Ruppel End Season One Point from Stock Truck Championship Takes Williams' Limited 2 Ride to a Third Place finish. Chetek, WI (September 11, 2009) - Eric Ruppel brought his Art Carr Transmission Phil's Inc. Trailready Ford F-150 to Crandon...
Ruppel End Season One Point from Stock Truck Championship
Takes Williams' Limited 2 Ride to a Third Place finish.
Chetek, WI (September 11, 2009) - Eric Ruppel brought his Art Carr Transmission Phil's Inc. Trailready Ford F-150 to Crandon looking for two solid finishes that would catapult his team to the 2009 Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL Stock Truck Championship. Heading into the final weekend of racing the Ruppel Motorsports Ford was only one point out of the championship lead. Sunday's final round of racing, the Mole Lake Casino Stock Truck Cup, would ultimately determine the championship.
Crandon's traditional Labor Day Weekend of off-road racing celebrated its fortieth consecutive year of competition. The three day event had record crowds, special celebrations, and incredible racing. Coming into the weekend, the top nine drivers still had a short at the championship, with Eric only one point from the top spot. One missed opportunity could mean the difference between the championship and waiting until next year.
Saturday - Round 9 - World Championship Title Eric Ruppel got off to a conservative start, gradually making his way into third place when he lost drive to the rear wheels. The ring and pinion broke ending his day, with an official finish of eighth place. The points leader, coming into the weekend, Don Demeny, had a fourteenth place finish, giving Eric a one point lead going into the final round of the season.
Sunday - Round 10 - World Championship Mole Lake Stock Truck Cup The white and blue #837 Ford came through the first turn in sixth place, carefully avoiding and potential disaster. On the lap after the restart, "Rupe" got around Demeny for third place. Now finishing position became extremely important. With only four laps to go, if the race leader Scott Beauchamp would win the race and Eric finish in third place, the championship would go to Beauchamp. If Eric would finish in second place, Eric would win his second championship. Well, with just two laps to go, it looked like the Art Carr Ford would grab second place and the championship.
Twice Eric got alongside Dan Beauchamp, but both times couldn't complete the pass. In the end it was Scott Beauchamp winning the Mole Lake Cup, Dan Beauchamp taking the runner-up spot, and Eric Ruppel in third place.
"We almost got the championship," stated Eric Ruppel. "We really got off to a poor start this year and to come back and miss the championship by only one point? That tells you what a great team I have. Kramer, Ewert, and Scott are the ones behind this season. I get to drive. The extra help from practically every driver in class at one time or another this year tells you the kind of guys that compete in this class. We all help each other out; to make sure the fans get a great show. Speaking of the fans, it is amazing how everyone stayed to watch us race after the BorgWarner. That says a lot about the competitiveness of the Stock Truck Class. The rear gear breaking yesterday was the difference in the championship. Early on we lost a motor, and the Metz family let us use their backup and thanks to my crew and Jerry Conrad that kept us in the championship."
For the year, Ruppel Motorsports finished on the podium five times during the ten round season. It included, three wins, one runner-up finish, and one third place finish.
While Ruppel Motorsports prepared for the final run for the Stock Truck Championship. Don Williams offered the Eric the chance to drive his Limited 2 race truck at Crandon. Of course Eric gladly accepted the offer.
The Limited 2 race truck is an all out tube chassis with twenty inches of wheel travel and 600 horsepower under the hood. The truck is basically a PRO-2WD truck with a smaller powerplant.
Round 9 of the Limited 2 division was held Friday evening, under the lights, on Crandon's Short-Short track. The first half of the race saw Eric getting comfortable behind the wheel of the #217 Ford F-150. After the mandatory caution lap, Eric really picked up the pace to finish on the podium in third place.
The final round of the Limited 2 division was held Saturday, on the "Big Track." Now Eric could really feel the difference between his Stock Truck and Williams' Limited 2. The land rush start saw the field approaching Turn One nearing 100mph. Eric once again kept the same game plan as the night before. When green flag racing resumed after the caution, Eric made a few more passes to finish the race in fourth place. Afterwards truck owner, Don Williams was all smiles.
"Rupe is one heck of wheelman," noted Don Williams. "If he ever ran this class full-time, he could be a podium contender every time out."
"I can't thank Don enough for this opportunity," commented Eric Ruppel. "It was an honor for someone like Don to have the confidence in me and give me the chance to see what it's like to race in an all out race truck. I have to get one of these!"