.
    Dale Earnhardt Jr is a good guy too. He has more car than he does talent, but his name is why he still has a job. He or Hendrick could care less if he ever won another race, because he brings in the bucks. The Jr Nation may as well face it because their driver is not much more than at best a 15th place driver. He’s just no good, but again, the name sells.

  9. Chris Fiegler Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Do you think that David Ragan will drive the #93 Chevrolet for Simtim Racing?

  10. Mr. Tony Geinzer Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Even though I like Cole Whitt and know him as a friend (TRUE STORY), but, it kills me if David Ragan is needled out of a good seat. I find if he where a Chaser, I would have at least offered to plead to GM JD to say he is worth 3 Million and Your Time.

  11. Russ Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Why do people continue to complain about the sport being sponsor driven? If it wasn’t for their millions would it be any better?

    I don’t think so either.

  12. Nascarxtm Says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    Brian, what a pompous fool you are. Dale Jr finished 7th in the chase, yet you think he is a 15th place driver and “no good”. And to top that you think his name is what sells. What sells, dear fellow, is the fact that more people go to the track and watch races on TV because of him than any other driver. And that’s because of the kind of man he is. Not because his name is Earnhardt. He has many fans in spite of the fact of who his father was.

    And you’re so wise, you second guess RPM’s decision to hire AA. Another opinion from left field. Of course people like you don’t need facts. I dare say management at RPM knows a little more that you about the drivers and what skills they have.

  13. Robby Says:
    January 6th, 2012 at 1:33 am

    Brian, if you don’t know why Jeff Burton has a ride then you must have been a NASCAR fan for like 2 years.

    Also, Robby Gordon has a ride because he owns the team. Pretty simple.

  14. Lydia Says:
    January 6th, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Hmmm..Junior is a 15th place driver..in 1st place equipment..which averaged out to his 7th place Chase finish! It’s fine..I don’t understand why people insist he HAS to be angreat driver just because of who his daddy was! It is what it is…and that’s what makes the world go round !

  15. midasmicah Says:
    January 6th, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Ragan will land somewhere. One of my concerns is there only seems to be about 28 to 30 full time rides in 2012. Looks like a lot more start and parkers are on the menu this year.

  16. Russ Says:
    January 6th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    This isn’t about the worlds greatest tee shirt saleman.
    Its that the number of full time quality teams continues to decline. Therefore drivers like Ragan wont be able to find rides equal to the ones that they lost.

  17. nascarisnotrealracing Says:
    January 6th, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Nascar Fans dumbest in sports, enough said. Nothing more than wwe on wheels.

  18. Brian Says:
    January 6th, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    By his opinions, Nascarxtm no doubt rode the short bus to school. You have my sympathies.
    Do some research and you will see that my remarks are right on target. The first race I attended was in the 70’s, when NASCAR ran at Hickory Speedway, and the winner’s check was $2,200. Most of the races then on short tracks Richard Petty won.
    He won because he had talent, a good car, and money to make the car go fast. Jr has some talent, but no where near the likes of an Edwards, or Kenseth, or any of the top names that charge when the green flag falls. Jr don’t charge. He rides around. Most of the time is spent crying on the radio to his crew chief about how bad the car is. He’s certainly not a top tier driver.
    As for Burton, he is in the same boat as Jr is. He simply rides around. There’s no charging in him. Compare his record to Harvick’s who has the same equipment. Burton simply has more car than he does talent. Same with Lagano, and many more on the track.
    And you will see about a third of the way through the season how big of a mistake it was to put Aric in the 43 car. He’s not ready for the big times.
    As far as Robby Gordon goes, yes he owns the team, however if he were a driver that cold attract sponsors. then he wouldn’t be a start and park team as he was most of 2011.
    Just like today Rusty Wallace shut his team down. Why? Simply because he could get no sponsorship for Steven Wallace and Michael Annett. Now look at their records, and see the number of wrecks Wallace caused and was involved in, and you will see that no sponsor wants to spend money on a kid that just can’t drive. His name is Wallace, but the name won’t get it done. If you have no raw talent to drive they can forget it, and Wallace and Annett have no talent to drive and win.

  19. Robert Rogers Says:
    January 8th, 2012 at 12:46 am

    I agree. Earnhardt Jr. isn’t nearly as good as his equipment. His name is the only reason he’s even in racing.
    He may sell Shirts, but he’ll never win a Championship.
    Jr. is just like Steve Wallace. Just because their Dad was good, doesn’t mean anything on the Track!

  20. BJ Says:
    January 9th, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I have been a david ragan right after Dale jarreet retired. I think ragan is an okay driver with bad luck. he is better than almorla and cole whitt. its hard to believe that he wont be in a competive car this season.

  21. @shawncole33 Says:
    January 11th, 2012 at 11:26 am

    David Ragan had his chance, he drove for RFR and didnt make much happen. He should go back to nationwide if he can get a ride and start from the ground up again.

    Cole Whitt, now theres a driver to watch for. He`s a charger.

  22. thats why Says:
    January 13th, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Regan was a whining snot nose baby in the gong show with roush back in the day and never changed…that why no
    ride.