Column By: MARTY CZEKALA / RPW – RANSOMVILLE, NY – After winning at Autodrome Drummond July 31, Erick Rudolph scored his second Super DIRTcar Series win this season in the Ron Martin Memorial Summer Nationals at Ransomville Speedway.
Rudolph previously scored a Summer Nationals victory back in 2013. Rudolph leaves his home track with a big smile on his face.
“It feels like forever,” said Rudolph. “Since then, we’ve had some top fives. Always a strong runner, but we’ve never finished up front. Tonight, we made the right decisions. I did an easy job with the wheel. Race fell our way.”
Rudolph would make the pass on Sheppard for the lead with 25 to go. Down the back chute in lapped traffic, “The Firestarter” would gather a burst of steam off turn two, looked low entering three, and took the lead.
“I think my car was starting to get alive,” Rudolph told RPW. “The longer the run, the stronger my car was. Earlier on, I was struggling with the restarts a little bit but was able to hold my own. The track then started coming to me.”
In recent years, trends have shown that if a driver starts on the front row and leads the opening lap, they can lead the entire race. Not this time. Starting second, Rudolph fell back to third for the first third of the race when Sheppard set up a three-wide move on the outside to take the second position, the latter starting fourth.
“Having a favorable spot never hurts,” Rudolph said. “After 30 laps, it seemed like my car started to latch on the track better.”
The win is Rudolph’s 10th career series win.
“I didn’t know that,” Rudolph realized. “A lot of people would kill to have 10 wins. Things are definitely going really well for us right now. It seems like the cars are handling good, and we’re making the right decisions before we go out for the feature.”
However, there is room for improvement for the driver of the No. 25.
“We could use some improvement early on in the night. Time trials and heat races were not the best. Come feature time, our decision-making is starting to get pretty good.”