Over the course of his NASCAR Cup Series career, David Ragan proved to be one of the more consistent restrictor-plate racers, earning both of his Cup wins on superspeedways.
The last and most surprising of those occurred on May 5, 2013, at Talladega Superspeedway with Ragan competing for Front Row Motorsports, a team that hadn’t won a race since its founding 2005.
A rain delay caused the Aaron’s 499 to end near darkness as the race concluded with a green-white-checkered finish.
Ragan restarted five rows back on the outside as Matt Kenseth led the field.
When the field took the white flag, Carl Edwards led as Ragan raced around the fifth position. Right behind him was teammate David Gilliland.
Going down the backstretch, a shove from Gilliland helped Ragan split a gap between Kenseth on the outside and Jimmie Johnson on the inside as Edwards still led.
Kenseth was quickly moved aside as Ragan assumed his spot hugging Edwards’ rear bumper.
That lasted only a moment as Ragan darted to the inside with his momentum as they entered Turn 3. He nosed ahead of Edwards in the middle of the turn and had the lead as they entered the frontstretch.
As Ragan dodged-and-weaved his way through the tri-oval, Gilliland side-drafted Edwards. After Ragan took the checkered flag, Gilliland barely beat Edwards to the finish line, giving the aptly named Front Row Motorsports a 1-2 finish.
“I don’t know what to say, this is a true David vs Goliath moment here,” Ragan told Fox in Victory Lane. “They’re not all this easy, but man, this is special to get Front Row Motorsports their first win. Feels like I’ve never been here before.”
Also on this date:
1963: Jim Paschal led the final 69 laps to win a Grand National race at Tar Heel Speedway in Randleman, North Carolina. Paschal beat Joe Weatherly for the victory on the quarter-mile dirt track. It was the second of only three Grand National races the track hosted, all coming in the 1963-64 season.
1968: David Pearson led all but one lap to win a 300-lap event at Asheville-Weaverville (N.C.) Speedway. He beat Bobby Isaac by two laps for the victory on the half-mile paved track. It would only host three more Grand National races for a total of 34.
1974: David Pearson won his third and final race at Talladega Superspeedway, beating Benny Parsons by .17 seconds.
1985: Without the aid of a caution, Bill Elliott came from nearly two laps down to win at Talladega after a broken oil fitting sent him to pit road on Lap 48. Elliott passed Cale Yarborough with 20 laps to go and then beat Kyle Petty by 1.72 seconds. It was one of the three wins Elliott claimed in order to achieve the Winston Million that year.