Rudolph Does It Again At Drummond

Erick Rudolph (DIRTcar photo)
Erick Rudolph is the four-time and defending TQ midget champion of the Indoor Auto Racing Series. (DIRTcar photo)

DRUMMONDVILLE, Quebec — The winning driver was anyone’s guess throughout the entire 100 laps of action at Autodrome Drummond but Erick Rudolph saved his best stuff for last.

Stewart Friesen led the most laps but not the one that counted for the win. Jimmy Phelps started on the pole position and stayed in the top five all night to cross the finish line on the final step of the podium.

Five years ago, Erick Rudolph burst on the Super DIRTcar Series scene with his first series win at Autodrome Drummond. Now, holding his pro wrestling style Championship Belt, Rudolph beamed in victory lane, “The track was a pleasure to race on. I had a lot of fun out there. Drummond has always been good to me.”

He may have been having fun out there but Rudolph exercised significant patience in order to save his tires for the end. The top five had a revolving door but the No. 25r stayed in the mix for 80 laps. Then, on the restart with 20 laps to go, Rudolph turned up the dial and outdueled Stewart Friesen for first place.

All the stars were aligned for Rudolph. His tires were right, his racing lines were right, and it was five years ago to the day that he won his first Series race at Autodrome Drummond.

Multi-discipline racer Friesen made the trek North for both rounds of the Quebec doubleheader. Friesen started sixth. The No. 44 was fast in clean air and built a lead up during a long mid-race green-flag period. Unfortunately, Friesen used up his tires in the early going and had a difficult time matching Rudolph’s late-race pace.

Friesen was excited to race in front of his home country’s fans. “Thanks to everybody for coming out and supporting this event. This is awesome,” he said looking out at the standing-room-only-crowd.

Polesitter Jimmy Phelps had a fast race car but Rudolph and Friesen. “Congrats to Erick, Charlie, and the whole group over there. Those guys are working hard and they are on their game right now.”

Phelps had a perfect view of the battle for first place.

“It looked like the No. 9s was going to come in and make it interesting. It looked like Friesen started to get a little free. I know I was starting to get loose about halfway. We were too good too early. We’ve kind of struggled here over the last few years so all-in-all if I can get out of here with a podium, I’m happy.”

As the field’s tires began to wear out late in the race, Canadian hero David Herbert charged to the front of the field. He picked up 16 positions from his twenty-first place starting position to finish fifth.

Race-winner Erick Rudolph picked up his career first Billy Whittaker Cars Fast-Time Award.

The finish:

Feature (100 Laps): 1. 25-Erick Rudolph [4][$7,500]; 2. 44-Stewart Friesen [6][$4,000]; 3. 98H-Jimmy Phelps [1][$2,500]; 4. 54-Steve Bernard [5][$1,800]; 5. ONE-David Hebert [21][$1,600]; 6. 111-Demetrios Drellos [2][$1,400]; 7. 9S-Matt Sheppard [8][$1,300]; 8. 6m-Mat Williamson [10][$1,200]; 9. 91-Billy Decker [7][$1,100]; 10. 44G-Sebastien Gougeon [19][$1,000]; 11. 99L-Larry Wight [3][$800]; 12. 20-Brett Hearn [16][$700]; 13. 21A-Peter Britten [12][$600]; 14. 26-Ryan Godown [9][$575]; 15. 35-Mike Mahaney [11][$550]; 16. 63D-Dominic Dufault [23][$525]; 17. 39x-Alex Therrien [22][$500]; 18. 13-Kevin Hamel [24][$500]; 19. 27J-Danny Johnson [17][$500]; 20. 19m-Jessey Mueller [13][$500]; 21. 2L-Jack Lehner [20][$500]; 22. R2-Rusty Smith [26][$500]; 23. 35B-Francois Bellemare [29][$500]; 24. 37-Paul StSauveur [27][$500]; 25. 22C-Mario Clair [18][$500]; 26. 1MD-Mathieu Desjardins [15][$500]; 27. 96-JF Corriveau [28][$500]; 28. 17-Marcus Dinkins [25][$500]; 29. 21-Yan Bussiere [14][$500]