Strong Final Weekend at ERX
Eric Ruppel had a strong weekend at the Final Rounds weekend of the TORC Series presented by AMSOIL. The #37 Maxxis Tire/Petit Development/Chetek Off-Road PRO-2 WD hot rod raced it way to a fourth place finish and two third place podiums which gave the team enough points to finish third overall in the TORC PRO-2WD Championship.
The thirteen round season saw Eric Ruppel complete a full season at the PRO level for the first time in his career. Last winter a change in the rules and class designation saw the former Sportsman Super Truck Champion now competing in one of the premier divisions in all of short-course off-road racing.
The season began in early May with two rounds of racing at the Dirt Oval at Route 66 Raceway in suburban Chicago. After much anticipation with the “new PRO-2” Ruppel would win the season opener, which gave great promise for the future of the class. Sunday’s Round Two race would see the #37 Maxxis Tire/Petit Development/Chetek Off-Road retire early with a mechanical issue.
The next stop on the TORC Tour would be Elk River Motor Park located about an hour north of Minneapolis. Round 3 saw contact with another driver end the day early due a broken tie rod end. Unfortunately, Round 4 would be postponed due severe weather on Sunday.
The traditional Spring Crandon date was next on the calendar with Ruppel running hard all weekend. The Maxxis Tire equipped truck would celebrate on the podium both days with back to back third place finishes.
When the TORC racers set up camp at Bark River in mid-July, PRO-2 competition ready began to heat up. Not only was the level of competition closer than ever, but number of drivers lining up at the green flag was increasing as well. The “Throwdown in the UP” weekend continued to show the ability of Ruppel Motorsports as Eric finished third and fifth respectively. The efforts from the new PRO team put Eric Ruppel second overall in the points chase with seven rounds of racing left in the season.
In mid-August the iconic motocross facility Red Bud MX was the next stop on the TORC Series presented by AMSOIL schedule. This would be a tough weekend as a terminal engine issue prevent Ruppel Motorsports from competing in either round of racing. This dropped the team down to fifth in the PRO-2WD standings.
Labor Day weekend would see Ruppel rebound from Red Bud and once again find the third and final spot on the podium during the one round of TORC PRO racing at “The Big House” in Crandon, Wisconsin.
The “Final Rounds” of the TORC season saw three round of racing at Elk River Motor Park during the third week of September. Along with Rounds 12 and 13, the postponed Round 4 was on the schedule. This would be a “no holds bar” weekend for Ruppel Motorsports. Friday’s Round 4 saw Ruppel race well to finish third. On Saturday the competition was some of the toughest all season as the #37 Maxxis Tire/Petit Development/Chetek Off-Road PRO-2WD finished a respectable fourth place. In the season finale on Sunday, Eric Ruppel led the field for a time and after a well fought race, the blue and orange truck finished third for the sixth time this season.
The late season charge was enough to put Eric Ruppel into third place as the TORC Series presented by AMSOIL PRO-2WD Championship concluded.
“At the beginning of the season TORC told us that the rules package would cut costs and bring the competition closer together,” commented Eric Ruppel. “For the most part it worked. I think it made teams like ours understand how valuable test time can be to getting
and staying up front. This season was really incredible. Without Kramer, Doug, and everybody else that gives us a hand our season wouldn’t be possible. Thanks to Aaron at Maxxis Tire, Roger at J &H Transmission, and Adams Automotive for really making this truck run with the best of them. Thanks to my wife for all her support as well as all the partners that help get Ruppel Motorsports to the track. We are already working on next year as a new chassis was delivered to the shop a couple of weeks ago. So look out Luke Johnson we are coming for the top spot in 2018.”
Ruppel Motorsport thanks its supporters including:
Maxxis Tire, J & H Performance, Petit Development, Chetek Off-Road, Matuszak Builders, A&J Landscaping, Jacobs Trucking, Trailready Beadlocks and The Wrap Guys.
Eric Ruppel has several marketing opportunities available for the upcoming 2018 season. Please send your inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Mike Reusche, Story & Pics