CORNELIUS, N.C. — It’s all on the line Saturday night for No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver David Ragan and other drivers at Richmond International Raceway in the final race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season.
Ragan is one of about a dozen drivers who know the only way they will join in the 2015 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is by winning at the .75-mile, D-shaped oval.
Ragan says racing when the pressure is on is nothing new to any Sprint Cup driver.
“Ever since each of us climbed in a race car we’ve wanted to win every race,” said Ragan. “So, Saturday night will be no different. The rewards are far greater, but every weekend we do the things we need to do to win.
“There’s nothing I’d like more than to win Saturday night for Aaron’s, Michael Waltrip Racing and Toyota. We’re going to give it our best shot.”
Ragan said the importance of Saturday’s race combined with the nature of short track racing should make for an exciting event, before the 10-race Chase begins.
“You saw how good of a race it was at Darlington and I expect it will be even better at Richmond. The racing of late has been pretty good. I think the fans will get their money’s worth and more.”
The Michael Waltrip Racing driver has raced in the top 10 and at times looked like a top five-car at recent races, but accidents have ruined good runs.
Ragan was spun running in the top-five at Bristol. Saturday night in Darlington, he drove from 21st to tenth in the first 30 laps and climbed to ninth before an accident.
“We had a really fast Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota at Darlington and on a long run I felt like we had a top-six or seven car, but overall I felt like we had a 10th to 12th-place car. Hadn’t put a scratch on our car all night then got loose off turn four and hit pretty good. The car was still decent then we were wrecked a few laps later,” he said.
“We’ve shown we have the speed, we just need to put a full race together and I’d love for us to do that Saturday night in Richmond.”
· RICHMOND APPEARANCE:
· 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 2,000 local Aaron’s stores all across North America. Aaron’s is ready to help customers own it and will work with them every step of the way.
· BIG SCORE: Aaron’s is excited to welcome back “Big Score” one of our favorite and top performing promotions! Visit a store from now until Sept. 30 to Spin and Save up to $100 off your first month’s payment on a new lease agreement or shop online at Aarons.com for a Special Big Score offer. Plus, enter for a chance to win a $5,000 Aaron’s shopping spree! Customers will spin the wheel to reveal the discount amount ($25, $50, $75 or $100.) Go to Aarons.com for more details.
· 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, Sept. 11
10 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice, NBCSN
Noon, NASCAR K&N Series West: Meridian (re-air), NBCSN
1 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 Virginia529 College Savings 250, NBCSN
Saturday, Sept. 12
4 p.m., NASCAR Race Day, FOX Sports 2
5 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 Federated Auto Parts 400, NBCSN
11 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Post-Race Show, NBCSN
3 a.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1