Kansas Conditions Send Cars Sliding, Wrecking

David Ragan, No. 34 Taco Bell Ford
Starting Position: 38
Finishing Position: 38

A damp and dreary evening set the scene for Kansas Speedway’s first Sprint Cup Series night race on Saturday. After a 35-minute rain delay, the 400-mile event got under way with David Ragan starting 38th.

The conditions resulted in some loose race cars, including the No. 34 Taco Bell Ford. On Lap 60, Ragan’s Ford Fusion got sideways and started sliding up the racetrack, making contact with the No. 83 of Ryan Truex. The collision sent both cars spinning, causing considerable damage to the No. 34. Ragan was able to drive the car to the garage, where the team persevered in making extensive repairs so they could return to the track and collect additional positions.

On Lap 154, the Taco Bell Ford pulled back on track, where Ragan was able to gain three spots over the remaining laps to record a 38th-place finish.

Comments from Taco Bell team driver David Ragan after the Kansas race:

“The car just got loose. The 83 didn’t do anything wrong. I just got loose and got out of the throttle trying to hang on to it and he ran into the back of me. I appreciate how hard the guys worked to get us back out there and get a few more spots. We’ve got some time at home the next couple weeks racing in Charlotte, so we’ll get recharged, keep our heads up and get back at it.”

 

David Gilliland, No. 38 Long John Silver’s Ford
Starting Position: 39
Finishing Position: 37

David Gilliland had a frightening and jarring end to his race at Kansas Speedway Saturday night after getting caught up in a violent crash. Fortunately, he walked away unhurt.

After starting the 267-lap event in 39th, Gilliland worked on handling a very loose Long John Silver’s Ford for the first half of the race. Numerous other cars spun out from loose handling conditions, but Gilliland kept his car pointed in the right direction as his team worked to improve it on each pit stop.

The No. 38 crew had just started to make significant improvements to their Ford Fusion when Gilliland got swept up in a wild wreck on Lap 187. The No. 47 of A.J. Allmendinger got loose, sending the No. 51 of Justin Allgaier careening into the path of the No. 38. Gilliland hit the outside wall hard, spinning and on fire. Safety crews were able to help the driver out of the car and to an ambulance, which took him to the infield care center. In spite of the hard hit, Gilliland was evaluated and released with no injuries. The team was credited with a 37th-place finish.

Comments from Long John Silver’s team driver David Gilliland after the Kansas race:

“I am OK. I don’t know what happened. It looked like the 47 and 51 got together and the 51 came back up the track and I hit him and from there a lot of stuff happened. I am alright, though. Just a little sore obviously. That is one of the hardest hits I have had in a while. Hopefully it will be the hardest one for a while to come, too. I am fine, though, just ready to get on with it.”