Rahmer Wins Three, While Wilson Doubles and Several Other J&J Runners Top Sprint Car Fields McKENZIE, TN -- Fred Rahmer accomplished two major milestones last week in sprint car action headlining the J&J Auto Racing team accomplishments over ...
Rahmer Wins Three, While Wilson Doubles and Several Other J&J Runners Top Sprint Car Fields
McKENZIE, TN -- Fred Rahmer accomplished two major milestones last week in sprint car action headlining the J&J Auto Racing team accomplishments over the busy Memorial Day weekend. Rahmer won his 300th career sprint car feature event at Lincoln Speedway and defeated the World of Outlaws the next night to collect his 400th career victory, which included 99 modified wins. Rahmer wasn't alone in taking a J&J sprint to the winner's circle as a number of J&J Auto Racing teams were victorious.
Many of the great drivers who contributed to the history of Lincoln Speedway witnessed Fred Rahmer make some of his own last Wednesday night. Fast Freddy led them all driving the Joe Harz Racing #88h J&J in the 52-lap Lincoln 52nd Anniversary show, notching career sprint car win number 300.
"Three-hundred wouldn't mean anything if you don't respect the guys you race with. Dewease, Hodnett, Eash, Esh, Smith, and Kauffman... I respect those guys, which makes it mean so much more. We're in one of the toughest areas to race in, so it's a pretty neat deal," said Rahmer in victory lane, "But like I always say, the only one that really matters is the next one."
Although Rahmer led from start to finish, it was Lance Dewease driving the Hamilton Motorsports #77 J&J who battled him to the finish, racing wheel-to-wheel with the leader several times over the final 40 laps.
WILLIAMS GROVE SPEEDWAY -- WORLD OF OUTLAWS
When Fred Rahmer won Thursday's World of Outlaws Sprint Series' Preliminary Feature at Williams Grove Speedway, it was the 400th feature victory of his career. Rahmer again took the checkered flag in the Joe Harz Racing #88h J&J.
"This is pretty awesome," the emotional Rahmer said. "I got my 300th sprint car win last night, and counting the modifieds tonight makes 400 feature wins. It couldn't have happened at a better time.
"I got lucky there. Danny (Lasoski) was faster in traffic and he got by me, then I saw that car spun in turn three and I bumped the wall trying to get by, and Danny got taken out. Sometimes when it's your time to win, it just works out.
"I have to thank my guys. They work really hard on this thing, and J&J Chassis, Don Ott Engines, VRP Shocks and Hoosier Tires are great, too. I couldn't ask for any better car owners than Joe and Peggy (Harz). I know this means a lot for them, too. You know when you race the Outlaws that you have to be pretty good in time trials, and tonight being 12th ended up working out for us to get on the front row of the dash. Winning tonight keeps us from having to worry about it tomorrow, too."
Rahmer drove the #88H Miller Brothers Chevrolet J&J into the lead as the green flag fell in the Preliminary Feature and led all 25 laps of the feature event. He fell to second briefly on lap 23, but new leader Danny Lasoski got caught in an accident. Following the ensuing restart, Rahmer led the field to the green flag and never looked back as he went on to claim the 400th victory of his racing career.
Reaching new heights with comfort, the "King of the Lernerville Sprints", Ed Lynch Jr added his fourth 2004 win in the 20-lap sprint car feature. Lynch piloted his familiar #2L J&J to his 68 career win at the half-mile dirt oval. Lynch Jr., drew the pole position, and lap after lap, Lynch meticulously weaved through traffic and overcame caution events, never really being threatened.
"This was the best starting spot and you need lapped cars to help," said Lynch following the win. "You got to take it when you can!"
BROCKVILLE SPEEDWAY - ESS
It was a jubilant celebration in victory lane last Friday night at the Brockville Ontario Speedway for the opening event of the Empire Super Sprints (ESS) Tour 2004. Local hero Rick Wilson drove his #42w J&J making a last corner, last lap pass in lapped traffic of Lance Yonge to bring down the house in winning the 25-lap Spectro Oils Canadian Invasion event.
A legend in these parts know as the "Joyceville Jet", the former DIRT 358 modified great kept the fans on their feet with several 360 spins, a wild wing dance and emotional victory lane interview that had all in attendance smiling. Even though this was his fourth career win with ESS, to come in his home country undoubtedly made this triumph just a little more special.
"This is just a dream come true!!" said Wilson. "To come from the back and then pass a great driver like Lance Yonge on the last lap in front of all your fans, how can it get any better than this!"
