Ranger Conquers Edmonton
WETASKIWIN, Alberta – Andrew Ranger has plenty of mastery on road courses.
The two-time champion of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 proved once again he can figure it out on an oval, too. He showed that Friday night as he picked up the win in the Alberta Has Energy 300 in the inaugural event at Edmonton Int’l Raceway.
Ranger tied the series’ all-time record with his 19th career win, and won back-to-back races for the first time since August 2009 following his victory on the road course at Circuit ICAR in Quebec last week. It was also his first oval win since 2009, and fourth overall.
“At the beginning of the day we didn’t have a really good car, so we improved lap after lap,” Ranger said “During the race my car was really fantastic.”
The race was stretched to 316 laps around the quarter-mile bullring following a late caution that involved early race leader Alex Tagliani, and required Ranger, who took the lead on Lap 269, to hold off LP Dumoulin and Jason Hathaway on the final restart.
“The pass with Alex [Tagliani] was a little bit tough because it was almost one [racing] line here,” Ranger said. “He did a little mistake and I was able to take him in [Turn] 3.”
Dumoulin and Hathaway waged a battle throughout the last two laps of the race for second and Dumoulin came out ahead, followed by Hathaway, J.R. Fitzpatrick and D.J. Kennington.
Joey McColm, Larry Jackson, Scott Steckly, rookie Stefan Rzadzinski and Noel Dowler completed the top 10.
Fitzpatrick, Kennington and Steckly were all two laps down at different points during the race and rallied back for top-10 finishes.
Tagliani, who won the pole position for the race earlier in the day, finished 13th. He led a career-high 268 laps.
Fitzpatrick and Dumoulin are now tied for the season points lead after four races at 162 apiece while Ranger’s back-to-back wins have bumped him up to third, 12 tallies behind the co-leaders.
Dumoulin has finished top-five in all four races this year, two more than any other driver.
“That’s our first podium on an oval, and the guys have been working really hard,” Dumoulin said after finishing second. “We were within sight for the last run. I knew being in second was not a good spot for the restart at the end, obviously we had to fight for that spot, but we kept our head up and made it happen.”
Ranger now shares the Canadian Tire Series’ career wins record with Kennington. That accomplishment came one week after he tied Fitzpatrick for the series’ all-time poles mark at 14.
Andrew Ranger; L.P. Dumoulin; Jason Hathaway; J.R. Fitzpatrick; D.J. Kennington; Joey McColm; Larry Jackson; Scott Steckly; Stefan Rzadzinski; Noel Dowler; Erica Thiering; Steve Mathews; Alex Tagliani; Nick Jewell; Bob DeLorme; Jamie Krzysik; James Van Domselaar; Ian Admiraal; Mark Dilley; Shania LaForce