Defending champion Maroney begins season with four straight wins
Nitro Jam Media
Apr 11, 2012
As the defending Nitro Jam champion in Fuel Altered, Ron Maroney knew that a repeat would be especially difficult with a brand new car and a huge target on his back entering the 2012 season.
After winning in the famed Nanook car in 2011, Maroney returned to his personally owned Blind Faith ride this season and so far he hasn’t missed a beat.
Through two events Maroney is a perfect four-for-four with a quartet of brand new Ironman trophies to add to his collection. He is dominating the early standings and so far the field can’t quite keep up as the Arizona native gears up for his most daunting task yet – a trip to Baton Rouge against the toughest field of Fuel Altered’s he will see all season.
“I absolutely love the way the year has started,” Maroney said. “We put in a lot of time in the offseason. We tested a lot, did a lot of prep work and that hard work is really paying off so far. It all boils down to hard work and dedication on the part of the crew. People don’t really think about it, but this truly is a team sport. I can’t even start the car myself. Every member of this team has a role and that combined effort has led to our tremendous start.”
Of course, luck has played a tremendous role in Maroney’s hot start as well.
Maroney began the season with a loss in his very first pass of the year, but when the car that beat him failed to make the call, Maroney was bumped up into the final where he proceeded to defeat Randy Bradford for the win. Since then, however, it has been all Maroney with seven straight round wins and three more victories.
During that stretch Maroney has bested Bradford once more and young rookie sensation Kyle Hough – driving the same Nanook car he drove to the championship last year – in the four finals this season.
Thanks to that start Maroney has piled up an early 38 point lead over Bradford and the rest of the Fuel Altered gang.
“In addition to the hard work in the offseason, it is always nice to have a little luck as well,” Maroney said. “We all know that the luck and streaks won’t last forever, so we are trying to enjoy it while it lasts.”
Of course the biggest enjoyment Maroney has had during his hot start has been his ability to win in his own car just months after taking another ride to a championship.
“There is a big difference in the two cars. My car is built to fit me and everything is where I want it,” Maroney said. “I have put hundreds of runs on my car and I feel really comfortable in it. That is not to say that I wasn’t comfortable in the other car, it was just setup different and drove different.
“That is obvious in the way we started last year. It took me a while to get comfortable and really feel the car, but once everything clicked we ended the year pretty well.
“Being able to win in both cars really, in my mind, cements that I have the ability to drive these things. And of course I couldn’t say any of this without the support and mentoring of the Hough family. Not only did they give me a big break driving their car last year, but they have bent over backwards to help me since I switched over to nitro. I really couldn’t have done it without them.”
With the car running its best laps ever, Maroney is now gearing up for the Mardi Gras Nitro Jam at State Capitol Raceway in Baton Rouge May 4-5, an event his cousin won last year driving this very same Blind Faith machine.
“We had a really good time in Baton Rouge last year and look forward to trying to repeat,” Maroney said. “The fans were great there last year and we are looking forward to meeting new and old fans there this year.”
And making this event even more exciting is the fact that the Mardi Gras Nitro Jam will feature one of the toughest Fuel Altered fields of the season with legends such as Hough in Nanook, Tom Padilla in Nasty Benjamin and the return of Arizona Thunder with driver Mike Hilsebeck.
“I am really looking forward to the next few races. We have a couple of different and faster cars coming out,” Maroney said. “These cars run the numbers and will produce much closer racing. Hopefully we will have a few side-by-side, 230 mile per hour passes. It should be a fantastic show.”
The Mardi Gras Nitro Jam is May 4-5 at State Capitol Raceway. For more information logon to
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