Ragan Returning To ARCA
March 18, 2008 | 3:35 P.M. EST
Ragan will team up with the Roulo Brothers to compete in the May 18 Hantz Group 200 presented by Federated Car Care ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Toledo Speedway and the October 12th ARCA Championship Weekend festivities. Ragan’s relationship with the Roulo Bros. dates back to the Spring of 2004 with an outside pole at Salem Speedway. He finished fourth in the ARCA 200 at Daytona in a Roulo Bros. entry in 2007.
“I cut my teeth on the ARCA Series and this is a way for me to relax and have some fun,” said Ragan, who has 29 career ARCA RE/MAX Series starts, including one win at Lanier National Speedway in 2005 driving for Wayne Day. “The addition of radial tires on the short track races in the ARCA RE/MAX Series is huge. I think a lot of Cup teams are noticing that. Toledo is great because when you go there you know that you are running on a short track with a lot of history. Any time I’m behind the wheel of a car, whether it’s a Legends Car, a Nationwide car, whatever, it helps me on Sunday.”
Ragan earned Rookie of the Year honors in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2007 and was runner-up rookie to Juan Montoya in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as part of the Roush Fenway Racing family of drivers.
“In ARCA, I raced against Reed [Sorenson] and Kyle Busch and last year you had Michael McDowell, who will be in a Cup car for Michael Waltrip beginning next week,’’ said Ragan. “So it’s definitely a good place for young drivers to work their way up in their career. And in ARCA, I got to race at superspeedways like Michigan and Chicagoland and Talladega. I’m glad I got experience on those speedways before jumping into a Cup car.”
When Ragan competes at Toledo Speedway this season, he will be joined by a full field of ARCA RE/MAX Series drivers, including Stuart, Florida’s Bryan Silas, also in attendance at Toledo Speedway on Tuesday. From Toledo, Silas is on his way to Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina to participate in a two-day ARCA RE/MAX Series open test session in preparation for the May 4th Carolina 500. He is one of close to 40 drivers expected to participate in the test.
“We tested at Rockingham three or four times already with good results,” said Silas. “We need to go to the ARCA Open Test this weekend to see how our performance measures up against other cars on the track. Last year was my rookie year on the tour and I finished ninth in points. This year, I’m putting a little bit more pressure on myself. We’ve only had one race so far but already I can’t believe how much more competitive the series is.”
Tuesday marked Toledo Speedway’s tenth annual press conference. Ragan and Silas joined a growing list of drivers who have participated in the past, including Bobby Allison, Benny Parsons, Jason Jarrett, Chad McCumbee, Ron Hemelgarn, Ken Schrader and Frank Kimmel.
Toledo Speedway’s 2008 season kicks off with the Glass Breaker 200 featuring the ASALMS Northern Division and the USPRO Cup Series on Friday and Saturday, April 11-12. Weekly event racing begins on May 2nd at Toledo Speedway and on April 26th at Flat Rock Speedway.
Tickets to both the May 18 Hantz Group 200 and the October 12th ARCA RE/MAX Series Championship Weekend event are available by calling Toledo Speedway at (419) 727-1100.