David Ragan will end full-time driving career after 2019

Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nascar/sprint/drivers/629/" data-ylk="slk:David Ragan">David Ragan</a> is leaving the No. 38 car at the end of the season. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)
David Ragan is leaving the No. 38 car at the end of the season. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

David Ragan won’t be back in Front Row Motorsports’ No. 38 car in 2020.

Ragan, 33, announced Wednesday that he was ending his full-time driving career. Ragan has been full-time in the Cup Series since 2007.

“I’ve prayed and heavily considered this decision, but for myself and my family, I believe this is the right thing to do,” Ragan said in a statement. “I am a husband and a father to two young girls first, and I am a driver second.

“To compete in what I consider the greatest series in the world, you need full dedication of your time and focus. My children are growing up quickly, and I want to concentrate my time in being the best father and husband I can be. I feel this is where God is leading my life, and therefore I’m making this decision.”

Ragan is currently 30th in the points standings and doesn’t have any top-10 finishes this season.

Ragan has two Cup wins

Ragan started his Cup Series career in the No. 6 car for Roush Fenway Racing. He got the first win of his career in 2011 when he won the July race at Daytona. Ragan moved to Front Row in 2012 and won at Talladega in 2013.

Ragan started the 2015 season with Front Row but moved over to Joe Gibbs Racing for the second race of the season as a fill-in for Kyle Busch, who was injured in the season-opening Xfinity Series race that season. After driving for JGR, Ragan moved over to Michael Waltrip Racing and the No. 55 car to replace Brian Vickers for the rest of the season.

MWR shut down at the end of 2015 and Ragan went to the now-defunct BK Racing for the 2016 season. He then rejoined Front Row ahead of the 2017 season.

A surprising open seat for 2020

Ragan’s departure from the Cup Series means Front Row has a spot to fill next season. And it could have a number of suitors to drive the car because it doesn’t look like many Cup rides are changing hands ahead of the 2020 season.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer seems ready to move to the Cup Series. If SHR wanted to move Custer up and not change its current four-driver lineup, it could slot Custer in at fellow Ford team Front Row.

Or Front Row could look for an established Cup Series driver to pair with Michael McDowell and Matt Tifft. Matt DiBenedetto may be looking for a ride if Leavine Family Racing ends up being the Cup Series home for Christopher Bell in 2020. Or maybe Front Row will surprise and pick another driver that brings guaranteed sponsor cash for the No. 38.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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