As drivers like Chase Elliott and Casey Roderick have used short track racing in the Southeast as their home stomping grounds on their way to success in the upper ranks, Korey Ruble has seen it all as a mainstay in the region. The Dothan, Alabama driver has experienced success in both Modified and Pro Late Model racing throughout Alabama for over a decade. This weekend, he'll return to Pro Late Model racing with hopes of capturing the money in the Show Me the Money Series at Montgomery Motor Speedway.
While Ruble has been mainly known as a Modified ace over the years with success in the Modifieds of Mayhem Tour and other local racing, he is no slouch when it comes to Pro Late Models. He is a two-time champion of the Viper Pro Late Model Series at his home track of South Alabama Speedway. He has also won the Pro Late Model Rattler 125 twice in 2010 and 2013, paired with a win in an Allen Turner Pro Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway in 2014.
Ruble credits his success over the years to the help he has received on and off the track. He gives most of the credit to one person. In particular, one that has helped him come up through the local ranks.
“Honestly, probably because I’ve had really good help over the years,” he told Speed51.com. “Really, that’s who I credit most of my success to is my granddad. He’s been in racing since forever and he’s mentored me and brought me up. He was never a driver but he’s been a really successful race car mechanic and engine builder. He’s done it his whole life and he’s been helpful. I’ve had a lot of others help over the years.”
The vast differences between a Modified and a Pro Late Model is what makes going back and forth between the two a challenge for Ruble. With more tire and less horsepower in a Pro Late Model, it provides a different type of racing compared to a Modified.
“The biggest challenge would probably be the difference in horsepower and tires,” Ruble said. “You have a ten-inch tire on the Late Model and an eight-inch tire on the Modified. You also got 700-plus horsepower in a Modified and a Pro Late Model’s got 450 horsepower. That’s the biggest challenge; the horsepower, the weight ratio, and the tire size combined with that.”
After an up-and-down night in his last start at South Alabama Speedway which saw an early exit in the Baby Rattler and a trip to victory lane in the Modified race, he will make his first Show Me the Money Series start at Montgomery Motor Speedway since 2015 this weekend. He says his racing plans are dependent on a busy work schedule.
“We’re actually getting ready to go to Montgomery this weekend,” he said. “Our work schedule kind of dictates how much I race now. We just got through an outage at work. We just finished that up last week, so I have a little bit of time to race again. We plan on running eight or ten races this year in Late Models and a few Modified races here and there. Just finding the time is the hardest thing for me.”
When asked about what makes short track racing in the Southeast so special between the Modified and Pro Late Model ranks, he says the wide range of tracks and the level of talent in the region makes the racing hard to miss. While drivers shuffle in and out of racing, he has been a mainstay in the southeast scene for over a decade.
“I’d say the race tracks; we have a lot of good race tracks to run,” he said. “We still have a core group of people to race with that have been doing it for a while. That group’s kind of getting smaller, but we’re still out there and we’re sprinkling it in with new people all the time. We just have really good, talented drivers out there.”
Race fans worldwide can enjoy the action of the Show Me the Money Series Saturday night with a live video stream on the Speed51 Network. To sign up for your monthly or yearly subscription today, click here.
-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51.com State Editor (IN & MI)
-Photo credit: Speed51.com