Saturday, 26 May 2018

RunRunRudolph

By Clayton Johns courtesy of FloRacing.com

When the Super DIRTcar Series season finally gets underway on Memorial Day with the Heroes Remembered 100 at Weedsport Speedway in New York, Erick Rudolph will be in the field. And for every series race after that in 2018.

The 26-year-old native of Ransomville, NY, is making his second attempt to run full-time with the Super DIRTcar Series, which is starting a full month later than it was scheduled to after rain washed out races at Fulton and Bridgeport speedways. He last competed as a tour regular in 2014 at just 22 years old. The series’ offseason decision to eliminate DIRTcar home track points as part of the championship was a big reason Rudolph decided to tackle the entire tour this year, he said.

“I don’t think we’d be doing it if there was still home track points,” Rudolph admitted. “The grind to run every Saturday was tough for us because you had to be there every Saturday. If you fall behind now, you can take a Saturday night off to catch up if you need to.”

That’s not to say Rudolph will be competing exclusively with the Super DIRTcar Series. It’s quite the opposite, actually. Between his Big-Block and Small-Block/358 Modified action, he’ll be plenty busy, said Rudolph, who finished second in Ransomville Speedway’s 358 Modified standings last season.

“It’s a rough schedule, but it’ll be around 90 races or so,” Rudolph said. “I’ll be at Ransomville weekly, and then after that, it’s just going to be where the schedule fits and where we decide we want to be at.”

When Rudolph competed on the tour full-time in 2014, it was behind the wheel of the Mike Payne-owned No. 7z. This year, Rudolph will tackle the tour behind the wheel of his family-owned No. 25 Bicknell Chassis with Bob Bruneau Engine Research power plants under the hood and carry primary support from Opti-Coat, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Mohawk Northeast.

Rudolph is eager to test the team he has assembled for the tour. Led by his father and crew chief Charlie Rudolph as well as Chris Murphy and Rich Chauvin, the team works together like a well-oiled machine after wrenching as a group for the past few seasons.

“This team that I have here, the guys that work with me and my father, we’ve been working together for that much longer so I think as a team we’re more in tune as well,” said Rudolph, comparing his current outfit to the 2014 group.

The team has also put a lot of work into ensuring the No. 25 is prepared for the rigors of the series and running competitively at 90 events.

“Equipment-wise, along with the cars, the engines, and our tow package, we have a good deal going here,” Rudolph said. “We have the sponsor money and we’re just really excited to do it and accept the challenges along the way. They have the stiffest competition there is, but I think we can do well.”

Chief among that competition is defending series champion Matt Sheppard, whom Rudolph admitted he expects to be the class of the field and the single toughest challenge on the tour.

“Matt Sheppard is pretty good right now,” Rudolph said. “I’m sure we’re going to give him a run for his money at as many (races) as we can. I have a lot of confidence in our team. I think it’s likely we can get a couple wins this year as well.”

A couple of wins on the toughest Big-Block Modified tour in the country would double Rudolph’s current win total with the series. His most recent win was at Brockville Ontario Speedway in October 2016, a little more than two years after his first victory came in a triumph at Quebec’s Autodrome Drummond on July 22, 2014, aboard the Payne car.

So, can Rudolph get his first series win on U.S. soil this season? Rudolph doesn’t like to set goals but rather take things one race at a time—literally. One qualifying session, one heat race, one redraw, and then one feature race at a time. But he certainly believes he has the tools to get it done, and he’s confident in his growth both on and off the track since he last tackled the tour full-time.

“I’m a lot more experienced at different tracks and I’m probably a little bit more mature of a driver now than I might have been back then,” Rudolph said. “I had some success back then too, but I think maybe my skills are a little sharper and mostly my knowledge on the cars (is better).”

That experience will come in handy throughout the season when Rudolph visits a handful of tracks he has only seen once or will be seeing for the first time.

“I always enjoy going to different races and places I haven’t been before,” Rudolph said. “I’m looking forward to going back up to Quebec. I haven’t been there in years. Airborne (in Plattsburgh, NY) I’ve never been to and there’s a few others I’ve never been to, so it’s always exciting going to new places.”

