First off, look no further than his record at the 2.66-mile superspeedway to see why the driver of the No. 18 PEDIGREE® Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is very much looking forward to Sunday’s 500-mile race. Much is made about racing luck at Talladega, but Ragan’s record there indicates there’s a little more to his solid finishes there than luck. In all, Ragan has four top-fives, and seven top-10s in 16 career starts there. But, the most memorable came in April of 2013, when he made it to victory lane with underdog team Front Row Motorsports.
On top of his solid track record and Talladega race win, Ragan will be celebrating a career milestone Sunday regardless of the outcome. He’ll be making his 300th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start. Of particular note: Busch, the regular driver of the No. 18 Toyota, went to victory lane the day of his 300th start in April 2013 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
Sunday’s race at Talladega will also be the first of two this season with Pedigree as primary sponsor of the No. 18 Toyota, the other coming in September at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Ragan, an avid animal lover and dog owner, would like nothing more than to bring the dogs riding along on the Pedigree Toyota back to victory lane at Talladega, a place he’s quite familiar with. The Talladega race will coincide with the launch of a new tastier and meatier PEDIGREE® Dry Dog Food recipe that delivers the variety that pet parents are looking for. The new recipe is loaded with whole grains and protein accented with vegetables, providing a nutritious and delicious difference that pet parents will see and their dogs will taste.
Despite his success at Talladega over the years, Ragan admits the winner of Sunday’s 500-mile race will not only need to have a strong car, but also have that racing luck on his side in order to survive the seemingly inevitable multicar accident on NASCAR’s longest track. That, in addition to his winning “Pedigree,” he might have just what the No. 18 PEDIGREE® Toyota needs to celebrate in victory lane late Sunday afternoon.