The Chrome Horn News



   Erick Rudolph of Ransomville and the DeLange Racing team were on the road again last weekend. On Saturday they traveled east on NY Route 104 to Oswego Speedway for a Race of Champions Dart Asphalt Modified Tour 125-lap race, a part of the 52nd edition of the famed International Classic Weekend. A strong field of Modifieds was on hand. Rudolph qualified the #45 Original Pizza Logs/PrimeTyme Motorsports//Brigham Concrete Modified through his heat race and lined up 12th on the starting grid for the feature event.
   In the early laps the crafty teenager ran a conservative pace, biding time and conserving his tires. He worked his way into the top-ten and then settled there. He was ninth when a lap 66 caution brought most of the field onto pit road for service. The DeLange pit crew made up of Jason Kerrigan, Joe Zahno, Chris Murphy and Joe Mihalics did an outstanding job and got their car out ahead of the other cars that pitted, giving them a distinct advantage by not having to pass those cars on the track at racing speed. That effort did not go unnoticed.
   "Our guys had just an exceptional pit stop tonight," declared team owner Dave DeLange. "They have families and careers so they do this (racing) part-time, but their effort is always first-class. They work hard and rarely get any recognition, so I wanted people to know how important their work is to our team's success and how much I, Charlie Rudolph (crew chief) and Erick appreciate everything they do for DeLange Racing. They are a crucial component of any success we enjoy. Great job, guys!"
   After the pit stops had cycled through, Rudolph found himself the runner-up behind Oswego standout Matt Hirschman, who chose a "no pit" strategy for the race. Erick chased him in vain for the remainder of the race, and was passed for second in the later stages by Hirschman's neighbor, Eric Beers. At the checkered flag our talented young driver was rewarded for his efforts with a solid third place finish.
   "We had the right strategy," explained Rudolph after the race, "but the (tire) stagger took off after we pitted. We would have liked to see what the car would be like if we had it dialed right in but Matt was awfully fast. For him to stay out for the whole race and run as hard as he did was surprising. It seemed like from lap 60 on he was going as hard as he could and the car stayed with him. He definitely has a good setup for Oswego. We found out some things tonight that will help us in the Race of Champions in three weeks. That race is more laps and requires a different approach but I picked up some different ideas about the best line to run and how to pass cars. Hopefully we learned some things tonight to go longer and faster the next time. It's what you need to win."
   After the Oswego race ended, the team headed off into the night on a quick trip back to Western New York. They exchanged the Modified for the #45 SST Modified and headed to Wyoming County International Speedway in Perry for a Sunday afternoon 100-lap SST Modified Tour race. Rudolph started ninth and dominated the event to end up in Victory Lane. It was a satisfying end to a long and busy weekend.
   This coming week is scheduled to be a relaxed one for DeLange Racing in terms of travel. Their only race appearance will be on Saturday at Dunn Tire Raceway Park in Lancaster for Championship Night as DTRP crowns their 2008 Champions. Rudolph is in contention for two titles. He will drive the #45 SST for the remaining 43 laps of a previously rain-delayed 50-lapper and a complete 35-lap feature to decide the 2008 SST title, and then jump into the #45 Modified for the Ron Lux Memorial 50 to crown the Mod champion. Erick is undefeated in six races this season in the SST Sportsman class at DTRP and is currently leading the SST points. In the Modifieds he has one victory and five top-three finishes in as many races run, tied for the point lead. If all goes well, it could be a night of celebration.


Source:  Bruce Boucher / DeLange Racing PR
Posted:  September 3, 2008

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