2008 NASCAR Fantasy Draft Kit: David Ragan

An in-depth look at David Ragan and how he might work on your fantasy NASCAR team for 2008.

David Ragan

“We had a rookie out there that was kind of a dart with no feathers out there.” That was Tony Stewart’s assessment of David Ragan’s first Cup race in 2006. After a full 2007 season under his belt, Ragan is quickly gaining respect at NASCAR’s top level. That ascent will continue in 2008 as he looks to take advantage of Roush Racing’s top notch equipment.

Considering the circumstances, Ragan was bound to struggle in 2007. He had two prior Cup races, one being featherless dart debacle at Martinsville. He inherited the famous #6 car from the very legend that made the car famous, Mark Martin. He was also driving for one of the top teams in NASCAR, Roush Racing, that had won 33 races and 2 championships from 2003-2006. Few drivers would instantly flourish in that setup.

Despite the long odds, Ragan showed why Jack Roush picked him for the #6 car. A top five in the Daytona 500, a great 3rd place showing at Richmond and a 23rd place finish in the points. Ragan also finished 5th in the Busch series on his way to Rookie of the Year.

Ragan’s biggest downfall in 2007 was wrecks. His 22 crashes were most in Cup in 2007. For reference, the median number among drivers was 12. He only had 4 DNF’s, but the crashes played a major part in his 13 sub-30 finishes.

2008 presents lots of reason for optimism for Ragan. The high crash number is bound to come down with more seat time. More experience also means he’ll be in better position to take advantage of Roush’s equipment. Last year was a subpar year by Roush’s normal standards, but this year should see improvement. The company has always had strong speedway cars and with the full transition to the CoT, their expertise will come to the forefront more than last year. For Ragan, that could mean large improvement. Last year he only led 2 laps and had a mere 16 lead lap finishes (interestingly more than fellow rookie Juan Pablo Montoya). Both of those numbers should spike. The intermediate program is often the toughest type of track for a rookie anyway, so better cars and more experience in year two is a good combination.

In his short time, Ragan has already proven a quality restrictor plate race. Beyond his 5th and 12th places runs at Daytona, he also had a 17th at Talladega, plus a 4th place in the Talladega Busch race. While some people will say plate racing is a lot of luck, it is a pretty unique discipline that requires patience, finesse and the intelligence and vision to avoid developing wrecks. Besides, what race doesn’t involve some level of luck? It wouldn’t be a complete shock to see Ragan run well right out of the gate at Daytona. Other places that he could stand out at include Texas, Charlotte and Fontana.

When it comes to analyzing David Ragan, the biggest thing to remember is that he’s 22. He had two top fives in 2007, and doubling that tally is realistic. The competition will increase the higher he climbs on the track, so wins and challenging for a Chase spot is a little premature. More reasonable goals would be 4 top 5’s, 6-7 top 10’s and improving on his 15 top 20’s. A top 20 final point standing is definitely within reach. The progress will come in 2008, but Ragan has already proven that he is more than a dart with no feathers.

See our complete David Ragan NASCAR Statistics.

David Ragan 2007 NASCAR Season Statistics
Race Start Finish Pts Laps Status Winnings
Daytona 500 35th 5th 155 202/202 Running $529,350
Auto Club 500 39th 16th 115 250/250 Running $130,075
UAW-Diamler Chrysler 400 35th 37th 52 236/267 Running $115,450
Kobalt Tools 500 38th 33rd 64 322/325 Running $104,125
Food City 500 41st 26th 85 501/504 Running $122,350
Goody’s Cool Orange 500 27th 15th 118 500/500 Running $113,250
Samsung 500 19th 39th 46 239/334 Running $117,025
Subway Fresh Fit 500 32nd 41st 40 264/312 Running $97,530
Aaron’s 499 10th 17th 117 192/192 Running $127,100
Crown Royal 400 29th 20th 103 400/400 Running $108,875
Dodge Avenger 500 24th 27th 82 363/367 Running $109,425
Coca-Cola 600 13th 37th 52 219/400 Out of Race $120,025
Autism Speaks 400 31st 14th 121 399/400 Running $126,225
Pocono 500 36th 26th 85 106/106 Running $103,250
Citizens Bank 400 34th 21st 100 198/200 Running $112,550
Toyota / Save Mart 350 37th 29th 76 110/110 Running $109,100
Lenox Industrial Tools 300 32nd 15th 118 300/300 Running $117,325
Pepsi 400 24th 12th 127 160/200 Running $137,250
USG Sheetrock 400 32nd 25th 88 265/267 Running $122,525
Allstate 400 30th 16th 115 160/160 Running $193,450
Pennsylvania 500 36th 33rd 64 197/200 Running $99,550
Centurion Boats at the Glen 22nd 32nd 67 90/90 Running $98,950
3M Peformance 400 25th 18th 109 203/200 Running $117,200
Sharpie 500 4th 41st 40 414/500 Running $119,100
Sharp AQUOS 500 33rd 12th 127 250/250 Running $137,475
Chevy Rock-n-Roll 400 8th 3rd 165 400/400 Running $169,925
Sylvania 300 38th 19th 106 299/300 Running $114,600
Dodge Dealers 400 35th 25th 88 394/400 Running $107,550
LifeLock 400 18th 16th 115 209/210 Running $130,175
UAW-Ford 500 42nd 34th 61 146/188 Off Track $106,625
Bank of America 500 31st 40th 43 231/400 Running $97,275
Subway 500 41st 26th 85 505/506 Running $101,650
Pep Boys Auto 500 37th 33rd 64 320/325 Running $120,700
Dickies 500 33rd 37th 52 222/334 Accident $130,825
Checker Auto Parts 500 41st 32nd 67 310/312 Running $99,400
Ford 400 7th 10th 139 267/267 Running $127,675