News & Media

Ragan wets a line during rare Cup Series off week

April 24, 2011, Joe Menzer,

LAKE NORMAN, N.C. -- Joins pro anglers in helping to promote public awareness for NASCAR Day

What's the best way for a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver to spend a sunny afternoon heading into a rare off weekend?

David Ragan may have found it last week when he hooked up with professional fishermen Andy Montgomery and Bink Desaro for an afternoon of fun with an added purpose on Lake Norman just outside of Charlotte, N.C. Ragan took some fishing tips from the pro anglers while also helping to promote public awareness for NASCAR Day -- which will be May 20 this year -- and for all the charitable causes the NASCAR Foundation helps support through NASCAR Day and other activities.

"It's too much hard work to try to come out and catch 'em when you don't know what you're doing."


Montgomery and Desaro were on hand not only to give Ragan some much-needed tips about fishing, but to promote the fact that Fetha Styx fishing rods are solidly behind NASCAR's charitable efforts. For every fishing rod the company sells, Fetha Styx donates $10 to the NASCAR Foundation.

"I think the community really rallies around NASCAR Day, and I think it's important that we do some fun things like this to help raise some funds and draw awareness to it," Ragan said. "The NASCAR Day deal really goes a long way toward helping support a lot of kids and charities that are close to the hearts of a lot of us competitors in NASCAR.

"Fetha Styx coming on board to help support the cause is cool. Anytime you can tie in some professional anglers and teach us a few things about fishing, it's a win-win situation."

Janet Bolin, senior manager of marketing and licensing for NASCAR, said NASCAR Day is an important day for the sport and the charities it attempts to help support on a yearly basis.

"Since we started NASCAR Day, we've raised over $8 million to give to charities across the United States," Bolin said. "We've been able to help Victory Junction [Gang camps] this year. All of the proceeds from our [NASCAR Day] pin sales have been able to go directly toward helping Victory Junction. We've been able to send over 1,000 kids to camp through the generous donations of our fans."

Bolin said she appreciated Ragan coming out on the water to offer his support on a rare off day. Then again, it seemed Ragan appreciated some of the tips he was able to glean from Montgomery and Desaro.

"I'm not a die-hard fisherman. I enjoy getting out on the water and doing anything outside. I've got a small pond of my own, and I get out a couple of times throughout the summer -- but that's about it," Ragan said.

"These guys are very specific in what they do. They know where the fish are at; they know what's going on. If I'm out fishing, I'm just randomly throwing it out there to spots and hoping the fish bite. They definitely have a plan of attack for catching some. That's why they're professionals, and we just do it for fun."

So what exactly did Ragan learn on the day? Mainly that he's a much better race car driver than he is a fisherman.

"I like going to a restaurant and ordering some fish [to eat]," he said, laughing. "It's too much hard work to try to come out and catch 'em when you don't know what you're doing."