As the red carpet was laid out in Charlotte for the NASCAR Touring Series champions, there was a very diverse group that got to add their name to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Two teenage champions in the K&N Pro Series joined a six-time modified champion, a weekly racing superstar and red hot up-and-comer from the Netherlands.
However, for Andrew Ranger, this was a night 10 years in the making. After starting his career as a teenager in open wheel, Ranger transitioned to stock cars in 2007 shortly before the IndyCar-Champ Car merger.
Ranger saw immediate success.
Winning in only his second career start at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP), Ranger would go on the claim the inaugural NASCAR Pinty’s Series championship that season (then called the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series.) He followed that up in 2009 with his second championship at the age of 22.
Following his second title, Ranger decided to explore racing down south. Making starts in ARCA, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Xfinity Series and eventually his NASCAR Cup Series debut with Go Fas Racing at Watkins Glen in 2011.
Ranger was eager to get back into the series he loved, however, and in 2014 a simple phone call from MOPAR was all it took to re-ignite the fire in the Roxton Pond, Quebec driver.
“I was in the south for five years and when MOPAR called me to see if I was interested in coming back to the Pinty’s Series, I definitely said yes,” Ranger said. “We worked so hard during those early years because we wanted a championship so bad for them.”
In 2019, Ranger delivered on his promise.
A dream season headlined by four dominant wins brought Ranger and MOPAR back to the top of Canadian stock car racing. Alongside former championship winning crew chief Dave Wight, Ranger’s season was a dream, never finishing outside the top-10 all season long.
“It’s a great improvement and we are so happy,” Ranger said. “It was just a dream season, we had four wins, 13 top 10s and a lot of top-5s. D.J [Kennington] and Dave [Wight] gave me great cars all year and this one is for them too.”
The Pinty’s Series is easily one of the toughest divisions in all of NASCAR with nearly the whole field having a chance to win on any given week. This season, Ranger was in one of the toughest battles of the season with the likes of Kevin Lacroix and LP Dumoulin.
Fans across the continent were treated to one of the most diverse and competitive seasons in Canada. With six different winners and two first-time winners, Ranger feels a sense of honor knowing the level of competition he beat.
“The top-20 can win every weekend and we have had nice battles between me and Kevin Lacroix, LP Dumoulin and it’s fast,” Ranger added. “Guys like (Marc-Antoine) Camirand, (D.J.) Kennington and all those guys push so hard and every weekend so it was interesting to see who can win.”
With the off-season underway, Ranger will finally get the much-needed rest and relaxation after 13 intense races. Ranger also shed some light on his 2020 plans as well, eyeing another return to the series.
“My plans are to relax a little bit, we have a nice cottage in the north of Quebec where I will snowmobile with my girlfriend Edith and just take the time and relax and have fun,” Ranger said. “There is a good chance that I’m coming back to the series with Mopar again and with DJ Kennington. We looked really really good and I hope to keep my sponsor happy.”