Nathan DeRagon: Friend Lending an Engine Helps Him Win Two

Nathan DeRagon: Friend Lending an Engine Helps Him Win Two

Thanks to a friend’s generosity, Nathan DeRagon swept the weekend at Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, Arizona. The kind gesture led to him maintaining the lead in the IMCA hobby stock national point standings.

“My buddy, Scott Tenney, let me borrow a GM 602 crate engine,” DeRagon, of Peoria, Arizona, said. “We race together every weekend. He didn’t want to see me lose my lead.”

DeRagon typically runs an open engine. He has eight wins this year and the points lead at two tracks, too — Central Arizona Raceway in Casa Grande and Cocopah Speedway. DeRagon aims to race 70 events this year. However, his open engine soured two weeks ago. DeRagon has another one on order.

“I ordered the open engine because I prefer it,” said DeRagon. “Even on a dry-slick track, you can run well with good throttle control. If you show up and a track is hammer down, you have much more power that you do with a crate engine. I like to get my foot into it and rip the top. An open engine would have helped me out more than flatfooting the crate engine and hoping for more.”

DeRagon has just one crew member, Brandon Painter, who has helped him since he was 14 years old. Part of his success stems from what they do in the shop.

“My philosophy is simple — focus on what you can control,” DeRagon said. “Take care of your equipment. The last two races I won from being in second when the leaders had mechanical failure.”

While Nathan DeRagon has the foresight to be prepared for when arriving at the track, once he’s there, it’s a different story.

“At the track, it’s focus on the heat race, and then the main event,” said DeRagon. “The key to maximizing your performance is not to think too far ahead.”