Erick Rudolph debuted the Rob Clark owned No. 62 on Friday night at the Ransomville Speedway and promptly put the car in Victory Lane. Rudolph led all but one lap of the 30-lap feature while on his way to scoring the opening day victory in front of a full house.
“This is a car that I keep in house at my garage so to get a win after working on it all winter is good,” said Rudolph after the feature. “It’s always nice to have a good run the first night out.”
Rudolph had the car at practice on Wednesday night at the track and suffered from steering issues. Those gremlins continued on Friday even after the team made some changes to the car.
“We had some problems with the steering on Wednesday,” commented Rudolph. “I don’t know what it was. We swapped out the boxes. It was really tough to steer. Even today, it was better, but it was still tough to steer. We got some work to do figuring that out.”
Rudolph started on the inside of the second row and watched as Tommy Flanigan and Randy Chrysler battled on the opening circuit for the lead. From there he was able dive underneath both drivers on the next lap to take the position. He was fast throughout the feature but he felt like his car gave up late.
“We came here the way we always do,” Rudolph stated. “It seemed to work out. Toward the end I slowed up a bit. We got a few ideas how to make it last a little longer.”
Rudolph struggled a bit in traffic which allowed Pete Bicknell to get close in the final laps. Rudolph was able to do enough to hold him off. He did all he could to stay low on the track but did go to the outside when necessary to make a pass of a lapped car.
“The bottom was the place to be so they were on the bottom too,” he said of the slower cars. “I got one on the outside. The lapped cars were tough but I think the car slowed up bit and maybe I was getting tired behind the wheel because of the steering.”
Rudolph indicated he plans on returning next week although he’ll have a hit and miss schedule for 2016.