Coming off of a victory at Brockville Ontario Speedway, Erick Rudolph is keeping his championship hopes alive heading into the Can-Am Off-Road World Finals at the Dirt Track at Charlotte.
Rudolph’s decision to make his second attempt to run full-time with the Super DIRTcar Series this season could possibly be the breakthrough for his career, if all plays out in his favor come November.
The Ransomville, NY native, was off to quite the rocky start on the series this season. It took until the Hall of Fame 100 at Weedsport Speedway at the end of July for Rudolph to pick up his first Super DIRTcar Series victory of the season after racking up five consecutive top-five finishes to finally break the ice.
Rudolph and the no.25 team have been consistent this season. With only two victories to his name, Rudolph has collected 15 top five finishes so far this season heading into the final weekend at the Dirt Track at Charlotte.
Matt Sheppard, the six-time Super DIRTcar Series Champion and current points leader, has some strong competition breathing down his back come World Finals time.
Sheppard has been able to hold onto the points lead all year, but with a few mishaps through the second-half of the season, Rudolph has been able to capitalize and close in on the points chase.
Out of the 22 Super DIRTcar Series races this season, Sheppard has collected four wins and 13 top-five finishes.
The final event of the season, the Can-Am Off-Road World Finals at the Dirt Trak at Charlotte, is up next, where the Super DIRTcar Series Champion will be crowned.
Sheppard, who has won three straight championships, will be looking to make it four in a row, but after a season long battle, Rudolph will not go down without a fight.
Heading into the World Finals, Sheppard currently holds a 40-point lead over Rudolph. It may sound far-fetched, but the odds could possibly fall into Rudolph’s favor come November.
Last year at the Dirt Track Sheppard finished second the first night and won the second night to go on and capture his third straight Super DIRTcar Series Championship.
Last year Rudolph failed to qualify the first night but was able to rebound the following evening and finish tenth in the 100-lap main event.
Sheppard has won three times in the past two years at the Dirt Track, Rudolph, however, is still in the hunt for his first.
The stats may be against Rudolph, but if the odds are in his favor, this could be his breakthrough season.
“Mathematically I’m still in it,” Rudolph said. “I’d have to have some great nights. Coming into the last couple weeks we were more worried about making sure we finish second. There’s a pack of five of them from second to sixth that’s real tight. We should have second locked up. We’ll go to World Finals and try the best we can like we always do.”
All dirt roads lead to the Dirt Track at Charlotte on November 1-3. All eyes in the dirt racing world will be on the track for the most spectacular season finale in motorsports. There the Championship will be decided between first place Matt Sheppard and rival Erick Rudolph.
