On Thursday, UPS announced what their future NASCAR involvement will entail. And as expected, their team side sponsorship has been drastically reduced. For 2012 the shipping giant will scale back to being just an associate sponsor on Carl Edwards #99, and will serve as a primary for just one Cup race. This move, coupled with a lack of sponsorship at Roush Fenway Racing (the 17 is still not fully backed for 2012) will most likely mean the end of David Ragan’s days as an RFR driver.
We’ve been hearing for a few weeks that the outlook for RFR’s #6 car was grim. And the later we get in the year without an announcement, the worse the chances are that sponsorship can be obtained to keep the team running. It’s been clear for some time now that UPS would not be back with Ragan, and there hasn’t been even a peep of a rumor about another possible backer.
For Ragan, this could spell the end of what has been a mediocre run with Roush Fenway. 2008 was by far his best season, with six top five, and 14 top ten finishes. He just barely missed making the Chase that year, and finished the season 13th in the points. He has not come anywhere near that level of success since.
If he ends up being released from RFR, Ragan’s options in the Cup Series would be extremely limited. There was talk a few weeks back that he could be a candidate for a ride with TRG, and if that is even true, it would probably be his only opportunity. Ragan is without major financial backing, and no big team will put him in a decent ride. The best he could maybe hope for is a chance at a competitive Nationwide or Truck Series ride.
There is still a little bit of time left, and with it a small chance that something could still be done to save RFR’s 6 car and David Ragan’s seat. But if Ragan is smart, he’s been working the phones for the last few months trying to track down some backing and/or a new ride. For a guy as nice as Ragan is, hopefully somebody calls back.