February 2nd, 2011 19:47 EST
NASCAR's David Ragan and Paul Le Mat from American Graffiti and American History X chat with Judyth Piazza on the AP
Judyth Piazza`s American Perspective.
Today`s guests NASCAR Driver David Ragan and Paul Le Mat from American Graffiti and American History.
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Paul Le Mat from American Graffiti and American History X
Viet Nam war veteren in 1966 awarded the National defense medal and viet Nam service medal, and won the George Washington Honor Medal, from the Freedom Foundation. Attended Newport Harbor High School, San Deigo City College, Cypress Junior college, Chapman College, and LA Vally College. Paul won the LA Diamond belt, welterweight division, the Southern Pacific AAU boxing Championship in 1972. Won two golden globes. His favorite Beer is Henry Weinhards.
David Ragan NASCARSetting out to prove that racing is in his blood, David Ragan will embark on a new chapter of his racing career in 2006. The son of former Nextel Cup driver Ken Ragan, David began racing at the age of 11 in the Bandolero Series. Under the guidance of his father, David had years of experience instilled in him before he ever hit the race track.
Not wanting just to be known as the son of a former driver, David made sure to let his on-track performance prove that he was out to establish his own reputation. He accomplished his goal, winning 12 races and the National Championship in just his second year of competition.
Ragan continued to race in the Bandolero division for the next two years, again winning the National Championship in 1999. He knew that getting experience in the smaller cars was helping to develop his driving skills, but he would need to progress to a full-size car and learn what it would take to bring him to the next level. He purchased a Goody`s Dash Series car and began preparations for the next step in his career.
Ragan partnered with Dash Series driver Cam Strader, and went to work in his shop. The experience he gained would prove invaluable to his future. When they were not getting the Dash cars ready to run, they were working on two new late model cars that Ragan would run the following year. Strader taught him what it took to set the cars up, and allowed Ragan the hands-on experience to which he credits much of his success. Much more than just a driver, Ragan worked countless hours preparing the cars that Strader would race to the "01 series Championship.
With the help of Strader, David ran several late model races across the southeast in "02. Still too young to compete in NASCAR divisions, Ragan made sure he was running the most comparable equipment possible. He began his relationship with Mark Martin, driving for him in the Legends Pro-Division, finishing fourth in series points out of 60 plus drivers.
As soon as he turned 18, Ragan made his first foray into NASCAR, running select Craftsman Truck and Busch Series events, along with a limited ARCA schedule.
He started second in his first ARCA start, and led a number of laps before a cut tire took him out of contention. His hard work and preparation did not go unnoticed and he caught the eye of Jack Roush`s scouts. Ragan was selected as one of the contestants in Roush Racing: Driver X, and although he did not win the competition, he was awarded a chance to pilot one of Jack Roush`s Fords in "06.