David Ragan stepping away from full-time NASCAR racing after 2019

by Justin Nguyen

After 13 seasons, David Ragan is calling it a career as a full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver. On Wednesday, the Unadilla, Georgia native announced he would step away from regular competition in NASCAR and instead opt for a part-time basis after the 2019 season.

“I’ve prayed and heavily considered this decision, but for myself and my family, I believe this is the right thing to do,” Ragan said in a release. “I am a husband and a father to two young girls first, and I am a driver second. To compete in what I consider the greatest series in the world, you need full dedication of your time and focus. My children are growing up quickly, and I want to concentrate my time in being the best father and husband I can be. I feel this is where God is leading my life, and therefore I’m making this decision.”

Ragan is in his second stint at Front Row Motorsports after rejoining the team in 2017. Driving the #38 Ford Mustang, he is currently thirtieth in points with a best run of fifteenth at Charlotte Motor Speedway. A noted restrictor plate racer, he scored an upset victory with FRM in the 2013 Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway in a 1–2 finish for the team with David Gilliland; it was also FRM’s first race win.

Between 2015 and 2016, he was a member of the Toyota camp, replacing eventual 2015 champion Kyle Busch in the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing car while Busch was nursing a broken leg before spending the rest of the year with Michael Waltrip Racing. He raced for BK Racing in 2016.

Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images

In 457 career Cup races, he has two wins, fifteen top-five finishes, forty top tens, and two poles. His maiden Cup win came at Daytona International Speedway in 2011 with Roush Fenway Racing, with whom he started his Cup career in 2006. He also has two full seasons in what is now the Xfinity Series with Roush (2007 and 2008), during which he finished in the top five in points during both years. Ragan also won Xfinity Rookie of the Year honours in 2007.

“We admire David for making what I’m sure was a very difficult decision. We also commend him for his reason,” FRM owner Bob Jenkins stated. “David has always put family first, and as a father, I understand what it’s like to not be at that game or big event for your child. Throughout his time at Front Row Motorsports, David has always gone beyond what was asked of him- or even volunteering his own time to help grow our team. Now it’s time for him to give some of that back to his family and we totally support that. Our doors are always open for David and we’ll miss seeing him every week.”

FRM, who also fields the #34 for Michael McDowell and #36 for Matt Tifft, will reveal Ragan’s 2020 replacement in the future.

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