ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 6/24/00 - Put home track pride and a fallen friend on the line and no body can beat him. Salfordsville's Fred Rahmer passed Allentown's Sean Michael exiting the second turn of the seventh lap and never looked back...
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 6/24/00 - Put home track pride and a fallen friend on the line and no body can beat him. Salfordsville's Fred Rahmer passed Allentown's Sean Michael exiting the second turn of the seventh lap and never looked back in picking up the win in the opening round of Pennsylvania Speedweek action at Lincoln Speedway Saturday night. Rahmer took the checkered 1.60 seconds ahead of Steve Siegel at the end of the 30-lap $5,000-to-win event for his seventh win of the year at the Pigeon Hills oval - which was run in honor of fellow fallen driver Kevin Gobrecht in the Inaugural Kevin Gobrecht Memorial. "With this Speedweek deal you've got to capitalize when it's on your home track," said Rahmer, "We were able to do that. I love representing Lincoln, whether it's an All-Star show or an Outlaw show - I absolutely love racing here." "Kevin was a really good guy," Rahmer then solemnly recalled, "You miss him, but it still doesn't seem real. He was a heck of a great guy and a really good racer - unrealized potential. We all knew he was going to be good. The most thing I miss about him...the racing and the people in the pits, that was the smallest part, it's the people and he was good people. He was a lot of fun to be with, and there are a lot of nights I can't remember being with him. And those were the most fun!" Rahmer was seventh fastest in time trials, but actually started fifth after a caution and a red on the initial two starts took out Keith Kauffman (flip) and defending Speedweek champion Lance Dewease. When the green flag finally stayed out, polesitter Michael grabbed the lead over fellow front row starter Steve Siegel. They paced the field until another caution waved on lap six, when Jeff Rohrbaugh and Chris Knopp spun on turn three. Rahmer was fourth at the time, disposed of Donnie Kreitz for third, then split Siegel and Michael in turns three and four of lap six. Michael fought back exiting turn four to maintain the lead, but Rahmer drove around him in the first and second turns of lap seven for his race-winning move. Michael followed Rahmer through a pair of cautions before his throttle stuck entering turn three of lap 13 and backing hard into the wall to bring out the red flag. Michael took a trip to the infield care center, but was later released. "We got lucky there on that one start, and we were able to get around that group of cars," said Rahmer upon exiting his Al & Betty Hamilton-owned Manheim Auto Auction No.77 sprinter in victory lane. "I figured a couple of them would go to the bottom on that one restart when Sean was still leading, but I never figured the whole pack would." "Those guys were running hard," Rahmer added. "We still got a lot of work to do...but I've got to thank Al, Don Ott Engines, J&J Cars, and American Racer Tires because they've really been doing a great job." Rahmer led the final half of the race, running hard enough to maintain a sizable lead, but keeping behind the backmarkers of the lead lap. "We slowed down there at the end and I got a little too conservative," Rahmer added. "I looked back and saw Siegel and Kreitz running the middle and I thought they would have to get real special and I slowed down pretty good but I could have picked it up if I would have had to." Rahmer took the checkered to score his 91st career win in the Pigeon Hills and his 13th overall win of 2000. Rounding out the top five were Siegel, Kreitz, James Chesson, and Johnny Mackison, Jr. Completing the top ten were hard charger Jimmy McBee, Skip Jackson, Cris Eash (back for the first time since his March crash at Lincoln), Mike Lutz (driving the Tanger #07), and Todd Shaffer. Heats were won by Dave Ely, McBee, Eash, and Knopp. Kreitz won the B-Main. Fast time in time trials over the 39-car field was set by Lance Dewease with a one-lap time of 13.002 seconds.
Allen Cullum and Neil Smith picked up wins in the 15-lap thundercar features. In the makeup feature from last week, Cullum took the lead from Greg Feltch on lap seven to become the 10th different winner in 13 races this season. It was Cullum's second career Lincoln win. Rounding out the top five were Neil Smith, Bobby Beard, Tony Kuhn, and David Prunkl. In the regularly-scheduled feature, Smith chased Ken Berwager for 12 laps before making the pass for his fourth win of the year. After the fourth-turn pass, Berwager got out of shape on turns one and two, hit the outside wall, and dropped out. Completing the top five were Nat Tuckey, Duane Hahn, Mike Zeigler, Jr., and Steve Clabaugh. Heats for the 31 thundercars on hand were won by Berwager, Smith, and Kuhn, with Bernie Beard getting the win in the consolation event.
Next Saturday night, July 1st, the super sprint regulars while have the night off at the Pigeon Hills oval to travel north to Port Royal Speedway for Pennsylvania Speedweek action. That will put the highly competitive 358 sprints in the headline for the night. Also joining the limited sprinters will be the Virginia-based 305 sprints for there first-ever visit to Lincoln. Along with them will be the popular INEX Legend racers. Gates will open at 5 PM, with hot laps at 7 PM and qualifying events getting underway at 7:30 PM.