AUDIO/FEATURE: Erick Rudolph Hoping for Gambler’s Luck; Poised for Additional Dirt Success In 2015

Marshall Gabell Audio, Dirt Track Racing, Featured, Indoor Racing, Northeast, Other Midgets, Sprints & Midgets, Super DIRTcar Series 2 Comments

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Audio and story by Race Chaser Online Mid-Atlantic Correspondent Marshall Gabell – Rick Sweeten photo –

Laffler Chassis’ driver Erick Rudolph is a low-key Ransomville, New York native who just happens to have a spectacular knack for wheeling a race car.

And make no mistake, that has been more then evident during his relatively short but successful career.

Rudolph, 23, has dominated in indoor midget events across the northeast, picking up multiple wins over the last three years in both winged and non-winged 600cc outlaw midgets at the Rumble in Fort Wayne and in a TQ midget at the Battle of Trenton. This winter alone, the young hotshoe picked up one of the Twin 20 wins during the Friday slate in Trenton and followed that up with two triumphs (one winged, one non-winged) during this year’s Fort Wayne action.

Now, the New Yorker is aiming for the final jewel in his indoor crown — a triumph in the Gamblers Classic in Atlantic City this weekend.

“Yeah, teaming up with Lafler Chassis we have just had good motors and cars (over the last couple of years) and now I have some experience under my belt this season,” Rudolph explained. “We just have a winning combination – we are just fast everywhere we go, right off of the trailer.”

“We are usually one of the fastest (cars) and just have been having some good luck during our races – picked up a couple of wins in Fort Wayne and Trenton. We really want this Atlantic City win now.”

His wins in Trenton and Fort Wayne have made Rudolph’s name known loud and clear in the indoor ranks, and he is a legitimate threat to win each time he even files an entry to race on the indoor concrete surfaces.

But the former NASCAR WHELEN Modified Tour driver’s passion and start in racing came decades before his success in 2015.

Rudolph’s father Charlie and grandfather Jim were both dedicated racers during their time in the cockpit, and now — multiple seasons after their last appearances on the racetrack — their son/grandson is keeping the tradition alive.

“My dad and my grandfather raced,” the youngest Rudolph expressed. “My grandpa taught my father everything he knew and between the two I think I have some of the smartest guys in the business. I like to think that I learn something from them everyday.”

While Charlie and Jim were not able to compete in midgets during their careers, the two are both in Atlantic City this weekend to offer support and mentor Erick, both things that aided in his runner-up finish in the TQ feature on Friday night.

“They are not what we call experts on these midget machines,” Rudolph said. “But they are here supporting me and giving me some encouragement. They never really raced any of these midgets, so they don’t really know about them. I honestly probably know more than they do (on the midget side).”

“But they are here, and if they see something I can do differently then they will step in – and of course I am going to listen to it. Obviously my family helps a ton.”

And with the help of his family, Erick will enter 2015 hoping to garner some more experience as he looks to remain competitive in the Super DIRTcar Series Big Block Modifieds, as well as earning successful results with his new team in the Small Block Modifieds.

“In 2015 we are going to set out to win the Big Block Modified championship,” Rudolph said. “We will be racing at Canandaigua (Motor Speedway) weekly with some (part-time stuff) at Ramsomville Speedway. I mean, RoC Modifieds, short tracks is (what we) will (mainly) be running.”

“I’m just trying to get as many races as possible under my belt. And obviously our goal every season is to go out and win races. As far as racing goes, that is about it. I am going to have my own small block program, but we will race that less then 10 times – (mainly) just special events.”

Rudolph, with the personnel he has behind him, appears to have a little swagger in his step as he goes full-bore into the 2015 racing season, and why shouldn’t he?

After all of his indoor successes, his first career Super DIRTcar win at Autodrome Drummond in Canada last July after starting 17th and immeasurable confidence heading into the new year, let’s just say this:

The “Ransomville Rocket” will certainly be a force to be reckoned with no matter what race car he climbs into in the months to come.

 

Listen in to the extended cut of our Marshall Gabell’s conversation with Erick Rudolph during this year’s NAPA Know How race weekend at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City:

Comments 2

  1. not only is Erick a GREAT racer he is a very nice guy I have been helping out on the crew 4years now it is a great pleasure to help & work with Jim, Charlie, Erick, Chris, Dah, & Andy, looking forward to another great season

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