CORNELIUS, N.C. — David Ragan’s Aaron’s Dream Machine will carry a familiar paint scheme when it races in the 66th Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 6.
The No. 55 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota will sport a paint scheme similar to cars driven by David’s father Ken Ragan when he drove in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
“My Dad and guys like my Dad put a lot of heart and soul in this sport back in the 1970s and 80s and this is my way of honoring the guys that built what all of us enjoy today,” said Ragan. “I want to thank Aaron’s for allowing us to recognize my Dad and all the racers from that era at Darlington this year.”
Ken Ragan, 64, raced in 50 Sprint Cup races from 1983-90 driving mostly for his brother Marvin. His career included five starts at Darlington Raceway. His son’s car will carry the red and white paint scheme similar to the scheme Ken drove in 1987.
“I was too young to really ever remember watching Dad race on the track,” said 29-year-old David. “But he’s been a big part of my career and I know he has a lot of friends in the garage who will remember seeing him in this car.”
A few years ago, David built a replica race car and presented it to Ken as a present. That car is on display in 2015 at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, Ga.
The Ragans, along with the show car David presented to Ken, will visit the Aaron’s store, 111 Pamplico Hwy, in Florence at 4 p.m. on Saturday Sept. 5 then join in the Southern 500 parade in Darlington that night.
NBC will televise this year’s Southern 500 as it marks a return to the traditional Labor Day Weekend. Festivities will celebrate Darlington’s role in the history and growth of NASCAR.
This week the Aaron’s Dream Machine takes on the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway.
“This is a fun time of the year,” said Ragan. “We go to Bristol, Darlington and Richmond. All three have played huge roles in NASCAR history and we put on good shows at each track. Saturday night’s Bristol race is one of the highlights of the year. As the Chase gets closer the competition is getting more and more fierce and I expect a heck of a race at Bristol.”
· RACING IS A DANGEROUS BUSINESS: Sunday’s race at Michigan was a bit scary for Ragan. He narrowly avoided disaster on a first lap spin then saw a good run ruined when his car suffered damage in a 200 mph crash in front of him. However, the scariest moment of the weekend might have come when the pickup truck he rode in during pre-race ceremonies took off before Ragan was fully onboard. He nearly went face first into the truck bed in front of a stunned Brad Keselowski. “I was one foot on the truck bed and one foot on the ladder and the truck decided to take off a little prematurely,” laughed Ragan. “Keselowski just stood there! My fan was there and tried to help me out. After I got in the truck, I asked Brad ‘Hey man how about a hand’ and he said he just froze and didn’t know what to do. We laughed about it. Who would have thought the pre-race truck ride would have been the most dangerous part of the race.” Click here to watch
· AARON’S: Aaron’s offers top name brands in furniture, electronics and appliances – without needing credit – with affordable monthly payments. Aaron’s makes lease ownership easy by offering customers the option to lease to own online at Aarons.com with delivery and setup – or shop at one of more than 2000 local Aaron’s stores all across North America. Aaron’s is ready to help customers own it and will work them every step of the way.
· APPEARANCE: Ragan will visit the Aaron’s display at 4:20 p.m. Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway.
· No. 55 CREW CHIEF BRIAN PATTIE: Pattie, 40, joined MWR in 2012 when it formed the No. 15 team-leading driver Clint Bowyer to three victories and a second-place finish in the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Zephyrhills, Fla., native began crew chief duties in the XFINITY Series for Joe Nemechek’s NEMCO Motorsports in 1997 before moving to a similar role at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing in 2004. In May 2008, he moved to the Sprint Cup Series with driver Juan Montoya. The duo earned a berth in the 2009 Chase and a win at Watkins Glen in 2010. Pattie owns four Sprint Cup and 10 XFINITY Series victories as a crew chief. The father of four is an avid golfer and supporter of the Florida State Seminoles. In June 2015, MWR paired Pattie with David Ragan on its No. 55 team.
· 55 CREW:
Front Tire Changer
Front Tire Carrier
Rear Tire Changer
Rear Tire Carrier
2nd Truck Driver
· CAREER STATISTICS:
Friday, August 21
9 a.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series final practice, NBCSN
11:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBCSN
1:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice, NBCSN
3:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN
5 p.m., NASCAR America Live, NBCSN
5:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying, NBCSN
7 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Countdown to Green, NBCSN
7:30 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300, NBCSN
Saturday, August 22
5 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay: Bristol, FOX Sports 2
6 p.m., NASCAR America Saturday, NBCSN
7 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Countdown to Green, NBCSN
7:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race, NBCSN
11 p.m., NASCAR Post-Race Show, NBCSN
Midnight, NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1