Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sports

May 17, 2013

David Ragan revisited

NASCAR's May 5, 2013 Talladega winner was WNY visitor in 2007

LOCKPORT —

What could Sunday’s Talladega winner David Ragan possibly have to do with Lockport and Western New York? 
One of NASCAR’s longest days produced one of its unlikeliest winners in Ragan, 27, a journeyman from Unadilla, Ga., who has toiled in Sprint Cup Series obscurity for seven seasons. Ragan burst into victory lane Sunday by snookering Carl Edwards with a last-lap pass to win the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
“This is a true David versus Goliath moment here,” said Ragan, whose No. 34 Ford earned the first victory for Front Row Motorsports, one of the most underfunded teams in NASCAR’s premier series.
It was Ragan’s second career Sprint Cup win, and both came at restrictor-plate tracks. Ragan also won the July 2011 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.
Six years ago, almost to the day, the then 21-year-old NASCAR rookie driver Ragan was a visitor to Williamsville to help promote AAA of Western and Central New York’s “Driver Safety Program.” About 100 local driver education students, AAA representatives and media members were on hand for one-on-one interviews and photo opportunities.
Among those were Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Sports Editor John D’Onofrio, along with US&J weekly racing columnist Tom “Fuji” Fawber of Lockport. At the time, Ragan was driving the No. 6 Roush-owned Ford.
“David seemed like a pretty down to earth guy and we had quite a conversation,” Fawber said in his column that week. “I think David and his team are headed in the right direction. He might be young, but he takes a lot of time outside of racing to help teach young kids to drive safe. It was nice to see David take the time to give back, especially to the kids — and there’s always a kid in me. It was a pleasure meeting him.”

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