With the Super DIRTcar Series heading south to Charlotte, NC for the season ending World of Outlaws World Finals, Erick Rudolph is rolling in on a tremendous wave of momentum. In the month of October, “The Fire Starter” has already won four races, including three in a row over the past two weekends.
Rudolph’s latest win came this past Sunday when he turned a tidy profit, competing in the $7,000 to win Dutch Hoag Memorial at Outlaw Speedway (NY). He started on the outside of the front row and led all 70 laps in his No. 25 Big-Block Modified. Though it was only Rudolph’s fourth visit to Outlaw, it is a track that has treated him very well.
“We’ve gone there three times before that and we got two second’s and a win. I expected to do well anyways. It’s cool especially since it’s a memorial race, and 70 laps with a bunch of heavy hitters there too,” Rudolph told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
Rudolph’s month of success began at Weedsport Speedway (NY) early on where he took a 358 Modified victory, avenging a near miss in the Super DIRTcar Series over the summer. Despite a tough outing at Oswego Speedway (NY) during Super DIRT Week, Rudolph fought back the next week in the Fall Nationals at Brockville Ontario Speedway (ON) winning the 100-lap 358 Mod race. The very next night, he took the same 358 Small-Block and bested all the Big-Block teams, winning the 100-lap Super DIRTcar Series feature, the second of his career.
“It’s turned out to be a great month,” he said. “If we didn’t have our problems at Oswego, it would’ve been even better yet. Brockville, I haven’t won a Super DIRT race in a few years, should’ve had one at Weedsport earlier in the year. It all came together at Brockville.”
Rudolph’s greatest success in 2016 came in his hometown of Ransomville, NY, where at Ransomville Speedway he collected five wins on the season. Those wins brought his yearly total to eight in the 358 Modified Mr. DIRTcar weekly points, which he finished second in, just two points behind David Hebert.
“We ran for points at Ransomville and for DIRT points. Got a handful of wins there and finished third in points even though we missed two or three races,” Rudolph explained. “It was a good year there and we’ll be back next year running just as much as we did this year.”
With World Finals set to begin Thursday, Rudolph is focused on running strong for the three days. He feels that if he can avoid trouble, he will be a threat to win.
“The best of the best are going to be there this weekend,” he commented. “First we got to worry about qualifying, getting in the races. From there we can work on trying to do our best in the features. Last year we ran pretty good in the feature and blew the engine up. If all the cards lineup for us we’ll be in good shape.”
While the majority of the Super DIRT teams will take a break before readying for the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia (FL) in February, Rudolph is going full throttle into the winter Indoor Auto Racing Championship for TQ Midgets beginning in December. Rudolph has been the driver to beat past two Indoor seasons and looks for his third straight title.
“Going to run the same car as I did last year, the yellow 22. We’re already thinking about it, already got our entry forms in and rooms for the races. After this weekend that’s what we’ll be working on.”
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) –Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: Speed51.com/MoJo Photos