“There’s a lot of racing left in this season, whether you are in the Chase or not,” said Ragan. “A majority of the field isn't in the Chase, but we’ll be racing just as hard as those guys are. A victory or two can elevate our seasons.”
Ragan said that doesn’t mean he and the other drivers will be reckless.
“Obviously, we will be respectful of those guys racing for the title. The last thing you want is to get into an accident with a Chase driver. But, they will need to remember the rest of us have a lot on the line and we’ll drive just as hard as we did Saturday night in Richmond. I owe it to myself, my crew, my sponsor Aaron’s, NASCAR fans and to the sport to race as hard as I can.”
Ragan said he’ll focus on his car, but obviously hopes Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Clint Bowyer advances in the Chase. Saturday night Bowyer credited Ragan’s April arrival at MWR as one of the reasons for the No. 15’s improvement throughout the season.
Ragan said working with Bowyer will continue during the Chase.
“Clint and I have a really good relationship and we meet pretty much after every practice and compare notes about what is working or not working on our car setups. Our crew guys and engineers are always talking as well.”
Ragan’s crew chief Brian Pattie as well as several crewmembers worked on Bowyer’s No. 15 car until switching to the No. 55 in June.
“I kind of look at it like our teams share in each other’s success. The folks at Michael Waltrip Racing should celebrate Clint’s berth in the Chase whether they work on the No. 15, No. 55 or back at the race shop.
“The best way we can help Clint is to run as well as we can and finish ahead of those 15 drivers that he’s racing in the Chase.”