Shining on the Bayou: Erick Rudolph Takes $4,000 Top Prize at Ark-La-Tex
Written by Chris Moore
VIVIAN, LA – Rudolph shines on the Bayou.
Ransomville, N.Y.’s Erick Rudolph raced to a $4,000-plus payday in Round No. 2 of the Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series (STSS) Fueled By Sunoco ‘Cajun Swing’ at Ark-La-Tex Speedway in Louisiana.
“The track changed a lot during the race… later in the going it seemed like the car came to life,” explained Rudolph of his late charge for the win.
Rudolph’s triumph was the fourth of his STSS career, three of which have occurred outside the STSS home in the Northeast.
After a runner-up finish the previous night, Rudolph is tied with Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown atop the ‘Cajun Swing’ points standings with three races remaining.
Rudolph’s chase for the Bayou State victory began from the 11th starting position for the second night in a row.
Gloversville, N.Y.’s Rocky Warner started on the front row with the previous night’s winner – Ringoes, N.J.’s Ryan Godown – alongside.
Godown used the topside momentum to take the lead and set the pace in the early going, while Warner raced in second and Ballston Spa, N.Y.’s Derrick McGrew Jr. battled for third with King Ferry, N.Y.’s Mike Mahaney.
After a pair of early yellows, Mahaney shook off McGrew Jr. and brought Sprakers, N.Y.’s Stewart Friesen with him in the battle for third.
Friesen would work by Mahaney and set his sights on Warner for the runner-up spot before a lap-13 caution restacked the field.
Friesen’s assault continued as he worked around Warner on lap 18 and began reeling in Godown as the two carved through lap traffic into the second half of the feature.
Friesen stalked Godown before a moment came that changed the complexion of the race. As the leaders completed the 26th circuit, lapped traffic was three-wide directly in front of the top two.
Friesen darted to the inside of Godown just as Godown was moving to the bottom, both searching for a way by the lapped cars. The contact sent Friesen into an infield tire, breaking his front end and terminating his night prematurely.
The lap-26 restart was when Rudolph suddenly broke into contention. Rudolph restarted from the fourth position and ran his way into the runner-up spot, slipping by Savannah, N.Y.’s Matt Sheppard and Rocky Warner.
From lap 29 to the checkered flag, Rudolph and Godown were trading slide jobs for the Ark-La-Tex win.
Rudolph outdueled Godown and claim Night No. 2 of the ‘Cajun Swing’ for his fourth-career STSS triumph in his Revive Spine Center No. 25.
Godown brought home a runner-up finish in his R&M Motorsports No. 26 and Rocky Warner rounded out the top-three in his Jason Simmons Racing No. 98.
Derrick McGrew Jr.’s up-and-down night ended with a fourth-place finish in his family-owned No. 26 and Vernon, N.Y.’s Willy Decker rounded out the top-five in his No. 1x.
Matt Sheppard finished in the sixth spot after a tumultuous evening in the Hurlock Auto & Speed Supply No. 9s. Mike Mahaney faded to seventh in the George Huttig-owned No. 35 and Jackson, N.J.’s Steve Davis grabbed eighth in his Masker Racing No. 72.
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.’s Jack Lehner came home ninth in the No. 2 and Knox, N.Y.’s John Lutes rounded out the top-10 in his self-owned No. 959.
Twenty-nine STSS Modifieds signed in at the gate for night No. 2 of the ‘Cajun Swing.’
Heat winners, receiving $50 each courtesy of FloRacing in addition to a $50 ERK Steering Repair gift certificate, were Decker, Friesen and Rudolph.
With weather approaching, series management opted to move up the starting time for the evening and the main event for the STSS Modifieds was completed by 7:55 p.m.
Racing resumes for the STSS on Thursday, November 11 at ‘The Rev’ at Revolution Park for Night No. 3 of the ‘Cajun Swing.’ The Modifieds (40 laps, $5,000 to win, $750 for 10th & $400 to start) are joined by the Limited Modifieds and Factory Stocks.
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The Short Track Super Series is presented by American Racer/Lias Tire, Sunoco Race Fuel, Insinger Performance, FloRacing, Bob Hilbert Sportswear, Hurlock Auto & Speed, Velocita-USA, Design for Vision/Sunglass Central, Behrent’s Performance Warehouse, Beyea Custom Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Dirt Track Digest, Penske Racing Shocks, Danny’s Pizza Pizzazz, Algonkin Motel, Henry’s Exhaust, Hig Fab, Kirkey Racing Fabrication, Precision Hydraulic & Oil, Belmont’s Garage, Superior Remodeling, Spyder High Performance Filters, Fastline Performance, Teo-Pro Car, VAHLCO, WELD Racing & Wilwood.
CAJUN SWING RESULTS SUMMARY – ARK-LA-TEX SPEEDWAY WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2021
Bob Hilbert Sportswear Short Track Super Series Fueled By Sunoco Cajun Swing Event No. 2 Modified Feature Finish (40 laps): ERICK RUDOLPH, Ryan Godown, Rocky Warner, Derrick McGrew Jr., Willy Decker, Matt Sheppard, Mike Mahaney, Steve Davis, Jack Lehner, John Lutes, Jon White Jr., Caleb Dillard, Eric Williams, Darrell ‘Brother’ Fowlkes, Richard Holt, Tommy Rascoe, Thomas Holt, Corey Oltz, Danny Baglio, Mike Krompegal, Kodey Keimig, Stewart Friesen, Glenn Stone, Brent Buckley, David Forbis, Keith Badiali, Korey Keimig, Greg Dillard
Did Not Start: Tyler Siri
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Fourth-Place Bonus ($50 Gift Card): Derrick McGrew Jr.
Behrent’s Performance Warehouse Top LA/TX Driver ($50 Gift Card): Jon White Jr. (11th)
Beyea Custom Headers Bonus ($50): Jon White Jr. (Redrew 12th)
Day Motor Sports Bonus (FREE Tire Certificate): Steve Davis (eighth)
ERK Steering Repair Heat Winners ($50 Certificate): Willy Decker, Stewart Friesen & Erick Rudolph
FloRacing Heat Winners ($50): Willy Decker, Stewart Friesen & Erick Rudolph
Henry’s Exhaust Power Position ($50 Certificate): Jon White Jr.(11th)
Penske Racing Shocks Bonuses: Erick Rudolph ($150 – winner): Ryan Godown ($75 – second); Rocky Warner ($50 – third); John Lutes Jr. ($25 – 10th)
Shed Road Auto Parts Hard Charger ($50): Matt Sheppard (20th to sixth)
Wilwood Brakes ‘Lucky 7’ Bonus ($75 Certificate): Mike Mahaney (seventh)