There are many reasons why Jeff Rudolf has been in the spotlight ever since he joined NMCA ARP Nitrous Pro Street three years ago.
He has blown the hood off of his nitrous-powered Nova, been buoyant in the face of breakage and blasted to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle, and as a result, he has a lot of fans who believe in him.
Now, after achieving an astonishing 7.28 and coming incredibly close to earning the 2017 class championship, he’s preparing to move to NMCA VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod.
To help him get there, he hired Larry Jeffers Race Cars to fabricate a chassis, top it with a carbon 1969 Camaro body and paint it.
“We started talking with Larry Jeffers about this last September,” said Rudolf, whose committed and very capable crew includes Kelli Ulrey, Kieffer Simpson and Brad Robinson. “I told him it had to be done in time for us to make the NMCA season opener in March, and he agreed and got it done.”
The new car is now with 2017 NMCA VP Racing Fuels Xtreme Pro Mod champion Steve Summers, who will make it race-ready.
“We picked up the car last week, and we only had it for four hours before delivering it to Steve, so I honestly haven’t even sat in it yet,” said Rudolf, with a laugh.
The car will be powered by an engine Rudolf purchased from Summers, and while he declines to share specifics of the engine, he will share that it will be paired with twin 94mm Garrett turbos, which is a departure for Rudolf, who is known for having nitrous combinations.
A Liberty’s three-speed transmission will help put the power down, and Rudolf will have input from Summers and PTP Racing’s Patrick Barnhill and Jason Lee in using a Haltech engine management system to lay tunes for the car cruising on Hoosier tires.
“Pro Mod is a different ballgame, but I feel pretty confident about getting into the new car,” said Rudolf, who has often been quoted as saying he wants to go quicker and faster. “It will be a learning experience, and it may take me some time to get used to the turbos spooling and staging the car, but pitting next to Steve (Summers) at the races and having his knowledge of driving a Pro Mod will be very helpful.”
Currently, Summers is clocking long hours to have the car ready for Rudolf to climb into at the 16th Annual NMCA Muscle Car Mayhem, March 8-11 at Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
“We’ll take it easy to start at Bradenton, and then we’ll take it from there,” said Rudolf.