Erick Rudolph Leads Charge To Battle Of Trenton

Erick Rudolph (22) races under Ryan Susice during the Battle of Trenton three-quarter midget event in Trenton, N.J., last year. (Harry Cella Photo)
Erick Rudolph (22) races under Ryan Susice during the Battle of Trenton three-quarter midget event in Trenton, N.J., in February. (Harry Cella Photo)

TRENTON, N.J. – When Erick Rudolph marches back to New Jersey for the Battle of Trenton on Dec. 9-10, he’s hoping for a reenactment at the Sun National Bank Center.

The driver from Ransomville, N.Y., won the Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled by VP three-quarter midget finale at the Sun National Bank Center in February and clinched the championship. Rudolph is hoping for a similar victory to start the 2016-2017 indoor season.

Rudolph is coming off a career best outdoor season which included 22 victories in dirt modified competition. He heads to Trenton with the same winning TQ Midget he drove last year. Mark Lafler, who builds many of the top TQ Midgets, will act as Rudolph’s crew chief as he has for the past decade.

More than 50 top drivers from eight states and Canada hope to keep Rudolph from accomplishing his goals. On top of that list is Len Sammons Motorsports series all time winner, Ted Christopher, who will debut with a different winning team this season.

Another pre-race favorite is Howell, N.J.’s Jimmy Blewett who nearly made the winning pass on Rudolph in February in Trenton to get his first win on the series.

Anthony Sesely, winner of Atlantic City’s Gambler’s Classic for the third time last January, will debut as a driver on Lou Cicconi’s Super Team at Trenton. Cicconi, a four time series winner, has decided not to race the first two Indoor events to concentrate on his five car team.

Cicconi’s iconic No. 57 will now be driven by ISMA supermodified champion Dave Shullick Jr. Other Cicconi drivers include Pat Bealer, Ryan Kratchun and Shawn Nye.

Ryan Flores a Team Penske employee, excelled on the Indoor Series last year, but was forced to miss the Trenton finale because of a NASCAR Cup event being held that weekend  in Phoenix, Ariz.  Flores is another candidate to take his first indoor series race win.

Other notables includes Modified standouts Earl Paules, Zane Zeiner, Richie Pratt and Mike Iles.

The Dec. 10 Battle of Trenton 40-lap feature event will be held after a series of qualifying events for the TQ Midgets. Slingshots will also be part of the program.