Speed will be a key element to success in the Toyota Owners 400 for Ragan and crew chief Adam Stevens. It shouldn’t be a problem under the leadership of Stevens, who has an impressive record at Richmond. Stevens owns two wins, six top-five finishes and six top-10 finishes at “America’s Premier Short Track” in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. The last time he called a winning race at the track was in September 2014. Not only did he lead the team to victory, he also swept the weekend by earning his first pole award at the track. Stevens is now looking for the same “M-azing” results Saturday night in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series with his eye on the sweet taste of a top starting spot on M&M’s® Crispy Pole Day and a victory in Saturday night’s 400-lap race.
Lately, Ragan has found his groove with JGR and has excelled at the short-track events. He recorded his best finish and only top-five when he finished fifth at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in March and qualified 11th at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedwa, where he was on track for a solid finish before a midrace accident not of his doing derailed his strong run.
He is currently 18th in the point standings, 117 out of first but only four points out of 16th and looking to close that gap even further. Ragan knows the equation for good racing at Richmond and is looking to apply that to his efforts this weekend. He has a 99.5 percent laps-completed record at the .75-mile short track, giving him confidence heading into the race weekend.
It’s said that “Virginia is for Lovers” but, this weekend, as the Sprint Cup Series heads to Richmond, Ragan, Stevens and the No. 18 team would love nothing more than to indulge in the rich, creamy milk chocolate taste of victory at Richmond with the M&M’S® Crispy pole award in hand and another solid run Saturday night.