Rudolph Takes The Battle & The War

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Erick Rudolph (22) has seen the last of his . (Harry Cella Photo)
Erick Rudolph (22) races under Ryan Susice during Saturday's Battle of Trenton three-quarter midget event in Trenton, N.J. (Harry Cella Photo)
Erick Rudolph (22) races under Ryan Susice during Saturday’s Battle of Trenton three-quarter midget event in Trenton, N.J. (Harry Cella Photo)

TRENTON, N.J. – Erick Rudolph wrapped a near-perfect weekend Saturday night at the Sun National Bank Center when he won the 40-lap Battle Of Trenton three-quarter midget indoor race.

The victory was his second of the three race Len Sammons Motorsports Productions VP Racing Series 2016 season and he earned his second straight series title with the win.

“The car was good, as it always seems to be,” Rudolph said. “I got a break or two in lapped traffic and was able to get good restarts.”

Tony DiMattia, driving one of the four 600 Micro Sprint cars that qualified for the 26-car feature, moved by Jimmy Blewett off the final turn on the last lap to finish a second.

“I dropped back a little at the start because things happen in the early laps in these races,” said DiMattia, who started 13th. “Then the car just started coming in.”

The finish was so close that DiMattia had to be told by his crew after the race that he had edged Blewett for the second spot.

DiMattia was later disqualified for a motor infraction discovered during a routine post-race inspection, dropping him to last in the field and moved Blewett back to second.

Scott Kreutter’s advance through the field was even more profound than DiMattia’s. He was credited with third at the line from 20th starting spot. Patrick Emerling was fourth and Jonathan Reid fifth.

An eight-car, five-lap Dash that determined the order of the first four rows for the 40-lap headliner was won by Susice over Rudolph and Blewett.

Five 10-lap three-quarter migdet heat races with the top two finishers in each transferring to the feature were won by Zane Zeiner over Andrew Krause, by Andy Jankowiak ahead of Matt Roselli, by Emerling over Bobby Holmes, by Justin Bonsignore ahead of Earl Paules and by DiMattia ahead of John Ivy.

Krause’s second place finish in heat one was particularly noteworthy in that he started from the rear of the field. Holmes’ runner-up finish in heat three was remarkable in that he gained the spot over Joey Payne on a daring inside turn three pass on the final lap, and Ivy’s second spot result was worthy of note in that it was his first successful qualifying effort after previous difficulties in Atlantic City.

Mike Lichty won the D-Main for the  three-quarter midgets, and Ryan Tidman the C-Main. The B-Main, which secured starting spots for the first four cars in the main event, was won by Joey Payne.

Jesse Hartman started on the pole in the 20-lap Slingshot feature and stayed there throughout the race. It was a remarkable race in that Anthony Raisner challenged Hartman for the final ten laps as lapped traffic interfered with the leaders’ pace. But Hartman held, to win a race that took just four minutes and three seconds to run.

Hartman, often a Slingshot feature contender in LSMP races, won for the first time. Raisner was second and Paul Hartwig, Jr. ran his best race ever indoors to take third. Teenager Dylan Steuer was fourth and Seth Spayd fifth.

In the Slingshot preliminary racing action, Jesse Hartman, Anthony Raisner and Robbie Albreda won the three Slingshot heat races and Ed Stangle took the checkered flag in the Slingshot B feature.

Rudolph was named the LSMP Slingshot champion, based on points accrued in the Allentown, Atlantic City and Trenton Slingshot races.

The finish:

Erick Rudolph, Jimmy Blewett, Scott Kreutter, Patrick Emerling, Jonathan Reid, Ryan Susice, Bobby Holmes, Nick Ladyga, Shawn Nye, Brett Michalski, Justin Bonsignore, Zane Zeiner, Andrew Krause, Anthony Sesely, Matt Roselli, Tim Buckwalter, Andy Jankowiak, Johny Ivy, Rob Neely, Kyle Reinhardt, Mike Lichty, Earl Paules, Tim Nye, Joey Payne, Ted Christopher, Tony DiMattia.