CONCORD, NC ““ Mark Martin has long been someone fellow drivers look up to. On the track and off, Martin has been there and done that. He has been a mentor to young teammates, and an idol to those striving to become racecar drivers. No exception to that is co-driver of the No. 6 Scotts F-150, David Ragan.
Ragan will get his chance to drive the No. 6 beginning with the April 1 event at Martinsville Speedway. Just because he hasn’t been behind the wheel does not mean that Ragan has been on vacation. He’s been at the track working with his new team, and soaking up what he can from Martin’s experiences on the track.
“Getting to co-drive a truck with Mark Martin, that’s a deal I think anyone would love to have,” said Ragan. “Mark’s an incredible guy. He’s so willing to help. He’ll answer any question, he’ll make sure that he gives me any pointers or advice he can to help me prepare for my shot in the Scotts truck.”
Martin has been on a tear in the Craftsman Truck Series, winning both events of the 2006 season. Understandably, Ragan will feel some pressure when he begins his driving stint. “Mark’s set a high bar, that’s for sure,” he said. “I’m constantly reminded that there are no expectations on me to continue the way Mark has run. I’m a young guy who is learning and getting more experience. [Crew Chief] Mike Beam has told me time and time again that all he wants is for me to run all the laps and bring the truck back in one piece.”
While Ragan has competed in 10 Craftsman Truck Series races, he is approaching 2006 as if it was his rookie season. “This year is like a whole new deal for me. I know I’ve got the best equipment out there and the strength of a great crew. I didn’t have that when I first came to this series, so it’s going to be a very different situation this time around,” said Ragan.
Ragan will make his debut in the No. 6 Scotts F-150 at the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on April 1. It will be his first start at the half-mile track, although he does have some experience there, when he competed in Roush Racing: Driver X.
Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia, Mich., based Roush Enterprises which operates 13 motorsports teams; five in NASCAR Nextel Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards, six in the Busch Series with Martin, Kenseth, Biffle, Edwards, Todd Kluever and Danny O’Quinn, and two in the Craftsman Truck Series with Martin, David Ragan and Erik Darnell. For sponsorship inquiries, contact Robin Johnson, Roush Racing, (704) 720-4645.