CORNELIUS, N.C.  —  No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine driver David Ragan knows there’s two ways to advance from Friday night’s Sprint Showdown into Saturday night’s $1 million NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

 

He needs to win one of the two 20-lap Showdown segments or win the Sprint Fan Vote, announced after the Showdown. Ragan owns four consecutive All-Star Race appearances and won the 2011 Showdown that led to an eighth-place finish in the All-Star Race.

 

Ragan, who made his debut in the No. 55 for Michael Waltrip Racing last weekend, has more than just the All-Star race on his mind. He sees this weekend as time to prepare for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte on May 24.

 

RAGAN ON THE SHOWDOWN: “The Showdown can be the toughest race of the weekend. You usually have four or five really good cars that haven't been able to win in the last year. You’ve got to outrun some really fast race cars in either of those 20 laps segments. It’s always kind of a learning and a testing opportunity for any team leading into the 600. For me it’s a chance for more laps and to spend more time with the Aaron’s guys at a mile-and-a-half track. Our expectations are to go and run the best we can. We certainly want to win one of those segments and advance to the All-Star race, that’s our goal. At the end of the day, we also want to learn some things that will help us for the 600.”

 

ADVANCING TO ALL-STAR RACE: “I appreciate all of our fans voting but my plan is to win that first showdown and then go get that $1 million on Saturday night. There isn’t a lot of strategy in a 20-lap race. Get a good qualifying spot is key then go like heck as soon as they drop the green flag. You don’t get overly worried about saving your car or even think about points. It’s about getting out front and staying there.”

 

ROLE AT MWR: “It’s always a moving target in the Sprint Cup Series – everybody is working extremely hard every week to bring a better race car to the track and hopefully I can be part of that process at Michael Waltrip Racing. Working with their crews, engineers, and Clint (Bowyer) to try to keep making these Toyotas faster and faster. I’m optimistic that we’ve got some good things in front of us. Just trying to enjoy my time with these guys and learn as much as I can. Try to give as much as I can.”

 

NOTES:

 

·      CLICK HERE TO VOTE DAVID RAGAN INTO THE ALL-STAR RACE

 

  • CHASSIS: Primary: 775 - Brett Moffitt drove this chassis to a 29th place finish at Texas, Backup: 814 - finished eighth at Atlanta with Moffitt. In 2014 it finished 16th at Indianapolis with Clint Bowyer. Vickers finished 13th at Richmond in September & 37th at Charlotte in October.

 

  • MWR FAN FEST: Michael Waltrip Racing will hold its annual Fan Fest at its Cornelius, N.C. race shop on Wed. May 20, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Fans may tour the shop, get autographs from MWR drivers, shop in the team store, watch live pit practice, enjoy sponsor displays and check out muscle cars provided by RK Motors. MWR will provide food and music for all the race fans. Admission is free and kids are welcome. “We have had Fan Fest every year since this shop opened and the race fans love it,” said Waltrip. “I enjoy meeting all of our race fans and talking racing. We’ll give you access to a NASCAR Sprint Cup race shop that few folks ever get to enjoy.” Fans will be allowed access to the shop floor Wednesday for an up-close view of the team’s Toyotas as it prepares for the racing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Legendary gas man Danny “Chocolate” Myers and veteran broadcaster Jim Noble will bring their Sirius-XM Radio show “Tradin Paint” to the open house broadcasting from MWR. MWR is at 20310 Chartwell Center Drive off exit 28 on I-77 in Cornelius, N.C. about 15 miles north of Charlotte, N.C. The race shop is open to the public throughout the year. Driver Autograph Times: Michael Waltrip – 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. David Ragan – 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Clint Bowyer – 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

 

·      AARON’S: The Atlanta-based company, with more than 2,100 stores across the country, helps customers own the life they want. Aaron's carries only the best brand names in furniture, electronics, and appliances with a variety of flexible payment options. It's really easy to “Own It” at Aaron’s with customers who are now pre-approved for up to $2,500 in merchandise - no credit needed.  From May 1-16, is a great time to become part of Aaron’s friends and family…$25 gets you started leasing anything in the store. Choose from the top brands in furniture, electronics and appliances and we’ll help you own it – no credit needed.

 

  • CREW CHIEF BILLY SCOTT: Scott began racing motorcycles as a 5-year-old and stock cars when he turned 15. He worked in the truck series as a mechanic before he returned to college to obtain an engineering degree. After graduating in 2005 Scott worked at Robert Yates Racing and began as an engineer at MWR in 2008. The 36-year-old served exclusively as the No. 55 team’s lead engineer before taking over crew chief duties in 2014.

 

  • 55 CREW:

Billy Scott

Crew Chief

Ryan Langley

Front Tire Changer

Chris Hall

Front Tire Carrier

Shannon Myers

Rear Tire Changer

Blake Haugland

Rear Tire Carrier

Wes Evans

Jack Man

Jeff Kerr

Gas Man

Steve Channing

Car Chief

David Cropps

Interior Mechanic

Roman Pemberton

Spotter

Brandon Pope

Race Engineer

Joe Bisson

2nd Engineer

Jeremy Sharpley

Shock Specialist

Kevin White

Front Mechanic

Joe Zanolini

Rear Mechanic

Scott Swift

Tire Specialist

Kirk Butterfield

TRD

Tim Bruce

TRD

Stump Lewis

Truck Driver

Al Nelson

2nd Truck Driver

 

  • TELEVISION:

Friday, May 15
Noon, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Showdown final practice, FOX Sports 1
1:45 p.m., NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race final practice, FOX Sports 1
3:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub: Weekend Edition, FOX Sports 1
4 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Showdown Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1
5:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Keystone Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1
7 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sprint Showdown, FOX Sports 1
8 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Setup, FOX Sports 1
8:30 p.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series NC Education Lottery 200, FOX Sports 1

Saturday, May 16
7 p.m., NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Coors Light Pole Qualifying, FOX Sports 1
8:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay: NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, FOX Sports 1
9 p.m., NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, FOX Sports 1

Sunday, May 17
1:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay: XFINITY, FOX Sports 1
2 p.m., NASCAR XFINITY Series 3M 250, FOX Sports 1


Read More News

Race Previews  |  Qualifying Reports  |  Race Reports  |  Press Releases