2018 STAT ATTACK
There have been 22 Super DIRTcar Series features this season.
- Stewart Friesen - 5 (Weedsport Speedway on May 29, Albany-Saratoga Speedway on June 26, Orange County Fair Speedway on July 19, Autodrome Granby on July 23, Ransomville Speedway on August 7)
- Matt Sheppard – 4 (Brewerton Speedway on June 15, Cornwall Motor Speedway on July 1, Autodrome Drummond on July 24, Brewerton Speedway on September 14)
- Danny Johnson – 3 (Land of Legends Raceway on July 5, Airborne Park Speedway on July 31, Autodrome Drummond on September 8)
- Erick Rudolph – 2 (Weedsport Speedway on July 28, Brockville Ontario Speedway on October 12)
- Jimmy Phelps – 2 (Utica-Rome Speedway on July 8, Le RPM on September 7)
- Tim Fuller – 2 (Mohawk International Raceway on September 15, Fonda Speedway on September 22)
- Brett Hearn – 1 (Outlaw Speedway on July 10)
- Ryan Susice – 1 (Merrittville Speedway on August 6)
- Kenny Tremont Jr. – 1 (Lebanon Valley Speedway on September 1)
- Larry Wight – 1 (Oswego Speedway on October 7)
2018 Super DIRTcar Championship Standings as of October 13, 2018:
|No.||Driver||Series||Diff||Money||Wins||Top 5||Top 10||Starts|
|10||63||Adam Roberts ®||1,197||-956||$8,675||0||0||0||22|
Winners (10 Drivers)
Rank, Driver - Wins
- STEWART FRIESEN - 5
- MATT SHEPPARD – 4
- DANNY JOHNSON – 3
- JIMMY PHELPS, TIM FULLER, ERICK RUDOLPH – 2
- BRETT HEARN, RYAN SUSICE, KENNY TREMONT JR., LARRY WIGHT - 1
Pole Positions (15 Drivers)
Rank, Driver - Poles
- MATT SHEPPARD – 4
- ERICK RUDOLPH – 3
- MAX MCLAUGHLIN, JIMMY PHELPS – 2
- STEWART FRIESEN, CHRIS RAABE, DANNY JOHNSON, TIM FULLER, STEVE BERNARD, RYAN SUSICE. CHAD BRACHMANN, MIKE MAHANEY, LARRY WIGHT, WILLY DECKER, MIKE MARESCA - 1
Time Trial leaders (12 Drivers)
Rank, Driver - Quick Times
- MATT SHEPPARD – 6
- STEWART FRIESEN – 4
- JIMMY PHELPS – 3
- BILLY DECKER, TIM FULLER, DANNY JOHNSON, ANTHONY PERREGO, BRETT HEARN, MAX MCLAUGHLIN, STEVE BERNARD, LARRY WIGHT, ERICK RUDOLPH - 1
Podium Finishes (23 Different Drivers)
Rank, Driver - Finishes in the Top-Three
- MATT SHEPPARD – 11
- DANNY JOHNSON, STEWART FRIESEN – 8
- JIMMY PHELPS – 6
- ERICK RUDOLPH - 5
- MAX MCLAUGHLIN, BRETT HEARN – 4
- MAT WILLIAMSON – 3
- TIM FULLER, PETER BRITTEN – 2
- BILLY DECKER, CHRIS RAABE, KYLE DINGWALL, RYAN SUSICE, CHAD BRACHMANN, KENNY TREMONT JR., MIKE MAHANEY, MATHIEU BOISVERT, YAN BUSSIERE, PAT WARD, TIM SEARS JR., BILLY DUNN, LARRY WIGHT – 1
Heat Race Winners (29 Different Drivers)
Rank, Driver - Win
- MATT SHEPPARD – 12
- BRETT HEARN – 8
- PETER BRITTEN – 8
- STEWART FRIESEN – 7
- JIMMY PHELPS – 5
- MAX MCLAUGHLIN, DANNY JOHNSON, ERICK RUDOLPH – 4
- PAT WARD, LARRY WIGHT – 3
- TIM FULLER, BILLY DECKER, MAT WILLIAMSON, KEITH FLACH, STEVE BERNARD – 2
- TIM SEARS JR., WILLY DECKER, JESSEY MUELLER, MICHAEL PARENT, BILLY DUNN, PIERRE HEBERT, MATHIEU DESJARDINS, RICH SCAGLIOTTA, CHAD BRACHMANN, ANDY BACHETTI, MATT HULSIZER, JUSTIN HAERS, DANNY VARIN, GARY LINDBERG, CAREY TERRENCE - 1
Last Chance Showdown Winners (18 Different Drivers)
