By Meredith Kaplan Burns
Brownsburg, Indiana (June 13, 2011) — New London, Ohio, native Ross Rankine had high expectations as he returned to his home state to race at Columbus Motor Speedway’s third-mile oval in the USAC Midwest Ford Focus Pavement event on Saturday, June 11. Ross, an accomplished USAC .25 midget champion, stepped up to the USAC Ford Focus Midget Pavement Series this season driving the #9 Nine Racing Ford Focus Midget.
Ross was quick during both practice sessions and then qualified on the pole with a time of 14.268. Fifteen Ford Focus Midgets took the green flag for qualifying.
Ross started fourth in his heat race and methodically worked his way quickly to the front to win the heat race. The main event lineup was determined by a six-car invert based on qualifying, which put Ross in sixth starting position for the 30-lap Ford Focus Midget feature event. However, this starting position didn’t deter Ross as he methodically began the march to the front passing cars. He was running in second position challenging for the lead when he inadvertently bumped the leader in turn four. The leader spun and the race director placed Ross at the back of the pack, causing Ross to finish in 10th place.
“Glenn Martin and Krieg Poland worked hard for me tonight and the car was perfect the minute it came out of the trailer,” said Ross Rankine. “It was fun racing here at Columbus and I am getting more comfortable about what I need to do to run up front and be competitive. I am looking forward to our next race at the Indianapolis Speedrome.”
Ross is now second in the USAC Midwest Ford Focus Pavement points standings. His next race in the #9 Ford Focus Midget will be on June 15, at the Bryant Heating & Cooling Indianapolis Speedrome.
Nine Racing’s 2011 sponsor lineup includes K&N Engineering, Eibach Springs, Weld Racing, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, Penske Racing Shocks, Performance Friction Brakes, ASE, Earl’s Performance Plumbing, SSi Decals, PJ1, and Hoosier Racing Tire.
Photo caption: Ross Rankine is seen here next to the #9 Ford Focus Midget of Nine Racing. Ross set fast time at Columbus Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 11, during qualifying for the USAC Midwest Ford Focus Pavement Series. However, due to an on-track incident, he finished the feature in 10th. Ross now stands in second in the series’ points.