FF: National champion crowned

RAY TAKES NATIONAL FOCUS TITLE WITH VICTORY; CAROLINA/VIRGINIA SWEEPS WEEKEND WITH SCOTT'S LIMA WIN INDIANAPOLIS -- Robbie Ray of Davenport, Iowa, who now resides in Hickory, N.C., emerged Sunday as the inaugural USAC Ford Focus National ...

RAY TAKES NATIONAL FOCUS TITLE WITH VICTORY; CAROLINA/VIRGINIA SWEEPS WEEKEND WITH SCOTT'S LIMA WIN

INDIANAPOLIS -- Robbie Ray of Davenport, Iowa, who now resides in Hickory, N.C., emerged Sunday as the inaugural USAC Ford Focus National champion following a hard-fought 50-lap victory at the Anderson (Ind.) Speedway, the finale of the two race swing.

Driving the No. 11 Calico Coatings Beast owned by Tracy Trotter, Ray passed Brandon Wagner on Lap 43 and was never challenged again to score the victory and earn a four-point cushion over Californian Chris Veach for the title. It was the second title for Ray, who topped the 2003 Midwest Ford Focus points standings.

"We've been with USAC for a long time, when my grandfather Ralph was racing 50 years ago," Ray said. "This victory and championship mean so much to our family. Words can't describe what this means to me. I just have to thank USAC and Ford Racing for putting this together."

Wagner -- who led the opening 42 laps -- finished second, ahead of a strong Northeast contingent, headed by series leader Michael Sboro. Trailing in fourth and fifth were Ryan Smith and polesitter Stephanie Stevens.

Ray earned a break when four of the Top 5 in points heading into Sunday's event failed to make the feature. National and Carolina/Virginia points leader and Saturday's winner Chase Scott, Oklahoma regional champion Jasiel Randolph and California Dirt points leader Chase Barber could not get through the pack to earn a feature spot, while Derek Fisher scratched after an accident in his heat race. Scott was the evening's fast qualifier.

Scott earned the points lead after his victory Saturday at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio. Piloting the No. 4 Real Race Cars Beast, the Concord, N.C. native led the final 17 laps to beat Fisher, Veach, Randolph and Barber. Ray finished 10th.

Scott's victory was his first career on dirt and launched him ahead of Tate Martz for most career Ford Focus victories with 16. Martz set Saturday's fast time.

Veach's 106 points in the two-race swing put him four points behind Ray, while Stephanie Mockler of Westfield, Ind. sat four points in arrears of Veach. Sboro and Jordan Noblitt rounded out the Top 5 in points.

Overall, 11 drivers competed in both races. <pre> NATIONAL FORD FOCUS MIDGET CAR SERIES STANDINGS 1. Robbie Ray 110 2. Chris Veach 106 3. Stephanie Mockler 102 4. Michael Sboro 92 5. Jordan Noblitt 84 6. Chase Scott 79 7. Adam Kramer 78 8. Virginia Quinones 77 9. Alex Harris 74 10. Tate Martz 67

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Series USAC
Drivers Stephanie Mockler , Brandon Wagner , Jordan Noblitt , Ryan Smith , Chase Scott , Adam Kramer , Robbie Ray