ARCA: Drivers Poised for Lefts and Rights as New Jersey Road Course Looms; Rideless Ranger Looking for Five-Peat

RaceChaser Staff ARCA, Featured, Northeast, Stock Cars 0 Comments

TOLEDO, Ohio – official series release — ARCA photo —

After round one of the Bill France Four Crown at Talladega Superspeedway, the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will soon steer for New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) where the eighth annual ARCA 150 presented by Unique Pretzels takes center stage on the 2.25-mile Thunderbolt course Sunday, May 24.

The event will be the second of four races in this year’s Bill France Four Crown championship.

The Bill France Four Crown, an annual honor that reaches back to 1984 when Davey Allison became the inaugural champion, provides a link to the series’ roots, featuring a diverse combination of tracks in any given season. This year’s schedule includes Talladega Superspeedway, NJMP (road course), Winchester Speedway (short track), and the Illinois State Fairgrounds (mile dirt oval), where the Four Crown will conclude August 23.

“The Bill France Four Crown Award speaks to the very nature of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards,” said Ron Drager, President of ARCA. “Being the full-bodied stock car series that runs on speedways, road courses, short tracks, and dirt ovals, this is the epitome of what our series is about.”

Ten-time ARCA national champion Frank Kimmel is the all-time Bill France Four Crown champion with seven titles (2013, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2002, 2001, 1998).

The current top-five in Bill France Four Crown standings after one event are Blake Jones 200, Cody Coughlin 195, Cole Powell 190, Brandon Jones 185 and Russ Dugger 180.

Quebec’s Andrew Ranger has won the last four ARCA races at NJMP, but according to him, he doesn’t have a ride yet for this year’s race.

“I would really like to be there, but unfortunately I don’t have a ride for that race,” Ranger said. “If you know of any ARCA team that’s looking for a driver for New Jersey, I’d like to talk with them.”

If in fact Ranger doesn’t compete, and considering his dominance on the NJMP road course, this would leave the victory lane possibilities wide open.

“Andrew was awfully good there…he’s pretty darn tough,” said Tom Hessert, who is from and still lives in nearby Cherry Hill, N.J. “But I felt in the past we had a shot at it…it just didn’t work out. I’d like to win with him there, but I’m not going to be too upset if he’s not there.

“I thought we had a few really good opportunities in the past to win that race. One year, we were leading and got knocked off the track with less than 10 to go. One year we had an electrical problem; one year it was a transmission…we ran out of fuel once. If we can get through that race without something happening, I think we have a great shot to win it.

“It’s my home track…we put a big effort into it. I really want to win that race whether he’s (Ranger) there or not.”

The event has produced several thrilling finishes since the inaugural race in 2008 when NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and ARCA national champion Justin Allgaier drove to Victory Lane. In fact, the winner of four of the last seven ARCA road course races at NJMP has been determined on the last lap.

CREDIT: ARCA Racing Series

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