David Ragan might no longer be racing full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, but he isn’t ready to hang up his helmet for good. On Friday, he announced he will drive the #36 Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing in February’s Daytona 500.
“Really excited for the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the No. 36 Select Blinds Ford Mustang for Rick Ware Racing at Daytona International Speedway! Thank you to both Select Blinds and Speedy Cash for coming on board for the 62nd running of the Great American Race,” Ragan posted on social media.
In August 2019, Ragan announced he would end his full-time driving career at the end of the season. A longtime veteran of the Cup Series, he finished his final year with a thirtieth-place points finish in the #38 with Front Row Motorsports. John Hunter Nemechek, who raced for the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship in 2019, replaces Ragan in the #38. Nemechek had filled in for Matt Tifft in the team’s #36 to conclude the 2019 season while Tifft was dealing with health issues; Tifft has since left the team to continue his recovery, while the #36’s charter was sold off to Ware.
In thirteen Daytona 500 starts, Ragan’s best finish is fifth in his first attempt in 2007. A noted superspeedway ringer of sort, his two Cup victories came at Daytona and Talladega Superspeedway, the latter of which saw him lead an FRM 1–2 for the team’s maiden win in 2013. His last four top-ten Cup finishes have come at plate tracks, most recently a sixth at the Talladega spring race in 2018.