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David Ragan, Front Row Motorsports - Q&A

Speaking of the All-Star Race, I was remiss in not saying, that with this win today, you do qualify for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, so congratulations to that as well.

David Ragan:
Thank you. That's a big deal for our team, for our sponsors. We try to sell Front Row Motorsports, and it's tough to sell a team that we run 15th or 20th or 25th, we're not battling for a championship. So it's tough to do that, and that means a lot to be in our all-star event in our sport, which I think is the best all-star event in any of the major league sports. I feel truly blessed to be there.

Q:
David, can you and Jay both talk about the Gen-6 car and despite how strong you've been on restrictor plate tracks in the past, is the Generation 6 car a bit of an equalizer among the teams?

David Ragan:
It has been a little equalizer, absolutely, because it forced teams like us that generally don't go through our complete inventory over the off-season, it forces us to really go through, and Bob and our team made an investment this off-season to go through our chassis, upgrade some of our suspension components, stuff that other teams do on a weekly basis we got to do at the end of the year, and I look at some of our qualifying stats, some of our running positions at some of the non-restrictor plate tracks this season, and we're a few spots better and more competitive this year than we were last. Absolutely, the Gen-6 car has not only provided for some outstanding races, but it has helped the Front Row Motorsports, the Tommy Baldwin Racings, the smaller teams of Sprint Cup racing be more competitive.

JAY GUY: I agree. The new Gen-6 car, everybody's starting in the same playing field right now, and it's a great equalizer. It's a great car. It looks great. So far the results on the racetrack have been to me a little bit surprising, but NASCAR did a great job with the Gen-6 car, and we've made our cars a little bit better, and we're certainly not contending for wins on a weekly basis or even top tens, but it's enabled us to be a little bit better than what we were in years past, and we look forward to going to Darlington.

Q:
David, I saw your tweet yesterday about clarifying for fans that you weren't Regan Smith. Have you checked your Twitter account today to see if they're congratulating the real winner of this race, and do you think this might raise your profile?

David Ragan:
Regan and I joke about that a lot. We're similar age and we're friends, but we couldn't be from the farthest part of the country. He's from upstate New York and I'm from south Georgia, and there is nothing similar about those two parts of the United States, so we joke about that, and I was happy for Regan yesterday winning the race. I haven't had a chance to look at my Sprint phone yet, I'm not like these other guys that carry my phone around in my pocket and in the race car, so it's back in the motor home, the battery is probably dead and it's probably got a lot of voicemail, so I'll look at it here in a little bit, but it might help a little bit, so I'll look forward to seeing it, hopefully in a good way.

Q:
You and I both are the exact same age, grew up idolizing Chipper Jones, and I know your love of NASCAR trumps anything to do with the Braves right now, but what's it like winning in front of somebody you grew up rooting for?

David Ragan:
Yeah, the only year I loved baseball more than NASCAR was 1995 when Atlanta won the World Series. I talked to Chipper a little bit in the drivers' meeting and he obviously meets a lot of people and he probably kind of knows me but probably don't remember and I had to remind him, I'm a big fan and I've enjoyed your career and I watched him in AAA. He played for the Macon Braves, which aren't even in existence anymore, and we used to go up there when I was five, six, seven years old and watch a lot of those guys that were superstars for the Braves in the mid-90s play in Macon. That's pretty cool. I haven't seen him. I hope he watched the race. It was a long day, but I'll definitely look him up soon, but it was cool to see Chipper here, and sometimes I felt like this off-season I was going to miss him playing third base for the Braves, but they've been doing pretty good without him. It's good to see him here. He's a big race fan. He's a huge supporter of NASCAR, so it was good to see Chipper here today.

Q:
Since Bob said that he knew this day would come, I'll ask David and Jay if they thought this day would ever come.

David Ragan:
Absolutely we thought it would come one day, and we actually talked about it on the grid before the race and even at the halfway point. We missed that first wreck, and we all had decent speed, good handling cars, no damage, and we kind of talked about, hey, this is a perfect recipe for success. We've got to keep fighting and keep being smart.




Related Pictures

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David Ragan, driver of the #34 Farm Rich Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron`s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 5, 2013 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
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