NEW LAFLER CAR ENERGIZES ERICK RUDOLPH’S INDOOR AUTO RACING SERIES ASPIRATIONS; THREE TIME PAST SERIES CHAMP TO CONTEND FOR ALLENTOWN, ATLANTIC CITY AND ALBANY VICTORIES
Story By: Steve Barrick/LSMP
Photos By: Pete MacDonald/RacersGuide.com
ALLENTOWN, PA November 15, 2017 . . . Erick Rudolph’s standard-setting winning ways on the Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Racing Fuels races are a matter of fact.
The Ransomville, N.Y., driver is an eight time A-Main winner and three time Indoor Racing Series champion. Rudolph was a close second to Ryan Flores in last year’s title chase after winning the series finale in Atlantic City, N.J.
Heading into the 2018 Indoor Auto Racing Series events Rudolph will be coming off a career best outdoor season on dirt that produced 17 wins and the BRP big-block Modified Tour championship.
But there’s more: Rudolph, who has won all of his indoor races and titles driving cars designed and built by Ransomville neighbor Mark Lafler, will be charging through the field in an all new chassis this season.
Rudolph’s on-track TQ Midget indoor heroics are legendary.
“It’s not easy driving these things,” Rudolph said after winning his most recent Indoor Auto Racing Series championship in 2016. He makes it look that way, however, with a smooth driving style that always finds him near the front at the end.
The 2018 Indoor Auto Racing Series opens at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA., for the Ironton Telephone sponsored events on Friday and Saturday, January 5 and 6. Each night offers a complete show for the headline TQ Midgets.
The Ironton Telephone Allentown event schedule calls for racing to start at 7:30 p.m. on Friday with the Champ Karts as part of the program and 7 p.m. on Saturday with the Slingshots joining the TQ Midgets.
The NAPA Auto Parts Indoor Auto Racing Weekend follows in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall on January 26 and 27. And the first ever Indoor Series race event in New York State, set for February 9-10, 2018 in the Times Union Center in downtown Albany, N.Y.
Though many would consider Rudolph to be a favorite, as many as 60 competitors have decidedly different ideas.
Two Connecticut champion drivers Keith Rocco, and Ryan Preece are in the field. Rocco has entered for the first time in a car formerly driven by Preece. Preece in turn, is driving the car formerly driven by the late Ted Christopher.
New Jersey native Ryan Flores of Mooresville, N.C., will be racing the same No. 15 Lafler he drove to two wins and the championship last year.
Also expected to be a contender for victories and the championship is Jimmy Blewett of Howell, N.J., recently crowned Wall Stadium 2017 Modified champion.
Driving a TQ Midget on the Indoor Series is a perfect off-season workout for the drivers. The TQs are open wheel race cars, specifically adapted for racing in the tight indoor speedway confines.
Powered by a 750cc motorcycle engine, the car and driver weigh only 825 pounds allowing them to ignite to speeds up to 75 mph. The unbelievable racing, with lap times under eight seconds, has produced huge fan attendance.
These are not cookie cutter race cars held in a box by a large rule book. The suspension and car design are open to the team, making it a throwback style of racing.
For choice Allentown tickets, contact the PPL Center Box Office by phone at 610-347-TIXX (8499), online at pplcenter.com. The 2016 event was a sell-out.
The series moves next to the NAPA Auto Parts Indoor Auto Racing Weekend in Atlantic City. For tickets, contact Ticketmaster, the Boardwalk Hall Box Office, or the Area Auto Racing News office at 609-888-3618.
The finale will be a first annual event in New York State, on February 9-10, 2018 in the Times Union Center in downtown Albany, N.Y. For choice tickets, contact the Times Union Center Box Office, charge-by-phone at (800) 745-3000, or visit online at ticketmaster.com.