JUSTIN, Texas (November 1, 2011) – – Officials from Randy Hill Racing (RHR) announced today that NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) driver David Ragan will pilot the No. 08 Texas Tech University Ford Mustang in Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway.
Ragan, a two-time winner in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Talladega ( Ala. ) Superspeedway and Bristol ( Tenn. ) Motor Speedway respectively replaces Casey Roderick who remains the team’s primary driver. Roderick, 19, will be in attendance for Saturday’s contest to support the team and confer with Ragan.
The change comes as Randy Hill Racing has attempted to make its last two NNS starts at Richmond ( Va. ) International Raceway and Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway respectively but failed to earn a starting berth. Ragan’s experience will undoubtedly give the RHR team a fair evaluation of the team’s overall program.
“We believe in Casey Roderick and he will race again with us,” Randy Hill said, “but this is a huge race for us and we’ve asked our fellow Ford Racing driver David Ragan to jump in the No. 08 Texas Tech University Ford Mustang in an effort to give us an assessment on the positives and negatives of a new Nationwide team. Ragan is a proven wheelman and we believe he can get the job done this weekend.”
“I’m excited about the opportunity to drive in the Nationwide series again,” said Ragan. ”It will be fun working with the new team of Randy Hill Racing, and helping them develop their program. We expect to be fast and to run up front on race day.”
To some it’s not a surprise to see the Unadilla, Georgia native behind the wheel of the team’s Ford Mustang as the car that will be utilized this weekend previously exited the Roush Fenway Racing stables. Should the 25-year old make the field on time, it will be his first Nationwide race since competing at Phoenix ( Ariz. ) International Raceway in 2009.
“We haven’t decided 100 percent if we are going to go to Homestead , so this could be our last race of the year,” sounded Hill, a successful Texas entrepreneur. “Should everything go like we think it should, we will have data and feedback that will only make this team stronger entering the 2012 season with Casey Roderick.”
For his hometown race, Hill will sport the Texas Tech University colors on the team’s No. 08 entry. RHR will encourage football and NASCAR fans to unite and cheer on Texas Tech in their bid to defeat Texas in the highly anticipated showdown Saturday night.
The team will continue to be led by Jeff Spraker of Spraker Racing Enterprises.
The O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge (200 laps / 300 miles) is the 32nd of 34 events on the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule. The first practice session of the week begins on Friday, November 4th, from 9:00 am to 10:15 am. The final “happy hour” practice session will run from 10:40 am to 11:55 am. Qualifying is set for later on Friday at 5:35 pm. The field will take the green flag at 11:55 am on Saturday November 5th with live coverage on ESPN2, the Performance Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite, Channel 90). Pre-race coverage of the contest lifts off at 11 am on ESPN2.
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