Ragan on Darlington
"I’m a huge fan of the throwback weekend. I think that was a great idea that they had several years ago. What better track to do it than Darlington. Darlington has a ton of history in our sport, dating all the way to the first Southern 500s. It’s still a tough, grueling race. You have to race the racetrack and have a lot of respect for that place. But, to be able to honor some of our sport’s heroes, some of the men and women who made our sport what it is today, I think it’s neat what we do at Darlington.
"We're honoring one of my early racing heroes, Dale Jarrett, with our CITGARD 700 Ford. I was just a little kid, but I remember watching D.J. win his first Cup race in that CITGO Ford Thunderbird. My dad was a fan of the Fords and of the Wood Brothers, so I followed his lead and became a fan, too. I'm really proud to drive this great-looking car as a tribute.
“The racing at Darlington is a little bit of a throwback. You just have to survive that race. At some of these other tracks, it’s almost a walk in the park to run 500 miles, and it’s really not a test on our equipment or engines and even the driver’s patience like it used to be. It was a big accomplishment 20 or 30 years ago to even finish a 500-mile race. But Darlington is very hard on equipment, it’s fast, it’s hard to handle mentally. Physically it’s tough because it’s hot. It is a tough weekend. So, if we could have any weekend that’s a throwback for a lot of different reasons, I think Darlington fits for all of them.”
Ragan Darlington Stats
11 starts, 1 top-5, 1 top-10, 2 top-15s
Best finish: 5th
Sunday, Sept. 2, 2:30pm - Ford Performance display (Darlington Raceway Fan Zone)