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David Ragan pulled off a huge upset in 2013 at Talladega.
After a mediocre rookie season driving for Roush Racing, David Ragan saw significant improvement in 2008, his second season in the Sprint Cup Series.
He posted 14 Top 10s and just missed out on qualifying for the Chase. He finished the year 13th in the standings, best among non-playoff drivers.
After his breakthrough performance, Ragan struggled the next few seasons. In 2009 and 2010, he combined for just five Top-10 finishes, and 24th was his best points finish. Things turned around slightly in 2011. He won for the first time in Sprint Cup competition and earned eight Top-10s.
Following the season, Ragan was released from Roush-Fenway Racing as the team downsized from four cars to three.
Ragan was able to sign a deal with Front Row Motorsports. Going from one of the teams in the sport to an underfunded team, any expectations that Ragan may have had in his Roush days were now long gone.
Ragan ended 2012 with two Top-10s and a 28th-place finish in the standings.
2013, Ragan's second year with Front Row Motorsports, saw him make history. In the May race at Talladega, Ragan pulled off the biggest upset in recent NASCAR history when he claimed the checkered flag. It was the first win for the team.
Ragan enters 2014 once again with minimal expectations. His team is still not in a position to challenge for race wins outside of the restrictor-plate tracks, and qualifying for the Chase is extremely unlikely.
However, the year is make-or-break for the remainder of Ragan's career.
If he can continue to help grow this team, it could lead to him signing with a bigger team. Ragan is still young enough where he has plenty of time left in the sport, and helping transform a small team into a contender will pay dividends for his future.