Ruppel Finds Podium in Round Two ' Stock Truck v. Super Trucks June 5, 2008 (Chetek, WI) - The highly competitive WSORR Stock Truck division came to "The Diamond in the Dirt" in large numbers to begin the quest for the 2008 Championship. Eric...
Ruppel Finds Podium in Round Two ' Stock Truck v. Super Trucks
June 5, 2008 (Chetek, WI) - The highly competitive WSORR Stock Truck division came to "The Diamond in the Dirt" in large numbers to begin the quest for the 2008 Championship. Eric Ruppel driving his #837 PHILSINC.COM Art Carr Transmission A & J Landscaping Beard Super Seat BFGoodrich Tire Ford F-150, would like to see his name engraved on that championship plaque when the season ends Labor Day weekend in Crandon.
In 2007, the Art Carr Transmission Ford F-150 finished the season in third place. After taking the time this past winter, to completely disassemble and thoroughly inspect every component of the truck, Eric was confident that his team would be ready for a serious run at the championship.
After getting the team's pit area setup on Friday, Eric went out for his first look at the reconfigured .7 mile off-road track at Lucas Oil Speedway. The track was very technical, including a rhythm section that really played havoc on all the Stock Truck competitors. The quick practice session saw the PHILSINC.COM Ford run some of the quicker lap times in the class. Afterwards, Eric and crew chief Kent Kramer decided only to make a slight change in the tire grooving for Saturday's first round of racing.
Unfortunately Round One racing was postponed Saturday evening, as a massive thunderstorm came through central Missouri. WSORR officials decided to run both rounds of racing the next day, weather permitting.
Sunday morning came and the skies cleared. The starting grid for Round One of the Stock Truck division had Eric Ruppel on the pole position. At the start, Eric grabbed the lead. By the end of lap two, the #837 Ford F-150 had a ten truck lead on second place. Then the truck began losing power, eventually causing Eric to pull off the track. Officially Eric Ruppel finished in tenth.
Quickly the team went to work looking for the engine problem. The ignition box had failed. It was a quick fix as the team had another unit ready to go in their transporter. Once the truck was repaired, Eric came to the aid of former Stock Truck and current Super Truck driver Keith Steele. The ring and pinion had self-destructed on Steele's Monster Energy Super Truck and didn't have enough time to replace the unit and make the second round of racing. Eric offered him the use of his truck so he could make the start and gather valuable Super Truck championship points. Keith Steel accepted the offer and promised to bring it back in one piece so Eric could compete in the Stock Truck second round race.
The Round Two Super Truck race saw Keith Steele stay out of trouble and actually run a decent pace coming across the finish in fourth place.
After quick check of the truck, Eric went out for the final Stock Truck race of the weekend. The starting position for the #837 was well back in field due to his early exit in Round One. Undaunted, Eric has his BFGoodrich Tires really working as he quickly moved into third place by the second lap. The final eight laps Eric battled with #844 Van Rixel. On the final lap Van Rixel made the pass on Eric, but it was done in a yellow flag area. This meant that the pass for position was not legal. WSORR quickly recognized the problem, and Eric was officially scored as the third place finisher.
"What a crazy weekend," commented Eric Ruppel. "First the weather changed things up. Then we had the ignition box fail on us. Then the pass under the yellow. I can't say enough about my crew. Kramer, Ewert, and Scott are the best. We have fun at the track, but when it comes time to race, it's all business. Thanks guys. I'm glad to help out Keith Steele today. We've known each other since his days racing in the Stock class and he's helped me out quite a bit. I just wanted to return the favor. Thanks to the companies that help get to the track, Art Carr Transmission, Phil's Inc., A & J Landscaping, Beards Super Seat, and BFGoodrich Tires."
Currently Eric Ruppel is in seventh place in the 2008 WSORR Stock Truck Championship standings.