Welcome to From the Marbles' 2013 driver reviews. Here, we're going to critique, praise and bloviate about the top 30 drivers in the 2013 NASCAR season. David Ragan, it's your turn.
David, thanks for stopping by today. We're going to cut to the chase -- that's lowercase, by the way, we'll get to the final 10 races of the season in a moment.
That Talladega win of yours was one of the most dramatic races of the season. Maybe it was the delay, maybe it was impending darkness, or maybe it was simply the drive of yours and David Gilliland's to charge to the front and win the race. That was one of the best NASCAR moments of the year.
Plus, it gave your team its first taste of success and we're proud of that too. It's always great when different departments have great achievements, and we understand the jealous that can happen when certain other departments are seemingly celebrating every week. We apologize for being unable to regulate the budgets across the board.
Now let's talk about the Chase. Your engine group really let you down in three of the final four races and it's unfortunately reflecting in this exit interview. Of course, we know that it's not your fault and we're going to grade you accordingly -- you can't drive a car competitively without a working engine. However, we'd be doing this a couple days later if it wasn't for that.
You seem very comfortable at Front Row and we're glad to see that you want to continue with the team for another season. They seem to like you around and there's potential. Your qualifying efforts were starting to look up and until Martinsville, the engine department was pulling its weight. And we're also glad that you're going to be able to represent your team at the All-Star function next May because of that Talladega win. We know you're really looking forward to that.
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- David Ragan