TALLADEGA, Ala. — While Joey Logano celebrated his victory at Talladega Superspeedway, David Ragan enjoyed another top-10 run at a restrictor-plate track.
Ragan finished a season-best sixth Sunday. It marked his fourth top-10 result in the last six restrictor-plate races, dating back to last year’s Daytona 500.
Ragan, Logano, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman and Paul Menard are the only Cup drivers to score four top-10 finishes in the last six plate races. No driver has more such finishes in that span. Almirola placed seventh Sunday and Newman was ninth.
“Top 10s are great,’’ Ragan said after exiting his Front Row Motorsports Ford. “I felt we had a top 15 last weekend at Richmond and it was such a heartbreaker to have that flat tire. It gets some of those points back. Just to survive and be able to run back up front, it’s good for the guys back at the shop and for everyone.’’
Had Ragan not had that flat tire 10 laps from the scheduled finish at Richmond, he could have scored his third consecutive top-15 finish. He finished 12th at Bristol the week before Richmond (he finished 33rd after the incident).
Ragan admitted Sunday’s race at Talladega was challenging.
“I felt like today’s handling was the worst it has been in recent memory at Talladega, probably before the repave (in 2006),’’ said the 2013 Talladega spring race winner. The combination of the rules package, the cars are fast, the track is losing grip, so every year it’s going to be a little worse. But when you’re around 200 mph and the cars are as low as they are, they don’t have the downforce on them. I felt like tires were important today.”
A four-tire stop late helped Ragan’s car charge toward the front.
“We had a fast car all weekend,’’ he said. “We qualified 12th and if it wasn’t for my speeding penalty early I think we could have run in the top 15 all day.’’
Most top-10 finishes in the last six restrictor-plate races (since 2017 Daytona 500)
4 – David Ragan
4 – Joey Logano
4 – Aric Almirola
4 – Paul Menard
4 – Ryan Newman
3 – Kurt Busch
3 – AJ Allmendinger
3 – Kasey Kahne