(MILLVILLE, N.J. - June 30, 2012) - Picking up where he left off last spring at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Andrew Ranger led the opening practice for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards at the park's Thunderbolt Raceway.
Ranger (No. 53 RRT Design & Construction Dodge), last season's race and Menards Pole Award winner at New Jersey, drove nearly three quarters of a second faster than any other driver, completing his best of five laps on the 2.25-mile course in one minute, 23.02 seconds (97.567 mph).
Brandon Davis of Roulo Brothers Racing drove the No. 99 Ford to second on the chart in 1:23.766. Alex Bowman, New Jersey native Tom Hessert, and Chris Buescher completed the top five.
Chad Hackenbracht, Kevin Swindell, Robert Mitten, Nelson Canache, and Frank Kimmel rounded out the top 10. Points leader Brennan Poole finished the session 12th.
Sixteen-year-old Chase Elliott, making his first stock car laps on a road course, finished the first practice session 15th. He made 23 laps in all, more than any of the 32 drivers who participated.
Mason Mingus was involved in an incident, which resulted in a full-course caution early in the session.
"I hate it," said Mingus, who charted 24th. "I overdrove the car going into the corner and when I went to downshift, the brakes locked up and I was just then along for the ride at that point. I'm really sorry to everyone on the Win-Tron Racing crew for what happened. We really needed the practice time. It looks like we'll be able to get the car fixed; it just stinks to lose all of that valuable track time. Hopefully, I can make it up to them later today and then tomorrow during the race."
Shawn Umphries, making his first laps in the ARCA Racing Series to prepare for his series debut, finished the session 25th. Umphries, a drag racer, is also the at-track representative for Mallory Ignition, an official ARCA company.
The second practice session at New Jersey Motorsports Park will start at 2:40 p.m. and last for one hour, with live timing and scoring coverage at ARCARacing.com.