For Wilson, it was a never-say-die attitude that won this race for him. On lap 19, Yonge found a lane of rubber laid down in the middle groove and he shot by Wilson to take the lead in what looked like a sure victory. Yonge's sprinter opened up some distance in the next few laps but it was the slower traffic that was key in the final outcome.
"I was running low and thought that was the fast groove. Then he (Yonge) just blew right by me." Noted Wilson on the change of track conditions. "I then used his lane and when he got to the slower cars that is where I closed in."
The final two laps around the quick quarter-mile put the crowd on the edge of their seats. Yonge held his lane while Wilson's Focus Eye Centre backed J&J was dogging high and low. It wasn't until turns three and four with the checkered flag waving when the winning move was made.
"I just drove it in as hard as I could, my brake foot went to the floor and I did all I could not to take him out," continued Wilson. "I was either going to wreck or win, it was as simple as that. Luckily I got the pass done and we are here celebrating. The lapped traffic won this for me, if Lance didn't have to slow down this was his race but we will take the trophy home."
THE SPEEDWAY OF SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO
Royal Jones drove his J&J to a heat race win and followed it up by winning his first feature of 2004 as he captured the winged 305 sprint car main event at The Speedway of Southern New Mexico last Friday night.
It could be considered one of the best weeks ever for one driver. After leading all 52 laps to claim his 300th career sprint win in the special 52nd Anniversary show at Lincoln on Wednesday night and then leading all 25 laps in beating the famous World of Outlaws Thursday night, Fred Rahmer came back to win his second race of the week at Lincoln Speedway on Saturday night.
Rahmer came from his usual 12th starting position in the Joe Harz Racing #88h J&J, dodged several bullets along the way, and took over the top spot when then race-leader Brian Leppo was caught up in another racer's spin on the 10th lap. From there, Rahmer had to battle wheel-to-wheel with Doug Esh in the Leach Motorsports #30 J&J over the final 15 laps to claim his third win in four days.
"The first guy to get to the front was going to win," said Rahmer matter-of-factly, "I got lucky...the one car spun and kept going and I was far enough past to keep on the gas and pass. It was a little bit dangerous, but you gotta do what you gotta do. My dad taught me to always look way ahead. When I'm coming by the flagman, I'm looking across the corner."
"Doug gave me all I needed tonight," said Rahmer in victory lane, "He did a good job...he just came up a little bit short."
The win, his 127th career win in the Pigeon Hills, and the 302nd of his sprint career. Esh came home second giving J&J another one-two finish.
MERCER RACEWAY PARK
Gary Kriess, Jr. charged from the ninth starting spot, survived eight cautions, and held off a typical late race charge by Jamie Smith to capture his first win of the season in the 20-lap Sprint Car feature Saturday night at Mercer Raceway Park. "We were due," stated the Butler, Pa. winner. "I just tried to run my own race. I knew he (Smith) was back there and runs the bottom well. I didn't like the restarts, but the car took off good. The car got loose at the end and the red helped when we put fuel in."
Following a restart with four laps completed, Kriess, who was racing the #1p J&J of Troy Preston, was able to drive into third place, and he continued his way to the front when he drove under Scott Bonnell, in the #3 J&J, for second in turn four on lap eight. Kriess ran down early leader Gary Edwards and performed a classic slider going under and by Edwards in turn four on lap 10 for the lead.
Smith, who started alongside Kriess in 10th, entered the picture on lap 12 when he drove his #5 GBK J&J into third place. Four laps later, Smith moved into second past Edwards and set his sights on Kriess. Smith would get three restarts at Kriess, but would have to settle for second for the second straight week. Kriess' third career win came in the McClung Auto Body/Flynn Tire Group/Barris Supply/Jones Performance/Atwell & Perrine Excavating-sponsored, Preston America-owned, Hine Racing Equipment-powered #1P J&J.
CLINTON COUNTY SPEEDWAY
Shawn Howe won his career first 410 Sprint Car feature event last Friday night at the Clinton County Speedway. Howe drove the #17 Automated Designs Group J&J from the outside of row one to the green flag lap of the 25-lap event. Howe made a pass around for the lead on lap three taking the outside line as the front-runners exited turn number two. By lap number nine, the top two cars began to distance themselves from the rest of the field, but back-to-back cautions on laps 20 and 21 slowed the field for the last time creating a four lap dash to the checkered. Blane Heimbach had the #12 Goff Racing J&J in second after the lap 20 restart and found himself on the leaders back bumper for the restart of the final segment of the event. Howe held his high line that he continued to run the entire event to pull away from Heimbach for the victory.
