David Ragan’s 400th start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series couldn’t come at a better place. The Unadilla, Ga., native will celebrate the career milestone on Feb. 25 at his home track of Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Some special friends are joining in the celebration, including the Georgia General Assembly. Ragan and track president Ed Clark will attend a ceremony on Thursday morning at the Capitol in Atlanta, where the legislature will issue a proclamation honoring Ragan’s achievement.
Some long-time fans will also be in Atlanta to mark the milestone. Ragan recently reread some fan mail he’d saved from 2006, his rookie year. He decided to contact some of those fans and invite them to the Atlanta race to help him celebrate his 12-year career. The result of his efforts: Two fans from the Atlanta area and two fans from Missouri will be Ragan’s VIP guests at Sunday’s Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500, where Ragan will drive the No. 38 Fr8Auctions Ford. The 32-year-old driver is picking up the fans’ travel tabs.
“Atlanta Motor Speedway is special to me because I grew up at that track,” Ragan said. “I raced my Legends car there as a kid in the 90s and early 2000s. My dad still works there and has an office there. It’s just always has been a second home to me.
“So, we couldn’t have scripted it better to have my 400th start be in Atlanta,” Ragan continued. “Ed Clark is taking us down to the Capitol for a special ceremony on Thursday, and we’ll have all kinds of family, friends and fans at the track all weekend. Pulling out those old fan letters and contacting those people to invite them to come was cool. They were pretty surprised but jumped at the opportunity.”
Local partner Fr8Auctions will also get into the celebration, marking Ragan’s milestone with a commemorative logo on the decklid of the No. 38 Ford. The Atlanta-based auction house that sells excess freight inventory is partnering with Front Row Motorsports for a fourth straight year.
“Atlanta Motor Speedway is our home track, too, so naturally we wanted to help mark David’s 400th career start,” said Fr8Auctions founder Marcus Barela. “We’ve been lucky to work with David for a few years now and couldn’t ask for a better driver to represent us on track and off.”
The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 airs Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on FOX.