While ARP Nitrous Pro Street fans were introduced to Jeff Rudolf when he had a backfire and blew the hood off of his 1969 Nova known as Rudolf’s Sleigh at his first race in the category in 2015, they’re steadily getting to know the skilled driver.
He finished third in points in the highly competitive category in 2016, and then in his car powered by a nitrous-enhanced 521ci Dart block-based engine freshened by Dave Howard from THP and an RPM Transmissions-built Turbo 400, he flew to a 7.33 and a runner-up at the 2017 season-opening race, the 15th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem at Bradenton Motorsports Park in March.
With his eyes firmly fixed on a win, he ripped off an 8.60 to roll into the winner’s circle at the second race of the season, the 9th Annual NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals at Atlanta Dragway in April, and proved his prowess by running to a 7.53 to runner up at the third race of the season, the 16th Annual NMCA Quick Fuel Technology Bluegrass Nationals at Beech Bend Raceway in Kentucky in May.
After leading qualifying with a 7.29 at the fourth race of the season, the 12th Annual Nitto NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street Legal Drag Racing at Route 66 Raceway in Illinois in late July, he dropped during an interview with SpeedVideo that he intends to make a move to the very popular VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod category in the near future.
Then, while his fans were still soaking in that tantalizing tidbit, he shimmied up to the starting line for the final round of eliminations, where he soared to a 7.77 and his second win of the season, with help from his committed crew, Kelli Ulrey, Kieffer Simpson and Brad Robinson, as well as tuners Patrick Barnhill and Jason Lee of PTP Racing and VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod standout, Steve Summers, who has been helping to dial in the Nova’s chassis.
Now, Rudolf, who currently sits atop ARP Nitrous Pro Street points, is turning his focus to the 16th Annual Honeywell Garrett NMCA All-American Nationals, Aug. 24-27, at Summit Motorsports Park in Ohio, and the 16th Annual SCPC Race Shop NMCA World Street Finals, Sept. 21-24 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indiana, where season championships in each category will be decided. Without mincing any words, he made it known that he wants to be among them, and that, paired with the revelation that he eventually wants to move to VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod, makes him one to watch.