NASCAR & Auto Racing

David Ragan in contention

for rookie titles in two series

David Ragan is hoping to see double.

Ragan, who leads the NASCAR Busch Series rookie of the year standings, remains a viable candidate to become the first driver to capture that honor in two series in the same season.

He holds a comfortable 24-point lead over Marcos Ambrose in the Busch Series entering Saturday’s Yellow Transportation 300 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. (3 p.m. Eastern, ESPN2).

Ragan trails leader Juan Pablo Montoya by 15 points in the Nextel Cup series rookie standings with eight races remaining in the season.

“It’s pretty tough. Everyone says, ‘Man, you’re not running that good in Busch’ and I tell everyone it’s just as hard top run in the top 10 in a Cup race as it is a Busch race,” he said. “I’ve had my work cut off for us on the Busch side.

“I feel like our position on the Cup side is where we want to be. We’ve had a few strong races. We’ve had a couple of races that we’ve struggled a little bit. We know some areas that we need to work on and I feel like we’re getting close.”

Ragan has three top-five and seven top-10 finishes on the Busch side this season. He earned his first pole at Texas and his best finish was fourth at Talladega, Ala. He is currently fifth in the series points race.

On the Cup side, Ragan has a pair of top-five finishes this season, with his career-best third coming at Richmond, Va., earlier this month.

Notes

  • With seven races remaining, Carl Edwards’ No. 60 Ford team has taken the lead back in the car owner standings, holding a 39-point advantage over Richard Childress Racing’s No. 29 Chevrolet team.
  • Edwards already has a sizable lead in the driver standings, but the Nos. 60 and 29 have flip-flopped in the owner points the past several weeks.

    “All the pressure is on the No. 60 car. It would be much more disappointing for them to win the drivers’ championship and lose the owners’ championship,” said Jeff Burton, who shares the No. 29 with Scott Wimmer. “It is our job to make that disappointment.”

  • If Jason Keller qualifies for Saturday’s race – which he must do on time since his CJM Racing team is not in the top 30 in the owners’ standings – he will make his 417th series start, tying the record held by Tommy Houston.
  • The 37-year-old Keller is the only driver other than Houston to make more than 400 series starts. He would break the record at the Oct. 12 race at Charlotte.

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