Polesitter Ranger wins 3rd straight at NJMP

(MILLVILLE, N.J. – July 28, 2013) – Andrew Ranger passed Chase Elliott with 10 laps left in Sunday’s Barbera’s Autoland 150 presented by Driven Racing Oil, then sailed to his third ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards career win.

“When I was behind Chase I was trying to save my car,” Ranger said. “He pushed really hard with 25 to go, which surprised me. I tried to save the car. Then, when I was pretty close to him with 15 to go and then I passed him. I was a little nervous because I knew with that many laps to go a lot could happen.”

With no late race cautions, Ranger was able to widen his gap on Elliott, who was also passed by runner-up finisher Tom Hessert in the Cunningham Motorsports No. 77 Barbera’s Autoland Dodge.

“You never know what can happen with the last lap, 10 to go or five to go,” Ranger said. “I tried to be relaxed in the car and not make a mistake. Definitely I think we did a really good job – all the team did.”

Ranger has now won three straight ARCA events at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

With his second place finish, Hessert came home with his career-best road course finish.

“It was definitely a good day,” Hessert said. “In the end, second place is awfully good. It’s always great to run well close to home. It’s great to have the support.”

Elliott, in the No. 9 Aaron’s-Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet, led the most laps (34) and was the SCOTT Rookie Challenge winner of the race. Toward the end of the race, he said, he had a tire concern that caused him to drop to third.

“We definitely needed to be a little bit better,” Elliott said.

Will Kimmel finished fourth in his No. 69 Messina Wildlife Ford and Frank Kimmel, in the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota finished fifth. Justin Boston, in the No. 25 ZLOOP Computer & Electronics Recycling Toyota was sixth in the final running order with Venturini Motorsports teammate Brian Wong seventh, Mason Mingus eighth in the 811 Call Before You Dig Toyota, Steve Minghenelli in the Dylans RV Center Ford ninth and Austin Wayne Self 10th in the AM Technical Solutions Dodge. Venezuela Tourism Toyota driver Nelson Canache was the last car on the lead lap, in 11th.

Ranger sat on the pole for the race but it was Elliott grabbing the lead in the first turn and staying there until Ranger passed him on lap eight. Will Kimmel led three laps in the middle of the race until Elliott passed him after the third and final caution of the race.

Ranger, Hessert and Elliott stayed out front for most of the day.

“We probably had the three best cars,” Elliott said. “It’s not the way it always works – that the best cars finish 1-2-3. I just wanted to come in here today and not do what I did at Road America and be a little bit smarter.”

The race took just one hour and 27 minutes, nearly 30 minutes faster than the first five ARCA Racing Series events at NJMP. There were only three cautions for 10 laps and the average speed of the winner was 81.753 mph, also an ARCA record.

Ranger, driving the No. 53 Waste Management Bagster Dodge, led 30 of 67 laps. The Roxton Pond, Quebec native, has now won three consecutive races on the Thunderbolt Course at NJMP.

“I feel so great, good for the team,” Ranger said. “We bought that car three years ago. We came here and won my first race in it. I think that car is built for here. It’s pretty cool.”

The ARCA Racing Series has a short week off before traveling to Long Pond, Pa. for the ModSpace 125 at Pocono Raceway Friday, Aug. 2. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED.

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