A night out in Vegas with David Ragan

Free time can often turn expensive in Las Vegas, which is why I wondered if any Twitter followers wanted to meet up for dinner Tuesday night. I figured it would keep me away from the casinos and also be a fun time to chat with people about NASCAR.

But the night turned out to be way better than expected, and I want to share the story with you.

Three Vegas locals — Hunter, Bruce and Jose — were among those who saw my dinner invitation. But a non-local saw it, too: David Ragan.

After spotting the tweet while lying in bed scrolling through his timeline on Monday night, Ragan reached out with an incredible offer: Why not have the group join him and spotter Rocky Ryan for dinner at an Italian restaurant owned by Ragan’s friend?

So there we were — a driver, spotter, writer and three NASCAR fans — sitting at Ferraro’s, enjoying some crazy good family-style food and talking about all things racing.

As we dined on gnocchi and chicken Marsala and calamari, Ragan told us what it was like to be in the middle of a three-wide pack at Talladega. Ryan told us about his days as Ward Burton’s spotter. The fans told us about why they liked certain drivers and which races were on their bucket list.

While Ragan and Ryan spoke, I kept peeking at Bruce and Hunter and Jose to see their faces, and it was so cool to see them smiling and soaking up the experience. Meanwhile, Ragan and Ryan spent two and a half hours at the dinner — this despite being on Eastern time after just landing in Vegas — and could not have been nicer.

Anyway, that’s it. There’s no “catch” to this story. Ragan didn’t ask me to write about it or even mention it to anyone. He wasn’t trying to promote anything. The fans didn’t have to pay a dime.

Ragan just decided, completely on his own, to give three avid NASCAR followers the kind of memory they’ll treasure forever.

 

14 Replies to “A night out in Vegas with David Ragan”

  1. #BreakingNews David Ragan is one of the nicest driver, ever! #ActuallyOldNews Awesome way to promote NASCAR!

  2. David is an incredible guy. I met David at a Meijers back when he raced trucks and because no one else was there, he just talked with me and my family for twenty or thirty minutes. He has a heart for other people, that’s for sure.

  3. Such a wonderful, spontaneous experience for everyone. David is a class act. Jeff, I love that you are able to capture these moments and share them with the fans.

  4. David is local to my middle GA area and I drive past his parents and brothers home often so I have had a chance to meet them several times. Class act and real people. I had good-natured football rivalry chat with his special needs brother who was working at the local Chik-fil-A. David deserves another chance with a top team and I hope he gets it even though any driver still eligible for his high school prom is now considered too old to develop.

  5. This is the nicest story I have read all year….thanks, Jeff and Thank You, David Ragan for thinking of it and for following thru with the idea. Those fans are now YOURS FOR LIFE!……

  6. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting David at two Tweet-Ups. He is one of the nicest guys and so fan friendly. What an amazing experience!! Kudos for the idea, Jeff! I hope you do this more often. David – just keep being the genuine person that you have always been with fans. I hope more drivers follow your lead.

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