By MIKE MALLETT
Erick Rudolph should have left Oswego Speedway with two top five finishes. A possible podium finish in the Bud Lite 200 and maybe even a win in the Riccelli Northern Salute the Troops 150. Instead the Ransomville, N.Y., driver ended the weekend with two disappointing finishes not reflective of the strong cars he had. He finished 17th in both events. Mechanical issues sidelined him in both races.
“Everyone was having lots of problems keeping their cars together, especially in the big-block race,” stated Rudolph. “We ended up throwing the driveshaft out of the car. Then, in the small-block race, we were going for the lead there and our right rear tire blew up.”
It was tough conclusion for Rudolph at Super DIRT Week XLV as he had cars capable of getting the job done only to have issues arise that took him out of the events.
“I was disappointed, but I was still really proud of the team and the way the cars ran,” said Rudolph. “It wasn’t for lack of effort or lack of preparation. It is just one of them things. The tire blew out and you can’t anticipate that happening. The deal with the big-block, everyone was having the same sort of problems. We just fell victim to the track.”
Rudolph lost the tire on his No. 62 going for the lead. He was working the inside lane of the speedway while race leader Tim Fuller was running the outside as was second place running Stewart Friesen.
“With the big-block car, had we finished the race I feel like we could have been second or third,” cited Rudolph. “I don’t think we had anything for Stewy (Friesen) that day. In the small-block I felt like we had a chance at a win.”
By virtue of competing on Sunday, Rudolph was forced to forgo a shot at the Short Track Super Series North Region championship. The Short Track Supernationals was postponed from Saturday to Sunday by weather which put Rudolph in a position to choose between a shot at the title or running the high dollar races at Oswego.
“We would have liked to do both but we would have given up two races to go to I-88 (Speedway),” commented Rudolph. “It’s a shame people in the positions of power can’t, especially for a big event like this, find a way to not run against each other. When you run a series there is always going to be conflicts. That is the nature of it, but it would be nice if they could see eye to eye on premier events like that.”
Going forward Rudolph plans to be in action this coming weekend at the Brockville Ontario Speedway before heading to the Outlaw Speedway the following weekend.