Meredith Kaplan Burns
Brownsburg, Indiana (July 5, 2011) — After consecutive second-place finishes while driving the #9 Ford Focus Midget of Nine Racing, Ross Rankine was able to break through to earn that important first win in the USAC Midwest Ford Focus Pavement Series event on Saturday, July 2, at Grundy County Speedway, in Morris, Illinois.
The New London, Ohio, native “swept” the event by setting quick time in his National Pride Nine Racing #9 Ford Focus Midget tuned by Glenn Martin, winning the heat race and then capturing his first USAC Midwest Ford Focus feature event to cap off the evening. Ross was quick in practice and transferred his speed to qualifying where he topped the charts with a blistering lap time of 15.339 seconds. Ross started his heat race in third and quickly moved to the front to win.
Because USAC inverts the top qualifiers, Ross started the 25-lap Ford Focus main event in third and quickly moved to the front. He took the lead for good on lap five.
“Glenn Martin had the car perfect so it was up to me to get the job done,” said Ross Rankine. “I just had to be patient, and as the race progressed, I could see that I had a real advantage. By the fifth lap I was in front. It feels great to get my first USAC Midwest Ford Focus win in my National Pride #9 midget.”
“We all knew that Ross would get a win soon as he has been knocking on the door for quite some time,” said Nine Racing Team Owner Steve Lewis. “He did a great job at Grundy and used his speed to get by cars to capture his first USAC Midwest Ford Focus feature win. He has really worked hard all season long and has offered very helpful feedback to Glenn Martin, who made all the right adjustments to the race car.”
Because of three consecutive top-two finishes, including Saturday’s win at Grundy County Speedway, Ross Rankine has taken a commanding lead in the USAC Midwest Ford Focus Pavement Series Championship and now has a 109 point lead over second-place driver James Robertson. Ross returns to the Bryant Heating & Cooling Indianapolis Speedrome on Wednesday, July 6, to continue his run for the 2011 USAC Midwest Ford Focus Pavement Championship.
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.