Rank Driver, Hometown - Wins
- ADAM ROBERTS – 3
- ROB BELLINGER, ANDREW FERGUSON – 2
- MATT WILLIAMSON, TIM MCCREADIE, ERICK RUDOLPH, TOMMY MEIER, DANY BILODEAU, PAUL GILARDI, KOLBY SCHROEDER, MATHIEU LARRAMEE, CHAD BRACHMANN, ROCKY WARNER, DEMTRIOS DRELLOS, RYAN WATT, JACK LEHNER, RYAN ARBUTHNOT, GARY LINDBERG - 1
2018 Super DIRTcar Series Schedule & Winners
No. / Day, Date / Track / Location / Winner (Number of Wins in 2018)
- Sat. April 28 / High Bank Holdup / Fulton Speedway / Fulton, N.Y. / RAIN
- Wed. May 16 / Battle at the Bridge / Bridgeport Speedway / Bridgeport, N.J. / RAIN
- Mon. May 28 / Memorial Day 100 / Weedsport Speedway / Weedsport, N.Y. / Stewart Friesen (1)
- Fri. June 15 / Brewerton Speedway / Brewerton, N.Y. / Matt Sheppard (1)
- Tues. June 26 / The BIG Show 10 / Albany-Saratoga Speedway / Malta, N.Y. / Stewart Friesen (2)
- Sun. July 1 / Cornwall Motor Speedway / Cornwall, Ont. / Matt Sheppard (2)
- Thurs. July 5 / Land of Legends Raceway / Canandaigua, N.Y. / Danny Johnson (1)
- Sun. July 8 / Freedom Fighter 100 / Utica-Rome Speedway / Vernon, N.Y. / Jimmy Phelps (1)
- Tues. July 10 / Outlaw Speedway / Dundee, N.Y. / Brett Hearn (1)
- Thurs. July 19 / Orange County fair Speedway / Middletown, N.Y. / Stewart Friesen (3)
- Mon. July 23 / Autodrome Granby / Granby, Que. / Stewart Friesen (4)
- Tues. July 24 / Racing Stock 100 / Autodrome Drummond / Drummondville, Que. / Matt Sheppard (3)
- Sat. July 28 / Hall of Fame 100 / Weedsport Speedway / Weedsport, N.Y./ Erick Rudolph (1)
- Tues. July 31 / Battle of Plattsburgh 100 / Airborne Park Speedway / Plattsburgh, N.Y./ Danny Johnson (2)
- Wed. Aug. 1 / Jack Johnson Tribute / Fonda Speedway / Fonda, N.Y. / RAIN
- Mon. Aug. 6 / Bob St. Amand Sr Memorial / Merrittville Speedway / Thorold, Ont. / Ryan Susice (1)
- Tues. Aug. 7 / Summer Nationals / Ransomville Speedway / Ransomville, N.Y. / Stewart Friesen (5)
- Sat. Sept. 1 / Mr. DIRT Track USA / Lebanon Valley Speedway / West Lebanon, N.Y. / Kenny Tremont Jr. (1)
- Mon. Sept. 3 / Labor Day Double Play 100 / Weedsport Speedway / Weedsport, N.Y. / RAIN
- Fri. Sept. 7 / Le RPM Speedway / Saint-Marcel-de-Richelieu, Que. / Jimmy Phelps (2)
- Sat. Sept. 8 / Blackout Race / Autodrome Drummond / Drummondville, Que. / Danny Johnson (3)
- Fri. Sept. 14 / Duel at the Demon / Brewerton Speedway / Brewerton, N.Y. / Matt Sheppard (4)
- Sat. Sept. 15 / Mohawk 100 / Mohawk International Raceway / Akwesasne, N.Y. / Tim Fuller (1)
- Sat. Sept. 22 / Thunder Along the Mohawk / Fonda Speedway / Fonda, N.Y. / Tim Fuller (2)
- Sun. Oct. 7 / NAPA Auto Parts Super DIRT Week XLVII / Oswego Speedway / Oswego, N.Y. / Larry Wight (1)
- Fri. Oct. 12 / The Loud & Dirty Northeast Fall Nationals / Brockville Ontario Speedway / Brockville, Ont. / Erick Rudolph (2)
- Fri. Nov. 2 / Textron Off Road World of Outlaws World Finals / The Dirt Track at Charlotte / Concord, N.C. /
- Sat. Nov. 3 / Textron Off Road World of Outlaws World Finals / The Dirt Track at Charlotte / Concord, N.C. /