Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
Ragan Wins and Ford 1-2-3 at Talladega
Front Row for Front Row Motorsports
Going into the 44th Annual Aaron's 499 race weekend at the Talladega Superspeedway this year, weather was on everybody mind. NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying was rained out on Saturday and many of the Goliaths of the sport thought Mother Nature was their biggest threat. In the end, it was David who conquered Goliath. David Ragan, that is.
It took almost seven hours of battle due to a lengthy rain delay on lap 126 of the 188 lap event, but David Ragan piloted the Farm Rich Ford Fusion to victory at the Talladega Superspeedway. It was David's second NASCAR Sprint Cup win and the first for his young Front Row Motorsports team. He was literally pushed to victory by his FRM teammate, David Gilliland, in a wild and dramatic green-white-checkered finish. Gilliland used all the momentum he had left over in his Love Travel Stops Ford Fusion to pass Carl Edwards and take over second just moments before crossing the finish line. It was a 1-2-3 finish for Ford and the 2013 Fusion Gen6 car.
"This is a true David vs. Goliath moment here," Ragan said. "This is special to get Front Row Motorsports their first win. It feels like I've never been in Victory Lane before, I'm so excited. We're a small team. We build our own chassis, our own bodies, and it's such a special moment for our team and all of our partners. This is big."
For Front Row Motorsports owner Bob Jenkins, who purchased this team in 2004, the road to victory lane has been long and challenging. "I've got guys at the shop that have the heart to win races, we just haven't always had the resources," Jenkins said. "It's just so satisfying to see that over the last nine years, we've gotten a little bit better every single year, and I felt the progress and I knew it was just a matter of time before we'd win one of these things."
It was almost a first win for Sprint Cup rookie and reigning NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. as he was leading lap 122 with rain on the way. His Best Buy Fusion was pursued by Ricky's Roush Fenway teammate and Phoenix winner Carl Edwards. Knowing weather was on the way, Carl slipped by Ricky to take the lead going into the rain break. This would have been the pass for the win if the rain did not subside. Ricky eventually brought his Fusion home 13th and is tied with Danica Patrick for the Sunoco Rookie of the Year points lead in Sprint Cup.
Five Ford drivers are in the top 12 for driver's points in Sprint Cup as the series heads to Darlington, SC and the track labeled "Too Tough to Tame."