Andrew Ranger wins ARCA road course race in New Jersey
Canadian's fourth straight win at the track
Andrew Ranger (in photo, from a previous race) got by Justin Boston with 14 laps remaining in Sunday's Great Railing 150 at New Jersey Motorsports Park, then sailed to a 17-second victory. It's his fourth consecutive win at the spacious, 2.25-mile road course.
Brian Wong finished second, Matt Tifft third and ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards point leader Grant Enfinger fourth. Frank Kimmel was fifth in the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota.
"I think this car is built to win here," said Ranger, a resident of Roxton Pond, Quebec. "My team, my car, it's all great at this New Jersey track."
Ranger actually had a right rear tire go flat on the second lap of the race.
"I think I ran over some debris from another incident," he said. "We had to pit. When I heard I had a flat tire, I was really nervous, because anything can happen. But, we were on a caution and I was able to pit. We had a great pit stop and I was able to come back out still with the lead lap."
Ranger came out at the back of the field, but within two laps worked his way into the top 10 and was gaining positions the entire time. He then followed Boston for several laps before looking for his spot to pass him.
"I think he made a little mistake in the turns and I was able to get by him," Ranger said. "I was pushing my car, but not too hard. I wanted to save my stuff a little bit."
Boston led the first 32 laps, then again from laps 44 to 53 before Ranger was able to pass him for the lead. Late in the race, Boston had a tire issue and had to pit. He still finished seventh two weeks after his first ARCA win.
A Chinese-American, Wong had a great run, finishing second in just his second ARCA start. He was the SCOTT Rookie Challenge winner.
"I love these ARCA cars," the California native said. "They are so much fun to drive. I'm not really used to how heavy they are, so it took me a little bit of time to adjust. After my pit stop, I was able to push it up to second place."
Tifft led two laps and finished third for the second consecutive race. He said he followed Ranger for a while early in the race, learning some of his moves around the 14-turn course.
"I was following him, seeing where he lifted and where he would roll into the turns," Tifft said. "He's so good here. I was just trying to finish the race without blowing up."
Kyle Benjamin led nine laps in the race, his first on a road course. In the Roulo Brothers Racing Ford, Benjamin finished sixth, one spot in front of Boston.
Raul Orlandini from Lima, Peru, placed eighth in the Kimmel Racing Ford. Local favorite Tom Hessert was ninth in the Cunningham Motorsports Caregard-AxiomWarranty.com Dodge. He had problems with a gear that sent him a lap down.
"The shifter shifted and the transmission didn't," Hessert said. "That was all she wrote."
Mason Mitchell squeezed in another top 10 finish - his 15th straight. Josh Williams ran in the top five to eight cars most of the day before finishing 11th after a late pit stop. Michael Lira was 12th in the second Kimmel Racing Ford with Karl Weber being four laps down in the No. 3.
For the second consecutive year, Ranger set records for both qualifying and the race. He qualified at 101.982 mph, then finished the race in 1:24:03, or 84.274 mph.
"It's just great to be here again in New Jersey," he said. "The car was fabulous for me. I think I was quicker than the No. 25, but I didn't want to use all of my car, so I rode behind him for a while.
"It's such a great track. I feel very comfortable here. The first part is fast and the second part is very technical and slippery. I like that kind of track."
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards has a short turnaround for next week's race, the Pocono ARCA 200 at Pocono Raceway on Saturday. The race will be live on Fox Sports 1.
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