Ragan, interim driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), heads to Texas with some welcome momentum this weekend as he subs for the injured Kyle Busch for the sixth time. It also seems the chemistry between Ragan and crew chief Adam Stevens is developing nicely. And, what better place for a strong run than in the backyard of JGR’s founding sponsor Interstate Batteries?
Interstate Batteries and JGR enjoy a partnership that dates back more than 23 years to 1992, the team’s first full NASCAR season, and it’s an association that long ago evolved past the typical sponsor-race team connection. If asked, owner Joe Gibbs would refer to Norm Miller, Chairman of Interstate Batteries, as family. After finally reaching victory lane together in April of 2012 with Busch at the wheel, Miller and Interstate Batteries would like nothing more than to add a second hometown victory to their mantle.
Ragan and Stevens have had some strong practice and qualifying sessions already this season, and they were finally able to put together a full race at Martinsville. With the top-five finish there, they’re hoping the newfound momentum is the perfect ingredient for some Texas home cooking this weekend.
So as the Sprint Cup Series heads to the Lone Star State this weekend, Ragan hopes to keep fully charged with another solid run, this time in the backyard of hometown sponsor Interstate Batteries.