Ranger Getting Defensive At NJMP
MILLVILLE, N.J. – Since the debut of the ARCA Racing Series at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2008, there have been no repeat winners.
Perhaps, the upcoming All-American Race Weekend presented by Global Barter Corporation presents the best opportunity for the first repeat victor at NJMP when Roxton Pond, Quebec’s Andrew Ranger takes to the 2.25-mile Thunderbolt road course to defend his title.
Ranger out-dueled George Miedecke in a thrilling last-lap battle in last year’s race to earn his first ARCA Racing Series victory in his first attempt.
The two drivers bounced off each other in the final turn coming to the checkered flag, with Ranger emerging as the winner in one of the most memorable and exciting road course races in ARCA history.
“It’s something I’ve always been very proud of, winning in my first ARCA start,” Ranger said. “I’m just so proud to be back with the same team and the same car. New Jersey’s such a great track, a lot of fun.”
Ranger overcame a series of challenges to capture the top-spot on the victory lane podium, including a blown engine late in the final practice and having to start in the back for the race as a result.
“It was challenging all the way around,” Ranger said. “I knew that the team was so well prepared for this race, so there was some expectancy to win, but at the same time, everything was new to me – the series, all the drivers, everything.
“And so many things happened all at once. We had to change the engine before the race, started in the back, and still won the race. I still consider it one of my biggest victories of my career, one I’m certainly very proud of.”
That says a lot coming from Ranger, who has already earned two NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championships in 2007 and 2009. He is currently in a close battle for the same title in 2012, just five points behind the leader in third place.
Ranger also comes to New Jersey fresh from his first victory of the season on the Canadian Tires Series tour, winning the recent Lucas Oil Grand Prix at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Ontario.
“We’re definitely coming to New Jersey with some momentum. Winning our first race of the year was very exciting.
“I just can’t wait to get back to New Jersey. It’s such a fun track, but it’s also quite challenging. It’s both tough and so smooth. You’ve got the long frontstretch with that sweeping first corner, but once you get on the backstretch, it gets really tough and very technical. It’s slippery on the backside and very challenging, but that’s what makes it so fun.”
Ranger, who also has plans to race in the NASCAR Nationwide Series tour this year, made two additional ARCA Racing Series start in 2011, finishing fifth at both Chicagoland Speedway and the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mile dirt.