NASCAR EV Car Impresses David Ragan

Jackson Wheeler
10 Min Read

Second-generation driver David Ragan may not compete weekly in NASCAR, but he’s still very busy behind the scenes, most recently being involved with NASCAR’s development of its EV car.

Ragan says it has some similarities to the current Cup car.

“But from the braking and the regeneration of the electric motors and the torque that the all-wheel drive car has, it’s pretty incredible the performance that it has,” said Ragan, who tested the car at Martinsville Speedway. “I was surprised that the couple of tests that we did went so well. When you design a new car from the ground up and you out-source parts from all around the world that’s a challenge.

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NASCAR COO Steve O’Donnell

“We’ve just scratched the surface on the capabilities of that car, and everyone is still learning.”

NASCAR COO Steve O’Donnell addressed NASCAR’s EV car at his State of the Sport address in November, saying that a great deal of work around an electric vehicle has occurred at NASCAR’s Research and Development Center. He aded they have a car and an alternative body style with that car.

However, O’Donnell says he would not look for NASCAR specifically to go racing with it.

Ragan says the car has a “lot of power, a lot of cool things that makes the car fun to drive.”

“I was really surprised at how smooth the testing went,” Ragan says. “The acceleration coming off the corner at Martinsville, when the torque and the power is turned up, I’ve never felt acceleration that fast in my life. That’s the fastest I’ve ever accelerated because of the all-wheel drive and the torque. It doesn’t have a transmission and a driveshaft to go through. It’s just immediate power.”

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Ryan Blaney is out to defend his Cup championship, but first there’s a little matter of the Daytona 500.

Blaney’s Losses in the Daytona 500 Still Sting

NASCAR Cup champion Ryan Blaney may possess the top title in stock car racing, but that achievement hasn’t erased the sting he still feels when he thinks about his narrow losses in the Daytona 500.

In 2017, Blaney placed second to Kurt Busch. He was runner-up again in 2020 to Denny Hamlin. Then in 2022 Team Penske teammate Austin Cindric robbed Blaney of the Daytona 500 victory he thought he had in his grasp.

“I remember every little detail of how you run second,” Blaney says. “It stings running second and being close to winning this thing and not doing it.”

Blaney describes the 2017 race as a “weird one” in that he couldn’t have done anything different. In reviewing the 2020 Daytona 500, there wasn’t “any rhyme or reason.”

“It’s easy to Monday quarterback that thing and be like, we’ll just make a different move. It’s hard to make those decisions in that moment,” Blaney says. “You’re trying to process a million thoughts in a millisecond. Sometimes you make the wrong choice.

“In 2022, I thought I waited to the correct moment to make sure one of us (Austin Cindric or me) won the race, but I wish I would have made a different move. I try not to get too bent out of shape about them. I try to just learn from them.”

This year’s Daytona 500 is Blaney’s 10th and he’s studied previous ones, examining the moves he made as well as his competitors.

“You just try to take all the info and experience that you can and then, hopefully, you’re in a spot to where you can use it,” Blaney says.

“There’s a million, trillion different situations that can pop up, but you try just to figure out maybe there are some similarities to the situation that you might find yourself in and you just try to dump all this stuff into your brain that you hope subconsciously pop up if you’re in that position.”

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Corey LaJoie likes what he sees at Spire Motorsports.

LaJoie: A Changing Mindset at Spire Motorsports

When Corey LaJoie joined Spire Motorsports four years ago, he faced something he had never experienced. He had tight reins placed on him as to how he could race.

“It’s like you don’t even engage, you don’t even look at the front,” LaJoie says. “Don’t even think about going up there. You just need to have this car cross the start-finish line at the end.”

Now, with Spire Motorsports purchase of Kyle Busch Motorsports and its fielding three full-time Cup teams and one part-time and two full-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series operations, LaJoie sees an attitude change, a changing goal as it has progressed.

“As we get more partners, you can afford to stick it up in the mix and try to punch a ticket to the playoffs because you can justify it,” LaJoie says. “I’ve always had that like go get it, do whatever it takes to make it happen mindset. That’s never changed for me. So, to have the reins pulled back was counterintuitive to how I’ve grown up. So now to get the reins loosened up a little bit more, to be able to attack a race how I see fit I think will start to pay dividends.”

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A.J. Allmendinger has won races in NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and the IndyCar Series.

Allmendinger Wanted To Stay In Cup … But

A.J. Allmendinger says he would like to have continued in the NASCAR Cup Series full-time this season instead of returning to the Xfinity Series in that capacity for Kaulig Racing if the team had been going in the right direction.

Allmendinger says the most important thing to team owner Matt Kaulig is to win trophies.

“We have more potential in the Xfinity Series (to do that),” Allmendinger says. “The Cup Series is difficult. Hell, just winning one race last year is a good year. The Xfinity Series is where they make their living. So, they wanted me to come back and try to get the program in the right direction.”

Allmendinger will run a limited schedule in the Cup Series.

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Carson Hocevar is out to help fledgling Spire Motorsports fill the trophy cases.

Empty Trophy Cases a Daily Visual at Spire

When Spire Motorsports purchased Kyle Busch Motorsports’ facility in Mooresville, N.C., the item in the building that stood out most to Corey LaJoie was the numerous empty trophy cases.

“The guy that was in that shop before, they had frickin’ trophies in the rafters of that place … because they had no other place to put them,” LaJoie says. “With all of Kyle’s success and all of his wins and truck series wins, that place was chocked full of trophies. Now, there’s like a couple of pictures and my kickball trophy in the trophy case.”

Those trophy cases serve as a reminder to Spire Motorsports that it needs to build its operation to the point that it can start filling the them. This year the team is fielding NASCAR Cup teams for LaJoie, Carson Hocevar, and Zane Smith, who’s under contract to Trackhouse Racing. In NASCAR’s Craftsman Truck Series, Rajah Caruth and Chase Purdy are competing full time. Spire also will have a part-time entry in the Truck series.

LaJoie knows it’s important to use the empty trophy cases for motivation but at the same time, not to be overwhelmed by them. He said he enters the building’s back door, so he doesn’t see the empty trophy cases.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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