Rudolph is off to a strong start at the tracks he knows. He’s earned a Big-Block victory at Tyler County Speedway (WV) before grabbing the win on opening night at Ransomville on May 11. It doesn’t seem Rudolph will have any shortage of things to get excited about this season. Especially if he can steal a checkered flag on the tour. Or two

Series Director Mike Perrotte to Step Down at the End of the 2018 Season

CONCORD, NC – May 22, 2018 – As rain continues to plague the onset of the 2018 Super DIRTcar Series season — leaving not a single race run since McCreadie’s late race charge past Stewart Friesen for the DIRTcar Nationals Big Gator on February 17 — already Series Director Mike Perrotte is thinking ahead and planning for upcoming years. It won’t be until Monday, May 28 that the Big-Block Modifieds will come to life under his watch again. This race will have a notable significance to Perrotte as it will be the first Series race to run since he decided 2018 would be his last as Series Director. The NY native plans on retiring from Series management at the end of the season, remaining in the DIRTcar family as a driver.

Read more: One More Time Around with Mike Perrotte

The Super DIRTcar Series Heroes Remembered 100 at Weedsport Speedway on Monday May 28 will name 2018’s first Super DIRT Week guaranteed starter.

CONCORD, NC – May 22, 2018 – Memorial Day is a solemn reminder of the high price our country’s soldiers have paid in our defense. Many of us spend the day with our family and our friends, living life to the fullest for those who no longer can. On Monday May 28, Memorial Day, Weedsport Speedway hosts the Northeast’s premier Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds for the Heroes Remembered 100 in honor of our nation’s military members who made the ultimate sacrifice. Elite drivers from all over the northeast United States and Canada will descend on the 3/8-mile dirt track in Central New York to put on a show for all to enjoy.

Read more: NAPA Super DIRT Week Qualifiers Return to Weedsport Speedway for Heroes Remembered 100

 

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The Premier Big-Block Modified Series of the Northeast Travels to Bridgeport Speedway for the Battle at the Bridge

CONCORD, NC – May 4, 2018 – Last year, Bridgeport Speedway regulars successfully defended their home turf against the Super DIRTcar Series travelers. On Wednesday, May 16, the Super DIRTcar Series stars will be looking to take the fight back to the New Jersey faithful on Bridgeport’s big track – the extremely fast and racy 5/8 mile clay oval. It was Ryan Watt from Boyertown PA who captured the win after 60 hard-fought laps last year. Although technically the same size as Oswego Speedway, the home of NAPA Super DIRT Week, Bridgeport Speedway’s 5/8-mile track is unique in its own right. Tacky and fast, the New Jersey clay allows drivers to hit seriously high speeds.

Tim McCreadie is the Super DIRTcar Series track record holder with a 20.182 second lap, a 111 MPH average speed. No single driver has been able dominate the 5/8-mile Bridgeport Speedway in Super DIRTcar Series races. Only two drivers have multiple Series wins going back to 1976: Billy Pauch and Frank Cozze, with two Series wins each to their credit. The last Series regular to win was Danny Johnson in 2005.

Will records fall? Will a Series driver claim victory at the Battle at the Bridge? Series regulars will have to contend with stout competition from tri-state Big-Block Modified pilots like veteran Billy Pauch, hot-shoe Jeff Strunk, and last year’s Battle at the Bridge winner Ryan Watt. The Super DIRTcar Series tour regulars will bring everything they have to conquer the Battle at the Bridge in 2018.

After an exceptional four race stand at Volusia Speedway’s DIRTcar Nationals in February, Super DIRTcar Series stars were anxious to start racking up championship points at Fulton Speedway. Unfortunately, rains swept away any chance of taking the prestigious Highbank Holdup 100 from green to checkered. Fans who attended Friday night’s portion of the Highbank Holdup Weekend were treated to two Big-Block Modified Hot Lap sessions. Series regulars Peter Britten, Max McLaughlin, Jimmy Phelps, Billy Whitaker, JF Coriveau, and Adam Roberts all took to the track for a shakedown of their 800 horsepower Big-Block Modifieds.
Fans were happy to see Peter Britten return to the track after a non-racing related back injury prevented him from traveling to the DIRTcar Nationals. Britten has teamed up with Ray Graham to mount an assault on the Super DIRTcar Series championship in 2018. The 21a debuted a stunning new livery during Fulton Speedway Hot Laps as well.

Before taking the Halmar Racing NASCAR Truck to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, Stewart Friesen will wheel his no. 44 Big-Block Modified at Bridgeport Speedway for 60 laps of action. Friesen will be looking for maximum points in the Series’ first point-paying race of 2018.

