So is it strategy, or a coin flip?
"All I can say is a lot of it is a gut decision," Ragan said during a teleconference on Tuesday. "You can't sit here on a Tuesday or even on a Thursday or Friday and have a plan and just stick to it. You've got to make decisions as the flow of the race changes. If they have a big wreck early in the race and there's only 25 cars running, then your strategy changes. If there's 40 cars still running at the end of the race with 50 laps to go, your strategy changes again.
"You've just got to know all the factors and rely on your crew chief and your spotter, and myself and my judgment, and try to make the best decision you can.
"I feel like my chances are as good as any at making the right moves in the closing laps of the race."
Hamlin is ready
Denny Hamlin has been cleared for takeoff again. After performing tests on Monday, doctors gave Hamlin the green light to compete in Daytona. Hamlin suffered a concussion in Sunday's crash at Kentucky Speedway and then saw doctors in Indianapolis Monday morning.
Hamlin missed four races after suffering a back injury in a crash at Fontana and his chances of making the Chase are shot, leading to speculation that he may shut it down and have back surgery sooner than later (in the off-season).
"Definitely have to proceed on," Hamlin said at Kentucky. "We're just going to try to win races, and that's what my job is for the rest of the year — to try to win and do the best I can for my sponsors and my team."
Five Cup drivers will be in the mix in Friday's Subway Firecracker 250 . Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Trevor Bayne, Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth will be in the starting grid, although they will not be eligible for any points as Cup regulars.