Edmonton Indy: Ranger looks forward to plenty of straightaways as NASCAR Canadian Tires Series returns to Edmonton track
EDMONTON - After a one-year hiatus, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series is rolling back into Edmonton, and Andrew Ranger, for one, can’t wait to take his stock car out for a spin around the airport track.
The circuit underwent a significant revamp prior to 2011.
“It’s a technical road course with a lot of straightaways, so I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Ranger, the Roxton Pond, Que., native who first raced in Edmonton as a rookie in the Champ Car series back in 2005.
When Champ Car was folded into the IndyCar series, Ranger, 25, was one of the drivers left without a ride. On June 17, 2007, he won his first stock car race at Mosport International Raceway and, by the end of the season, was hoisting the series championship.
This marks the return of the Canadian Tire Series, which was noticeably absent last season. The Star MAZDA Championship, which is part of the Road to Indy ladder series is also going to be featured as is the Northern Alberta Sports Car Club’s Eurasia Cup GT Invitational.
The CTS was featured during both Champ Car and Indy from 2007 to 2010. Ranger took the pole three times, winning the event in 2009. J.R. Fitzpatrick won in 2007 and 2010 while Alex Tagliani, now back in an IndyCar, won the remaining race.
“It’s very tight in our championships, which has made the series fun to watch,” continued Ranger, who will be among those trying to overtake D.J. Kennington. The St. Thomas, Ont., native claimed the series lead last weekend when he won in Vernon. His third consecutive victory vaulted him past defending champ Scott Steckly.
Ranger is third in the standings, 27 points back of Kennington.
“My dad was a stock car driver, so for me to race in the NASCAR series wasn’t that difficult a transition, but I was really happy racing in Champ Car,” said Ranger. “It was a really cool car to race (but) when the series merged, sponsorship was really really tough to find.
“Now, I’m racing in lot of different NASCAR series, so it’s been a lot of fun.”
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