Ross Rankine Wins USAC Midwest Ford Focus Pavement Series Championship

By Meredith Kaplan Burns

Brownsburg, Indiana (September 19, 2011) — Ross Rankine, of New London, Ohio, added an exclamation point to his 2011 USAC Midwest Ford Focus Pavement Championship season by capping off the series’ last pavement race of the season at Columbus Motor Speedway, on Saturday, September 17, by setting fast time in practice and qualifying, and charging through the field to take the win in his National Pride Equipment Nine Racing Ford Focus Midget in commanding fashion.

Ross began the night firmly in position to win the points’ championship, but that wasn’t enough for him. He set the quick time in both practice sessions, and then set the fast time in qualifying at 13.937 seconds, and he was the only driver who qualified in the 13-second range.

Ross started the main event in 7th position, but drove “an absolutely outstanding race,” according to Nine Racing Crew Chief Glenn Martin. “He stepped up.”

And step up he did. By lap 20, Ross was battling with series’ second-place driver James Robertson and made the pass for the lead. Ross closed the door as he led every lap after that to bring home the checkered flag.

“This is definitely the way that I wanted to conclude my first season in the USAC Ford Focus midgets,” said Ross Rankine. “I want to thank my sponsor National Pride Equipment and the entire Nine Racing team who gave me all that I needed to win this race tonight and the series’ pavement championship.”

Even though Ross won the 2011 USAC Midwest Ford Focus Pavement Championship, he is only two points behind Patrick Bruns in the USAC Midwest Ford Focus Dirt Championship with three races to go. After the races on September 30 and October 1, Ross will again drive the Nine Racing Ford Focus Midget at the annual Turkey Night Grand Prix at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, in California, on Thursday, November 24.

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.