Ruppel Shows Potential in Topeka
The weather for rounds 7 & 8 at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas was sunny and hot. The Sportsman competitors were scheduled to run late afternoon and early evening in hopes to find cooler temperatures for drivers and spectators alike. Unfortunately temperatures stayed in the 90's well into dusk. Eric Ruppel and his #837 Amsoil, Phil's Inc. BFGoodrich Tire, Swant Graber Ford F-150 were hopeful that the new engine and redesigned cooling system were ready for the competition and Mother Nature.
Eric started mid pack and within a few laps found himself in 3rd place. The track at Topeka was short and narrow at times. This made it very difficult when it came to making a pass. Just past halfway, Eric almost rolled his truck going through the tough 180 degree corner at the far in of the track. Luckily he brought it down on its wheels, but by the time he got back on track he found himself in 5th place. At the finish it was Waldvogel taking the win, followed by Beauchamp, Konitzer, Steele, and Eric Ruppel coming home 5th.
Between rounds Eric and his team were looking to improve the race truck's brake system. The track design made for tough passing, which meant braking late into the corners was the best technique to make a pass.
Again at the start, the new powerplant really hooked up with the BFGoodrich Tires and quickly Eric was in 3rd place.
The racing was really close once again, and minor contact seemed to happen almost every lap. During some of the door-to-door racing some contact was made causing a rear tire to go flat. Quickly Eric came into the pits. The Loose Cannon team worked quickly to get the truck back into action.
Unfortunately another tire went down a few laps later. Once again the Loose Cannon pit crew were called up on for another quick tire change. The two flat tires really put the team back, but were till running hard at the flag with a 10h place finish.
"We came to Topeka hoping that the cooling problem was solved. The truck ran perfect temperatures all weekend. Our performance on Friday was incredible. Saturday we had a bit of bad luck, but that's all a part of racing. I would like to thank all our sponsors for their support. Also thanks to Pro-4 competitor John McCrossan and Pro-2 competitor Scott Taylor for some help and suggestions with our race truck. I'm looking forward to Bark River, where we can improve on our season best 5th place finish." -- Eric Ruppel.