David Ragan entering NASCAR’s Silly Season

As August approaches, it begins the time of year for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers, who are in limbo on their contracts for the next season, to either renew their contract, or look for a new contract with another team.  This can begin what NASCAR slang considers “NASCAR’s Silly Season”.  This time of year can impact all levels of drivers – rookies and veterans, good or bad.

One veteran driver who has gone through “NASCAR’s Silly Season” before and is in the same position this season is David Ragan.  Ragan a driver who excels on the track is in an unusual situation this year, which is why he is a part of “NASCAR’s Silly Season” in 2015.Photo Courtesy @DavidRagan

Before describing why Ragan is in the position he is as the season winds down, we should first discuss the impact Ragan has been able to have over his career.

Moving to NASCAR’s top series at the start of the 2007, Ragan raced the famed number 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion.  Although he finished second in the Rookie of the Year standings, Ragan scored three top-ten and two top-five finishes, including a top-five in the Daytona 500 that year.

2008 saw Ragan score a 13th place finish in the final point standings, scoring 14 top-ten and six top-five finishes.  In 2009, Ragan had a few troubles, as he finished 27th in the point standings, with only two top-ten finishes.  2010 saw a few more difficult races for Ragan, as he finished 24th in the final point standings with three top-five finishes.

2011 was a resurgence for Ragan, as he won the Sprint Showdown on May 21st at Charlotte Motor Speedway and backed up this win with a win at Daytona International Speedway on July 2, 2011 in the Coke Zero 400.  However, at the end of the season, UPS, Ragan’s primary sponsor, elected not to return to the team sponsorship, causing Roush Fenway to shut down Ragan’s team, leaving him without a ride – placing him in “NASCAR’s Silly Season”.

However, for the 2012 season, Ragan signed with Front Row Motorsports to drive the No. 34 Ford.  But, bad luck continued to hit Ragan throughout the year and he finished 28th in the final point standings.  The 2013 season saw initial bad fortune through the first nine races.  Luck turned however in May at Talladega Superspeedway, as Ragan won the Aaron’s 499, scoring the first win ever for Front Row Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.  Ragan rode the high of the win for the rest of the season scoring sixteen top-25 finishes.  2014 saw Ragan score his first non-restrictor plate top-ten finish with Front Row Motorsports at Martinsville Speedway in the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500.

2015 saw Ragan back in the car with Front Row Motorsports for the Daytona 500.  However, due to Kyle Busch’s injury in the Xfinity race and not being able to drive the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, Ragan was named the driver.  He took on this role until Talladega, when he was was named the driver to replace Brian Vickers, due to health issues for Vickers, in the No. 55 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing and would remain the driver for the rest of the 2015 season.

But, it was announced that Aaron’s, the primary sponsor on the No. 55, has yet to renew sponsorship for 2016.  Although both the team and fellow drivers on Michael Waltrip Racing would like Ragan to return to the No. 55 next season, there is the uncertainty until sponsorship is worked out, which essentially mean, Ragan has entered “NASCAR’s Silly Season”.


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