Ken Ragan of Unadilla, Georgia, was born on Sept. 12, 1950 into a racing family. His father, Hugh, owned race cars that raced on Daytona Beach and at the famed Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, among many others, in the 1940s and 1950s, picking up an eighth place finish on the beach in 1948.
Ragan began his racing career piloting high-speed go carts, winning the World Karting Association Championship in 1978 after finishing as runner-up in 1977. After he and his brother Marvin purchased a sportsman car from Bobby Allison, Ragan began racing in sportsman events across the southeast.
Ragan won the final race held at Middle Georgia Raceway in Byron Georgia, and competed around the nation.
Ragan’s first major race was in an ARCA event at Talladega Superspeedway in May of 1982. He made more than 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts throughout his career, as well as several Nationwide series and ARCA starts. Ragan ran in four Daytona 500s, in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987. His best finish in the event was in ’84, when he finished 14th.
Ragan’s best Sprint Cup effort came at Talladega Superspeedway in 1984, where he finished 11th.
After retiring from driving, Ragan worked to help establish Legends Cars of Georgia in 1997 and in 2001 would move to Charlotte, North Carolina to manage 600 Racing, which manufactures and sponsors Legends cars around the world. Ragan was instrumental in opening the door for many drivers to have the opportunity to race, including several current NASCAR stars.
Ken, his wife Beverly and eldest son Adam recently relocated back home to Unadilla, Georgia. His son David is currently the driver of the number 6 UPS Ford for Roush-Fenway Racing, and won this year’s Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.