2-time defending champ Andrew Ranger grabs pole for today's Millville ARCA race - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Sports

2-time defending champ Andrew Ranger grabs pole for today's Millville ARCA race - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Sports

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2-time defending champ Andrew Ranger grabs pole for today's Millville ARCA race

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Posted: Sunday, July 28, 2013 10:00 am

Two-time defending champion Andrew Ranger continued to find success at New Jersey Motorsports Park, winning the pole Saturday for Sunday's Barbera's Autoland 150 ARCA Series race.

Ranger, who also won the pole at NJMP in 2011 and at Road America earlier this year, set the qualifying record at 101.382 mph, or 79.896 seconds around the 2.25-mile paved road course in Millville.

"I know that car really well," said Ranger, who drives the No. 53 Chevrolet. "I feel very comfortable with that car."

Chase Elliott, the 17-year-old son of NASCAR star Bill Elliott, qualified second in the No. 9 Chevrolet (100.164 mph).

He was followed by Brian Wong in the No. 55 Toyota (99.771 mph) and Cherry Hill's Tom Hessert in the No. 77 Dodge (99.77 mph).

The top four drivers all beat the previous qualifying record, set by Patrick Long, of 99.602 mph in 2009.

Nine-time series champion and current ARCA Racing Series points leader Frank Kimmel will start ninth.

Kimmel, 51, has 79 career ARCA wins and is one away from breaking the series record.

Ranger, who is from Roxton Pond, Quebec, led both practice sessions Saturday, despite driving only four laps.

"We've tested that car before," he said in a statement. "We made a few changes, but we have been here two or three times and we know the track. We know the setup."

Hessert, who headed home after qualifying Saturday to sleep in his own bed, is one of four New Jersey natives in the race.

"We're not far off from the second-place car," he said. "We focused primarily on race runs. It was a smooth day."

The others from New Jersey are Steve Minghenelli of Waterford, Camden County, James Swanson of Clarksboro, Gloucester County, and Dominick Casola of Holmdel, Monmouth County.

This will be the sixth visit by the ARCA Racing Series to NJMP. Justin Allgaier, Patrick Long and Casey Roderick and Ranger, twice, are previous winners. Elliott finished second in last year's race.

"I like it," Ranger said of the track. "It's very technical in the back of the track. It is challenging, and you slide a little. It's a very cool track."

Sunday's race starts at 1 p.m. Tickets are available at the track. The U.S. Drift Pro/Am series will also have a competition starting at approximately 3:50 p.m. ARCA drivers will sign autographs from 12:15 p.m.-12:45 p.m. with driver introductions to follow.

You can also listen to the race live on arcaracing.com

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