Why David Ragan is the Right Driver for Penske Racing

(Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

 

When Penske Racing announced they would be washing their hands of Kurt Busch, NASCAR fans all around the country asked Who will fill the void? Penske has some wonderful drivers in their stable and has fantastic future with Brad Keselowski, who is just beginning to hit his stride.

All eyes should be on David Ragan, the currently seat-less driver out of Roush-Fenway Racing. While he didn’t have a Chase year, he did capture two Coors Light Pole Awards and a win at Daytona International Speedway isn’t bad considering he was always treated like the red-headed step child at RFR.

Another David being considered as a replacement for the No. 22 Dodge is David Reutimann. Something about him blends in too much on the track. In my opinion, nothing screams “I can win at this!” Ragan over the 2011 season caught my eye.

It was possible the drama of ending his time with Roush-Fenway Racing drew it to him more, but he seemed to have something over Reutimann, and even at times a certain spark even Busch lacked.

Another driver looking for employment is Brian Vickers. He has made the Chase and has one more career win than Ragan. Add to that, he has won a championship in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series, what is now the Nationwide Series.

None of the drivers looking for a seat for the 2012 season are half as cantankerous as Kurt Busch and would probably bring an air of thankfulness to the No. 22 team.

One thing is for sure with Kurt Busch gone, Penske Racing can step away from the unneeded drama and back into forming a solid stable for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Penske has a tough decision ahead of him.

 

 

Topics: Brad Keselowski, Brian Vickers, David Ragan, David Reutimann, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Penske Racing

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  • mrclause

    It might be that Rootie has done more with less. It is clear to me that the equipment given him is mid pack at best. It certainly doesn’t compare with the Roush equipment in anyway. I think you would see much better results had he had some really competitive equipment. In addition he had two owners that were more interested in their own playtime and tv huckstering than doing their owners job. For those that actually believe there isn’t a winners fire in Rootie then you simply don’t know the racer he is. In reality he did more with less than Ragan has done. I just feel that Rootie never had a chance while in MWR equipment. I kind of see his being treated at MWR like he was portrayed in the Aarons commercials. Somehow I don’t see Clint or Mark fitting that role or accepting it. The owners need to step up and focus on building a truly competitive team instead of what they’ve let it become. Just sayin!

  • SueRarick

    The problem with Ragan is he doesn’t have experience developing cars like Rootie does. And Kes is still new to the set-up phase as well. If you add Kes and Ragan as team members it could lead to Penske moving backwards in developement.
    Granted developement is mostly CC’s and engineers, but without proper driver input it’s like developing the cars in the computer and shaker rigs. good but not great. And today you need great to win.

  • mrclause

    It might be that Rootie has done more with less. It is clear to me that the equipment given him is mid pack at best. It certainly doesn’t compare with the Roush equipment in anyway. I think you would see much better results had he had some really competitive equipment. In addition he had two owners that were more interested in their own playtime and tv huckstering than doing their owners job. For those that actually believe there isn’t a winners fire in Rootie then you simply don’t know the racer he is. In reality he did more with less than Ragan has done. I just feel that Rootie never had a chance while in MWR equipment. I kind of see his being treated at MWR like he was portrayed in the Aarons commercials. Somehow I don’t see Clint or Mark fitting that role or accepting it. The owners need to step up and focus on building a truly competitive team instead of what they’ve let it become. Just sayin!

  • SueRarick

    The problem with Ragan is he doesn’t have experience developing cars like Rootie does. And Kes is still new to the set-up phase as well. If you add Kes and Ragan as team members it could lead to Penske moving backwards in developement.
    Granted developement is mostly CC’s and engineers, but without proper driver input it’s like developing the cars in the computer and shaker rigs. good but not great. And today you need great to win.

  • MDeCaire

    Reutimann and Ragan are both nice guys and a good choice for any organization. If you look at both drivers Sprint Cup Series Career Stats that makes my decision solid for Reutimann. Both drivers stats are very similiar but Ragan was in much better equipment with Roush and under performed. Remember UPS dropped Reutimann for Ragan because they thought he was the better choice, only drop him this year resulting in Ragan looking for a ride.

  • MDeCaire

    Reutimann and Ragan are both nice guys and a good choice for any organization. If you look at both drivers Sprint Cup Series Career Stats that makes my decision solid for Reutimann. Both drivers stats are very similiar but Ragan was in much better equipment with Roush and under performed. Remember UPS dropped Reutimann for Ragan because they thought he was the better choice, only drop him this year resulting in Ragan looking for a ride.

  • Marybeth Wallick

    

  • Marybeth Wallick

    

  • NASCARKrissy

    @MDeCaire Thanks for reading my article and leaving a comment. Both are wonderful guys off the track and their stats are similar. I think age will play a huge role in who Penske hires for that seat, as bad as that sounds. Luckily whoever ends up in the car will be appreciative of the ride, unlike Kurt Busch.

  • NASCARKrissy

    @SueRarick Very true. Kes has actually gotten better at dialing in the car during practice and the race. I think having two young guys could be great for Penske Racing. Either way, it’s just for a year. Gotta keep the seat hot for Sam Hornish, Jr.

  • NASCARKrissy

    @mrclause Totally true, but I think Reuitimann’s age will hinder him getting a top ride.

  • NASCARKrissy

    @MDeCaire Thanks for reading my article and leaving a comment. Both are wonderful guys off the track and their stats are similar. I think age will play a huge role in who Penske hires for that seat, as bad as that sounds. Luckily whoever ends up in the car will be appreciative of the ride, unlike Kurt Busch.

  • NASCARKrissy

    @SueRarick Very true. Kes has actually gotten better at dialing in the car during practice and the race. I think having two young guys could be great for Penske Racing. Either way, it’s just for a year. Gotta keep the seat hot for Sam Hornish, Jr.

  • NASCARKrissy

    @mrclause Totally true, but I think Reuitimann’s age will hinder him getting a top ride.

  • AndrewHarris

    If they care about driving Reutimann would be the best choice of these three. Sponsors would probably lean toward Vickers good looks so it will be Ragan that gets it.

  • AndrewHarris

    If they care about driving Reutimann would be the best choice of these three. Sponsors would probably lean toward Vickers good looks so it will be Ragan that gets it.

  • DavidJones

    I don’t think Reutie’s light has come to full focus yet! He is a proven winner in every kind of race car he’s ever strapped into! @NASCARKrissy @mrclause

  • DavidJones

    I don’t think Reutie’s light has come to full focus yet! He is a proven winner in every kind of race car he’s ever strapped into! @NASCARKrissy @mrclause

  • GinaSemons

    @MDeCaire I don’t agree with you that Ragan under performed. The reason I say that is just b/c he was in Roush equipment doesn’t mean it was of same quality as the other drivers. Ragan was often used as the guinea pig of the team. I believe if he gets the #22 ride, he will surprise a lot of non-believers!

  • GinaSemons

    @MDeCaire I don’t agree with you that Ragan under performed. The reason I say that is just b/c he was in Roush equipment doesn’t mean it was of same quality as the other drivers. Ragan was often used as the guinea pig of the team. I believe if he gets the #22 ride, he will surprise a lot of non-believers!