In other Series news, two more drivers have signed Platinum Driver agreements for 2018 bringing the total up to 17. Adam A-Train Roberts and long-time asphalt modified racer Rusty Smith will start their campaigns at the Battle at the Bridge.
General Admission tickets for the Battle at the Bridge are $30, and reserved tickets are $35. Kids (10-15) General Admission is $15, and Children 9-and-under are free. Pit entry is also $35. Hot Laps start at 6:15 PM with racing at 7:15 PM. Visit Bridgeport Speedway’s website for more information.

The Super DIRTcar Series is the premier Big-Block Modified tour of North America. Tour regulars, such as eight-time Series Champion Brett Hearn and current title-holder Matt Sheppard, pit their 800 horsepower Big-Block Modifieds against the best short track racing drivers over a 35-race schedule on 21 tracks from Canada to Florida. In 2018 there are 17 drivers contending for the Series Championship. Follow along for news and notes on Facebook and Twitter

SYRACUSE, NY – March 9, 2018 – To celebrate the legacy of NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week, now in its 47th year, the Super DIRTcar Series has been invited to Albany, NY for Motorsports Appreciation Week. Brett Hearn’s Madsen Motorsports No. 20 will join race cars from New York’s finest racing facilities displayed from March 12-16 inside the New York State Capitol building at Empire State Plaza.

Read more: New York State Celebrates NAPA Super DIRT Week during ‘Motorsports Appreciation Week’

SYRACUSE, NY– March 9, 2018 – The Super DIRTcar Series is upping the ante on six of its scheduled events this season, earning the winners starting spots in the Big-Block Modified finale to Racing’s Biggest Party, NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLVII. These marquee events, now official NAPA Super DIRT Week Qualifiers, are sure to thrill dirt racing fans in the northeast and beyond. Any driver who wins a Qualifier is guaranteed a starting spot in the biggest Big-Block event in the country, at Oswego Speedway on Sunday, October 7.

Read more: Six Super DIRTcar Series Events Will Now Serve as NAPA Super DIRT Week Qualifiers

The Big-Block Modifieds of the Super DIRTcar Series Slide South for DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park     

by Joe Grabianowski

CONCORD, NC —Feb 2, 2018 — Each February Volusia Speedway Park kicks off the racing season with the highly anticipated DIRTcar Nationals. The Super DIRTcar Series competitors of the Northeast will once again make the long haul to Florida, stretch their legs, and thaw out their Big-Block Modifieds to prepare for the 2018 campaign. The fast and furious high-banked half-mile oval hosts the Super DIRTcar Series for an extra night in 2018 with five consecutive nights during the second half of DIRTCAR Nationals, from February 13 -17.

Read more: Super DIRTcar Series Take Center Stage

New Super DIRTcar Series Dates and Changes to the DIRTcar Hometrack Program Strengthens Dirt Racing in the Northeast

Big-Block Modifieds, 358 Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds and Pro Stock 2018 schedules announced

CONCORD, NC — Dec. 1, 2017 — The Super DIRTcar Series is excited to announce its 2018 schedule along with the DIRTcar 358 Modifieds, Sportsman Modifieds and Pro Stocks. A total of 27 tracks will see action in 2018 from February through November across the four DIRTcar Racing divisions.

Read more: Super DIRTcar Series 2018 Schedule Announced

DIRTcar Nationals Just Got Bigger

Now five nights of Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block action and four nights of World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Models Feb 6-17, 2018 at Volusia Speedway Park

CONCORD, NC — Oct. 25, 2017 — The 2018 racing calendar just got more exciting…what better way to start a new season than with 12 nights of racing in Florida in February. Major changes to the event program highlight the new and exciting schedule for the 47th annual DIRTcar Nationals as the racing season kicks off Feb. 6 through 17, 2018.

Read more: DIRTcar Nationals Just Got Bigger

Super DIRT Week Tickets Now Open to the Public

CONCORD, NC — Nov. 24, 2017 — NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week at Oswego Speedway was abuzz when the five-day event came to a thrilling close last October with a bold last-lap pass that left fans wanting more. DIRTcar Racing is excited to give them just that in October of 2018. Tickets for Racing’s Biggest Party officially go on sale, online only, to the general public on Black Friday, Nov. 24.

Read more: Super DIRT Week Tickets Now Open to the Public

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