By MIKE MALLETT
Erick Rudolph continues to prove that he is the master of the indoor racing scene. The Ransomville, N.Y., driver dominated Saturday night’s Battle of Trenton finale for his second indoor series win of the year. He won the opener in Allentown before a disappointing 10th in Atlantic City. Had he won all three events he would have took home a $10,000 bonus courtesy of Vahlco Wheels.
“It’s a letdown in the fact that we didn’t get the 10 grand bonus from Vahlco Wheels there, but you got to remember it’s not a letdown when you give 100 percent,” Rudolph said. “Not just me but the owner, the whole crew, it’s not a letdown because we know that we gave it our all. That’s what we are proud of.”
None the less it was a stunning indoor season for Rudolph considering he bested nearly 70 different cars on not just one but two occasions. Anyone that has ever been to an indoor event knows you need a fast race car but there is a certain element of luck to being able to survive the rough and tumble aspect of it.
“You got to look at this way,” stated Rudolph. “You got to play it by the numbers. There are close to 70 cars here today, similar in Allentown and Atlantic City there were a 100. To win one is an accomplishment, to win two is awesome.”
Rudolph has a strong relationship with indoor car builder extraordinaire Mark Lafler. The two share a hometown and have been working together for 10 years. The results have been incredible with Rudolph winning indoor event after indoor event and more and more people purchasing the Lafler built cars. In Saturday night’s dash at Trenton, seven out of the eight cars were of that design.
“This has been in the making for a lot of years,” commented Rudolph. “We used to race indoors about a decade ago. We had a handful of cars and it’s grown into what it is today. I don’t think there is any other car but a Lafler to run indoors. It goes with Mark Lafler himself. You see him walking around the garage area helping guys out, people coming over and asking him and more often than not he sends them in the right direction.”
Even though the indoor racing season has come to a close and Rudolph will be returning to the dirt, he’ll still have some focus on the indoor season that starts next December. He does stop at the shop during the off-season to check in and to go over things. The pair are constantly looking for a way to get better.
“It is something I look forward to getting to because we always run well and win,” stated Rudolph. “I feel like at the indoor races I have the best chance out of anyone to win with the track record we have. Car wise, engine wise, we got the whole package. It’s not totally forgotten about during the summer months. I usually stop by a couple times in the shop. He’s right in town. He comes to a few of my dirt races. We talk about it, catch up on it, discuss ways to get better. It’s got to be a year round thing.”