RACING: rough start to the season for sprint driver Chris Ranten
Chris Ranten has raced his No. 27 sprint car three nights this season. Two of the nights were costly for the East Grand Forks driver.
“You never want to start the season flipping,” said Ranten.
But that’s what he did, including last week’s violent wreck during the 25-lap NOSA feature at the Devils Lake Speedway — a wreck that all but destroyed his new car.
He’s flipped his sprint twice this season, the first coming at River Cities Speedway — where he’ll be racing again tonight as the track hopes to complete its third night of racing of the season.
Ranten opened the season in a new car.
The wreck at Devils Lake, now posted on YouTube, was a wild one as Ranten’s sprint brushed the front straight-away wall before flipping end over end.
“It seems that when I do go over, I go over hard,” said Ranten. “Basically, all we were able to save was the steering wheel and the seat. It wasn’t a cheap one. Fortunately, we were able to save the motor.”
Racing at any dirt track requires a considerable amount of time each week preparing a car. The work time increases considerably following a bad crash.
“Our crew has worked really hard and we’ll be ready to go,” he said.
But the tough start to the season won’t make it any easier for Ranten when he hits the track again.
“This is the roughest start to a season that I’ve had,” he said. “It’s tough on the confidence, too, but you just have to keep on grinding.”
Tonight, Ranten will roll out his backup car, the one he used for the past two seasons. “That one got us through the last two seasons,” he said.
Ranten is fourth in RCS season points and finished third last season behind Wade Nygaard and Casey Mack.
Tonight, another strong field of sprints is expected at RCS.
More than 25 sprints turned out for each of the two shows so far this season at RCS.
“It’s been a great turnout for cars so far,” said Ranten. “And I don’t foresee the numbers going any lower for a while. We’re one of the luckier tracks.”
Ranten, however, is hoping his expensive nights of racing are over.
“Hopefully, those nights are done and gone,” he said.