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Ragan vows to be ready for 500

David Ragan insists that he is going to be ready for the week-long preparations for next weekend's Daytona 500, despite being taken out just a handful of laps into the season-opening Budweiser Shootout.

The third-year driver started his #6 UPS Ford from 16th in the 28-car field, but became the victim of a typical superspeedway incident involving three other cars with just three laps in the books. Although he was unsure as to how exactly the chain-reaction started, he felt clear where the blame for his exit lay.

“I'm very disappointed," the 23-year old sighed, "Our UPS Ford was fine the first few laps, but someone on the outside just got checked up and it was a chain reaction. I don't know who was behind me, I think it was the #7, but he wasn't really paying attention and just drove into the back of us and kind of made a mess.

“We were having a good time. I felt like our car was just as fast as it needed to be to win the race and, certainly, just a couple laps in, you're just feeling everything out and checking everything to make sure it's as normal as it should be. It's just a typical deal here at Daytona and Talladega - when someone gets checked up, usually, two or three rows back, someone doesn't see it.”

Despite the setback - the accident also sidelined Robby Gordon, at whom Ragan directed the blame, and rookie Joey Logano and Scott Speed - the Roush Fenway driver insisted that it would not hamper his preparations for the blue riband 500, a race in which he finished fifth in his rookie season.

“We're gonna be ready for the 500," he emphasised, "We're gonna have a good car that's capable of winning the race, but I'm just disappointed for all the UPS fans and employees and everybody at Roush Fenway that have worked hard. We could have won this thing tonight, so it's just disappointing to hear the noise in the background and me standing in here.”

Amid observations that several cars looked extremely uncomfortable out on the track on Saturday night, Ragan admitted that it was hard to get a handle on the Car of Tomorrow on all circuits.

“From my first experience in one of the CoT cars, you could get it however you wanted it, but it was either uncontrollably loose or uncontrollably tight and I guess more people are comfortable with it tight and that's what they choose to do," he commented.

"I think anytime you have a 3400-3500 pound race car with 800-plus horsepower that's gonna be an issue. We've made good strides with our Fords to handle better and we don't really pay attention to one issue, we try to work around everything. I think the development is still going on to get a better handling car, but I don't really know how the old cars drove, so I don't have a good history to base my opinion on. I feel like we've had some races last year that our car was perfect and I couldn't ask for anymore - it was very comfortable and easy to drive - and then we had some races that it was dramatically loose and tight, but that's the way any race car is with a hard tyre and when you're going that fast.”



Related Pictures

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David Ragan and Robby Gordon trigger the first caution in the 2009 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, signs the Coors Light Pole Award backdrop after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fifth position Friday, March 11, 2016 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Hendrick Motorsports driver Johnson experienced an issue during qualifying.  He will go to a back-up car. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, races Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 6, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, has an on track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, takes the chequered flag ahead of Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, takes the chequered flag ahead of Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Toyota, to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, poses with the winner`s decal in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #24 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet SS, races to a seventh-place finish Sunday, February 21, 2016 during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)

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