Aric Almirola is taking over the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 following the departure of AJ Allmendinger, a move that raised a few eyebrows given the number of high-profile drivers still without a ride. Specifically, the move marks another disappointment for David Ragan, who has now missed out on both the No. 22 and No. 43 seats.
Here's the question, though: did RPM err in picking Almirola over Ragan? Let's consider the stats. Almirola has run less than a full season, all told, in Sprint Cup (35 races over four seasons from 2007 to 2010) and notched only one top 5 (fourth place at Homestead in 2010) and two top 10s during that span.
Ragan, on the other hand, is at age 26 almost two years younger than Almirola. He's run 182 races in the Sprint Cup series, and has one win (last July at Daytona), 12 top 5s and 30 top 10s. Almost half of those numbers came in the 2008 season, but Ragan has struggled for much of the rest of his career.
By all accounts, Ragan is a good guy and a solid...