"Those last couple of cautions had me worried," said Howe in victory lane. " The motor was acting up and I was hoping everything would stay together for the last four or five laps. This has to be one of our biggest wins, compared to all of the rest, this is our first with a 410."
Heimbach finished second to give J&J a one-two finish.
CAPARA CAN-AM MOTORSPORTS PARK
Rick Wilson backed up his win last Friday by making it two-for-two in the Empire Super Sprints with a lap 21 restart pass on Dan Kaszubinski to claim the 25-lap feature event at Caprara's Can-Am Motorsports Park on Saturday night.
While Wilson's win shouldn't be a surprise, beating Kaszubinski after starting on 15th place in his #42w J&J was indeed a feat. Kaszubinski has won four of the last six events held at Can-Am. Wilson used a brave run on the outside on the lap 21 restart to secure the win despite an overheating engine.
"I'm just speechless," explained Wilson following his fifth career ESS win. "There are just no words to describe the feeling I have right now. To win last night at Brockville and now here at Can-Am with ESS is just amazing. To pass Lance (Yonge) and Dan (Kaszubinski) you are passing the best and that makes it that much more special. I just have to thank so many people, family, sponsors, fans, everyone. I've been so fast so many times with a sprinter up here by my hometown, but could never get a win. Now I got two in two nights."
Even though Wilson took the lead late in the race and opened up an advantage, an overheating engine that was showing smoke was his main concern.
"It was up to 260. I didn't know how many laps it would last." Wilson commented on those final three laps. "But, just like last night where I was either going to crash or win, this engine was either going to blow or take me to victory lane. There was no way I was pulling off and it did last, we got lucky 'cause I think it just quit after I did the 360's. Hell, who cares!! I'm just so glad to get these wins!"
HOLLYWOOD HILLS SPEEDWAY
Dion Hindi raced his #11d J&J to victory on Saturday night at Hollywood Hills Speedway. Hindi started the Sprint Car Owners of Arizona sixth and raced his way to the front to claim his second feature win of the 2004 season.
Other strong J&J performances:
WORLD OF OUTLAWS EASTERN SWING
Several J&J Auto Racing teams had strong runs during the World of Outlaws swing through the Northeast. Fred Rahmer won the Thursday event at Williams Grove while Lance Dewease came home second in the Al Hamilton Motorsports #77 J&J at Hagerstown Speedway on Saturday and Grandview Speedway on Sunday night. Donny Schatz finished fourth on Thursday night at Williams Grove Speedway in the ParkerStore #15 J&J and finished third at Hagerstown Speedway on Saturday and Grandview Speedway on Sunday night.
Travis Cram finished second in Saturday's Sprint Bandits event held at Knoxville Raceway. Cram, who entered the event leading the Knoxville Raceway point standings following last week's win, came home second in the #92 J&J.
PORT ROYAL SPEEDWAY
Craig Keel started the #9 Pearl J&J third on Saturday night in the feature event at Port Royal Speedway and led the first seventeen laps before finishing the feature event third. Keith Kauffman drove the Middleswarth #7 J&J to a fifth place finish.
Boston Reid finished seventh Saturday night at the Hoosier Hundred at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN.
"This car was awesome," said Boston Reid. "I can't thank these guys enough."
Boston Reid, in his first time behind the wheel of a dirt Silver Crown car, put the Curb Records sponsored #35 J&J twelfth quick on the speed charts. The R.E. Technologies team used a late red-flag to adjust the car changing a right rear tire and making other minor adjustments. When the green flag fell again, Reid used the adjustments to move up through the field, finishing in 7th.
Lewis Jenkins Jr. finished second on Saturday night at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, AR. Jenkins raced his #1 J&J from the rear of the field, but came up one spot short of victory.
VIRGINIA SPRINT SERIES
Dick Stevens drove his # 00 J&J to a ninth place finish in the Virginia Sprint Series 35-lap feature in Natural Bridge, VA.
Terry Hinck traveled to Pleasanton, KS last Friday night and swept the event taking his J & J sprinter to the lead on the 4th lap and went on to claim the win. The following two nights Hinck competed with the WOW Sprint Series, finishing second in the feature at 24 Raceway and State Fair Speedway. The consecutive finishes helped push Hinck into the WOW Sprint Series points lead.