By Meredith Burns
Brownsburg, Indiana (July 21, 2011) — Ross Rankine from Willard, Ohio, has raced all season long at the Bryant Heating & Cooling Indianapolis Speedrome in the 2011 Elite 8 Series presented by IUPUI in his National Pride Nine Racing #9 Ford Focus midget, and has amassed a number of second place finishes. So he came to the last Indianapolis Speedrome event of the season with a goal in mind—get in to Victory Lane.
For the final USAC Midwest Ford Focus race of the season for the Elite 8 Series, the program was changed to offer two 30-lap features without any heat races. For the first feature Rankine started in his usual 6th position as he was the Elite 8 Series points leader. He fell back a number of positions at the start and worked hard to salvage a 5th place finish.
As a result of finishing 5th, Rankine was assigned a “front row” starting position for the second 30-lapper. He immediately took advantage of his position and took the lead as the green flag waved to start the feature. Rankine led all 30 laps of the feature and recorded his first Indianapolis Speedrome win of the 2011 season.
“Glenn Martin and Krieg Polland have given me a fast car all season long. I wanted a win here and finally tonight everything worked in my favor and I got the chance for a front row start and I want to make the most of this opportunity. I want to thank my mom and dad and my sponsor National Pride who have helped me all season long with the support it takes to be able to race in the competitive USAC Ford Focus series. It was fun tonight,” Rankine said.
Ross entered the last Elite 8 Series event with a slim five-point margin over fellow rookie competitor Nick Hamilton. When the checkered flag waved on the second 30-lap feature, Rankine just did not grab enough points to stay ahead of Hamilton, who won the Elite 8 Championship by a single digit over Ross. However, Ross Rankine leads the Midwest USAC Ford Focus Series by a substantial margin of 153 points.
Ross will continue competing in the Midwest Ford Focus Series driving the National Pride Nine Racing #9 car. The next race is on August 5, 2011, at Plymouth Speedway in Plymouth, Indiana.
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.