David Ragan is an American stock car racing driver who collected more than 530 participations in all three NASCAR national series since 2004, so we can rightfully say that he is one of the most experienced drivers in the current grid. He mostly competed in the Sprint Cup Series, gaining two victories (at Daytona in 2001 and Talladega in 2013). He also added two wins in the 2009 Nationwide Series.
First racing laps in the Bandolero Series
David Ragan was born on December 24th, 1985, in Unadilla, Georgia. His father Ken Ragan was also a racing driver, so it was natural for young David to start a racing career early, at the age of 12. He made his first racing laps in the Bandolero Series with miniature stock cars. At the age of 16, he moved to the Goody's Dash Series and then to the Legends Pro-Division.
Debut in the NASCAR Truck Series and Busch Series in 2004
In 2003, David debuted in the ARCA Series, driving a Ford at the Lake Erie Speedway. Next year, David continued to race in the ARCA Series but also debuted in the NASCAR Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series. In the 2004 Truck Series season, David was driving Fiddleback Racing's Ford in ten races, finishing best in 19th place at Kentucky Speedway. At the last round of the season, at Homestead-Miami, he debuted in the NASCAR Busch Series with Sadler Brothers' Ford, finishing 31st in his debut race.
Unfortunate crash for Ragan on his debut in the Nextel Cup
In 2005, Ragan's main activity was in the ARCA Series, where he drove a few different cars for Wayne Day and scored his first victory at Lanier Speedway. In the Truck Series, Ragan missed qualifying for two races while in the Busch Series he recorded three starts in Wayne Day's Chevrolet.
In 2006, the first full season in the Truck Series followed. Ragan participated in 19 races, driving Rousch Racing's Ford. Although he took pole positions two times, Ragan didn't score any wins. His best result was a fifth place at Kentucky, and David finished 24th in the points. It was his last season in the Truck Series.
Ragan debuted in the NASCAR Nextel Cup (now Sprint Cup) on September 24th, 2006, at Dover International Speedway, crashing Roush's #06 Ford after 46 laps. In October, he managed to finishe 25th at Martinsville.
Fifth place in the first Daytona 500 race
In 2007, Ragan left the Truck Series and completely switched to the Busch Series and Nextel Cup, driving a full season in both competitions in the #6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. He started the season with a sensational fifth place at Daytona 500, which remained his best ever result at the NASCAR's biggest race. Later in the season, David had just one top 5 result, finishing third at Richmond International Raceway, and he finished 23rd in the points.
His results were much better in the 2007 Busch Series. With nine top 10 results, including third place at Memphis Motorsports Park, he finished fifth in the final classification.
Career best results in the 2008 season
The next year, Ragan continued in the same rhythm, driving both in the renamed Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series. He scored his best ever Sprint Cup season result, finishing 13th in the points after 36 races. He was fourteen times among top 10 finishers, including two third places at Michigan and Talladega.
In the Nationwide Series, Ragan also scored a career-best finish, taking fourth place at the end of the season. He was a regular top 10 finisher, with 21 of 35 races among the best ten drivers. He was still missing the victories, and his best result was third place at Kansas Speedway.
Maiden NASACR victory at Talladega Superspeedway
The first victory for Ragan in NASCAR came on April 25th, 2009, at the Talladega Superspeedway. Ragan was leading for just one lap and he stole the victory ahead of Ryan Newman. In August, Ragan won one more time, at the Bristol Motor Speedway. He participated in the 2009 Nationwide Series with a part-time schedule, so despite his victories, he finished only 18th in the standings.
One more good result in the Sprint Cup Series
Ragan's full-time job was in the cockpit of the #6 Ford in the Sprint Cup Series. He had a good start of the season 2009 with sixth place at Daytona 500, but it remained his best result that year. With just one more top 10 result, seventh place at Auto Club Speedway, Ragan finished 27th in the final classification.
In 2010, Ragan skipped the activities in the Nationwide Series and focused only on the Sprint Cup Series. With just three top 10 results, including the sixth place at Talladega, Ragan finished 24th in the standings.
First NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at the 2011 Coke Zero 400
2011 was the last season with Roush Fenway Racing and it wasn't a very successful, if we look at the overall results. But it was special for David because he scored his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory. He won at Daytona's Coke Zero 400, after leading for 15 of 170 laps. With seven more top 10 results, including a second place at Charlotte Motor Speedway, David finished 23rd in the 2011 Sprint Cup points.
David joined Front Row Motorsports in 2012
In 2012, David opened a new chapter in his career when he joined the Front Row Motorsports to drive the #34 Ford. Talladega Superspeedway became Ragan's beloved track because in the next two seasons, he scored his best results there.
In 2012, Ragan finished seventh in the Aaron's 499 and fourth in the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500. Those were his only two top 10 finishes in 2012 and he took the 28th place in the final standings.
David earned maiden Sprint Cup win for Front Row Motorsports
In 2013, Ragan was again brilliant at the Aaron's 499 and he won the race. It was his second (and last so far) Sprint Cup victory and a first ever win for the Front Row Motorsports. The race took seven hours to complete because it was stopped for three hours due to bad weather. Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth battled for the win, but on the green-white-checker finish, Ragan claimed the lead and took the victory ahead of David Gilliland.
Later in the season, Ragan scored the sixth place in the Camping World RV Sales 500 race at Talladega, to finish again 28th in the final Sprint Cup standings.
The season of 2014 was the worst so far for Ragan because he finished 32nd in the points, with just one top 10 result. It was the tenth place at Martinsville Speedway.
Three teams and one Xfinity race in one season
In 2015, Ragan changed three teams during the season. He started with Front Row's #34 Ford at Daytona 500, finishing 17th, and then he switched to Joe Gibbs Racing's #18 Toyota, as a replacement for the injured Kyle Busch.
In nine races with JGR's Toyota, Ragan's best result was fifth place at the Martinsville's STP 500. He also participated in one Xfinity Series race with JGR Toyota, finishing seventh at Daytona's Subway Firecracker 250.
Kyle Busch's car was handed to the rookie Erik Jones in Kansas, so Ragan moved to the #55 Michael Waltrip Racing's Toyota. He raced with that car until the end of the season and his best result in 26 races was 12th place at Daytona's Coke Zero 400.
Changing teams for two years in a row
In 2016, David Ragan remained with Toyota but changed the team again. He joined BK Racing to drive the #23 Camry. After a disappointing results, he changed a team again for the 2017 Cup Series season, rejoining Front Row Motorsports to drive the #38 Ford. He managed to scored three top 10 results.
David Ragan is a strictly stock car driver, and during his career, he recorded just one participation outside of stock cars. It was in 2011 when he joined TPN Racing to drive the Ford Mustang GT in the sixth round of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series at Watkins Glen. They finished 11th in the GT class.