The Chrome Horn News



    Erick Rudolph and the DeLange Racing team of Lockport, New York made the trip last weekend to Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. The racing program featured one of the core events on the  NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour schedule, the 37th Annual Tech-Net Spring Sizzler. It was the first-ever Stafford appearance for both Rudolph and the team, but they quickly demonstrated they were going to be competitive.
    After a 90-minute practice session where the crew made the necessary adjustments to the racecar, the Ransomville, New York teenager went out for time trials. He demonstrated his ability to learn quickly as he qualified 16th fastest out of the 35 Modifieds on hand.
    Early Sunday morning the team arrived at the Speedway under cloudy skies and a forecast for rain showers. But on this day the weatherman proved to be a race fan and the 200-lap feature event was right on schedule. Rudolph showed his patience in the early stages of the race as he honed his skills for the half-mile Stafford oval and the other 34 teams. He ran just outside of the top-ten until he made a pit stop a few circuits before the halfway point of the race.
    After his pit stop, the talented young man began to race in earnest. He moved steadily forward and with just over 50 laps to go he was third and holding his own. As the laps counted down the race got physical as drivers battled hard for positions, but the young man was not intimidated and held his ground. With 30 laps to go he was still in the top-ten and appeared headed to a good finish. But another driver tried to force his way under the #45 Original Pizza Logs / PrimeTyme Motorsports / Brigham Concrete Modified to gain a position and there wasn't enough room. Heavy contact sent Rudolph into the wall and the resulting damage sidelined him for the remainder of the race. He was credited with a 24th place finish.
    "We had a tough time when we first got here for practice," recalled Rudolph calmly post-race. "We threw something at the car for qualifying and I ended up with a pretty good lap in time trials. In the race we were running good and just trying to get to the end with a decent finish. About lap 170 another car got into us in turn one and unfortunately we wrecked."
    Team owner Dave DeLange was impressed by his driver's performance. "Stafford is a tough track to drive and the competition on the NASCAR Tour is the very best. This was Erick's first visit here and in most cases you wouldn't expect a lot, but he never fails to exceed my expectations. He drove like a veteran and would have had at least a top-ten finish, but another driver ran him over and ended our day. But we'll be back here at Stafford in a month and I'm looking forward to see what we can do with some experience under our belt."
    The month of May will kickoff the busy segment of the 2008 DeLange Racing schedule. On May 10th they will be at Dunn Tire Raceway Park (the former Lancaster Raceway Park) with both the #45 Modified and the #45 SST Sportsman. On May 16th they will be racing the Modified at Spencer Speedway in Williamson, New York. Then on Friday night, May 23rd, they will return to Stafford Motor Speedway for the 18th Annual TSI Harley-Davidson 150 for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.


Source:  Bruce Boucher / DeLange Racing PR
Posted:  May 1, 2008

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