Erick Rudolph Rules The Battle Of Trenton

Erick Rudolph
Erick Rudolph held off Ryan Flores to win Saturday’s Battle of Trenton Indoor three-quarter midget race. (Harry Cella Photo)

TRENTON, N.J. – Erick Rudolph passed Jimmy Blewett for the lead on the sixth lap of the 40-lap feature and raced on to victory Saturday night in the Battle of Trenton Len Sammons Motorsports Productions three-quarter midget feature at Sun National Bank Center.

“We come to these races with the best car Mark Lafler car build and set it up the best way he knows how to,” Rudolph said. “And once I got the lead, lapped traffic was the only thing I had to worry about.”

The win was the sixth LSMP Indoor TQ victory in Rudolph’s career, second only to Ted Christopher’s seven.

Ryan Flores passed Blewett on lap 19 to gain second spot and stayed there with Blewett finishing third, Zane Zeiner was fourth and Scott Kreutter ran fifth.

“He (Rudolph) was a little better than us so I have to work on it harder and get better,” Flores said. “We’re gaining on it.”

Blewett said simply of third place, “the car got tight”.

The race was an attrition-plagued affair with only half of the twenty four starters taking the checkered flag at the end of forty laps.

Two red flags, bringing a stop to the action, were flown during the race.

The first red came after Joey Payne, who had started last in the race but had been moving forward, slammed into the first turn concrete Jersey barrier at top speed and flipped several times.  After anxious moments, Payne was assisted from his car and walked across the infield to the plaudits of the fans.

The second red flag, on lap thirteen, occurred after Ted Christopher’s car flared up in spectacular fashion after an oil line broke and spilled fluid on the hot engine. Christopher was not hurt.

The win for Rudolph came in the first of three Indoor Auto Racing Series Fueled By VP Racing events staged by LMSP.  The second is slated for the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa., on Dec. 30-31 and the third and concluding Series event is inside Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., on Jan. 27-28.

In the 20-lap Slingshot co-feature, Anthony Raisner, driving a car usually driven by Dylan Hoch, led all the way to win the race, hounded from start to finish by Kurt Bettler. Seth Spayd was third, Gary Hieber fourth and Kyle Herve fifth.

Danny Buccafusca, Nick Shaw, Hoch (owner of the winning car driven by Raisner), Dillon Steuer and Cole Hentschel wrapped up the top ten finishers from the twenty starters.

The finish:

Erick Rudolph, Ryan Flores, Jimmy Blewett, Zane Zeiner, Scott Kreutter, Andy Jankowiak, Chris de Ritis, Tim Buckwalter, Brandon Azzalina, Richie Pratt Jr., Mike Iles, Josh Dalrymple, Ted Christopher, Anthony Sesely, Matt Janish, Shawn Nye, Joey Payne, Jason Rochelle, Matt Roselli, Jonathan Reid, Tommy Catalano, Ryan Tidman, Rob Neely, Aaron Bartelemy.