Special Day for Ragan
By: Jeff Wackerlin - @JWackerlin Twitter and Instagram | MRN.com on June 14, 2014 | 3:00 P.M. EST
"Father's Day will be different. It does have a different ring, a different feel to it. It will definitely be special in years to come." (Photo: Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, Mich. - Father's Day has become even more special for David Ragan. Not only did his dad, Ken, play a big role in his path to NASCAR, but Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway will mark his first since becoming a father.
Ragan and his wife Jacquelyn welcomed a healthy baby girl, Julia, this past Wednesday. Ragan was able to stay a couple nights with his newborn before heading to Michigan to race his No. 34 Ford in the Quicken Loans 400.
"It's kind of gone by fast like everyone tells you when you have a kid," Ragan said." Jacquelyn got to go home and is doing well. Her mother is in town so she does have some help. It's been an interesting week and certainly will shape the rest of my life for sure."
On Sunday, Ragan will make his 269th Cup Series start but this day from here on out will mean even more for the Unadilla, Ga. native.
"Father's Day will be different," Ragan said. "It does have a different ring, a different feel to it. It will definitely be special in years to come."
Ken Ragan made 50 Sprint Cup starts and his stock car career was ending at the time David was at age to remember. But David did have the chance to go to the track in the 90s when his father raced in the southeast.
"He did race a lot local racing and I remember going to some dirt tracks and he was racing go-karts and late models on asphalt and dirt," David Ragan said. "I remember that more than I do the NASCAR stuff. Going to the track was a privilege. It was something that if I were good in school that week or didn’t get into trouble I could go with dad on the weekends."
Already with a racing background, Ken Ragan has been there every step of the way for David, helping shape him into the racer he is today.
"In the NASCAR world you really have to have some guidance and help as a young kid in order to learn," David Ragan said. "It’s not like the traditional sports where you have schools and colleges and recreation leagues where you can play sports. You have to have someone that really coaches you and works with you as a young kid and support a family that takes time to go racing on the weekend and get practice in these cars so for when you get of age you can go race/
"My dad was really able to help me a lot and give me some pointers along the way. He was one of the truest racers that I have known, whether it would be driving, owning a car, working on a car or just going as a race fan. “