David Ragan needs just four more Sprint Cup Series races to become the leader in that category within his family.
Ragan's father, Ken, started 50 races between 1983 and 1990 in NASCAR's top series. He won $210,180 in those races - or about $57,000 less than David did for finishing 42nd in this year's Daytona 500.
The 22-year-old second-generation driver has already won more than $6 million in just 47 career starts, and that number could grow rapidly if the driver of the No. 6 Fords for Roush Fenway Racing continues to improve at his current rate.
David Ragan has finished better in each of the past eight races this year than he did in the same events during his rookie season. Only at Daytona, where he crashed out early this year after finishing fifth in 2007, has he had a worse result.
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Ragan had his best finish this year Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway, coming home fourth in the Aaron's 499. It was the second-highest finish of his Cup career, and this weekend he returns to the site of the best. Ragan finished third at Richmond International Raceway in September.
Ragan was frustrated after the race at Talladega because he said it was hard to find any drafting partners when it came time to potentially make moves late in the restrictor-plate race. Jimmy Fennig, the veteran crew chief who's working with Ragan, echoed that.
"He's doing a heck of a job," Fennig said of his young driver. "He's for real. Just if somebody would realize it and help him out there once in a while, we might've won that race."
Ragan won't need as much help to have another good finish Saturday night in the Crown Royal 400. Racing on the three-quarter mile oval is about as different from running the 2.66-mile Talladega track as you can get.
"Richmond is an awesome racetrack," Ragan said. "I love racing on Saturday night, racing underneath the lights. That's always been one of my favorite racetracks, growing up watching, because you could pass on the outside and you could run the bottom.
"At 400 laps it's a good length; it's not long race where you have to get out there and ride for a certain amount of time. You can race the whole race."
Ragan found himself in heady company late in last fall's Richmond race, finishing behind Jimmie Johnson and Tony Stewart and just in front of Jeff Gordon.
Nine races into the season in 2007, Ragan was 25th in the Cup standings. This year, he's even with Brian Vickers for 15th in the standings and is only 35 points outside the top 12.
Ragan certainly has more experience on short tracks. He began racing at age 11, running "bandolero" cars built by 600 Racing. His father is general manager of that Harrisburg, N.C.-based company, which also builds cars used in legends racing.
Then again, Richmond is a giant step up from a quarter-mile legends track.
"Richmond is a short track that you can go fast on, definitely," he said. "You've got to take care of your brakes, and you've got to take care of your car.
"You just can't get out there and beat and bang, because you'll get yourself in trouble and your car won't perform like it would if it was a clean car. It's really a fun track if you can get your car hooked up."
In his second full season in the Cup series, David Ragan has started better eight times and finished better eight times than he did in the first nine races of his rookie year:
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