Rahmer returns to victory lane; Potts repeats in thundercars; Jeff Leiphart victorious in Limited Late Model opener. ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 4/6/02 - When you win more than 100 career features at one speedway, as Fred Rahmer has done at Lincoln...
Rahmer returns to victory lane; Potts repeats in thundercars; Jeff Leiphart victorious in Limited Late Model opener.
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 4/6/02 - When you win more than 100 career features at one speedway, as Fred Rahmer has done at Lincoln Speedway, it takes good equipment and some racing luck.
On a frigid Saturday night, Rahmer took advantage of both.
Grabbing the top spot when race leader Sean Michael slowed suddenly with engine trouble with 12 laps down, Rahmer took full advantage and scored his second super sprint feature victory of the season in the Pigeon Hills.
"We got to the front first," Rahmer said, referring to his Joe Harz-owned No. 88H. "I got to thank everybody at Miller Chevrolet and C&B Mushrooms, everybody involved with this car."
Starting from his 12th starting spot, a handicapped position which he knows well by virtue of his five consecutive track titles, Rahmer needed only four laps to work into the top five. But more importantly, he had passed 11th-place starter Lance Dewease, an edge which Rahmer held to the finish in a stirring one-lap duel to the checkered flag.
First, though, he had to chase Michael, who had taken the top spot from Josh Wells by zipping to Wells' inside entering the first turn on a second-lap restart after spins by Johnny Mackison Jr. and Todd Gracey. Michael then led through three caution flags, including one waved when the car of then-runner-up Brook Weibley ran over the restart cone.
However, one lap after Dewease had passed Steve Siegel for third place off the first corner, Michael's Zemco Speed Equipment No. 1 suddenly slowed and made the right turn off the second turn into the pit area, putting Rahmer into the lead and moving Dewease into second place.
"I'd seen him brake in the middle of (turns) one and two," Rahmer said. "He had the good car. On this track, it was hard to pass a good quality car like that. You know that's a real good race car. He was going around there pretty fast."
However, Rahmer's work was hardly finished. One lap after taking the lead, and after a caution flag for the stopped car of Glenndon Forsythe in the first turn, the red flag came out on the next restart as the cars of Jerry Parrish and Chappy Knaack tangled. The mishap flattened Parrish's top wing and Knaack flipped his No. 51 into the inside guardrail in the second turn.
The red flag allowed crews to adjust their cars, but Rahmer held command, though Dewease began to close ominously when the leader encountered lapped traffic. But the car of Doug Esh spun in the third turn with one lap remaining, bringing out the race's seventh caution flag and setting up a one-lap dash which Rahmer won by one-half second over Dewease.
The victory was Rahmer's 114th of his illustrious career at Lincoln, but the Salfordville resident indicated there may be more duels with Dewease before this year is done.
"I just wanted it to be over," Rahmer said about the final caution flag. "You know, we're still trying to figure out some stuff. This is a new car. We've got plenty of room for improvement and Lance still has his program from last year. They've got a quality team and everybody knows how tough it is to beat that red 77, but it sure feels good when you do it."
Siegel claimed third place ahead of Mark Smith and Keith Kauffman. Cris Eash, whose car suffered a broken front wing mount and stopped with five laps down, came back for sixth place ahead of Wells, Weibley, Greg Hodnett and Mackison.
Heats for the 25 super sprints on hand were won by Dewease, Hodnett and Michael, with Todd Allen winning the consolation.
Strinestown's Gary Potts inherited the lead of the 20-lap thundercar feature when race leader Ken Berwager's car spun into the inside guardrail of the fourth turn with 11 laps down. Potts, who had started ninth, then held off Duane Watson over the remaining laps, slowed only once by a caution flag, for his second straight feature victory. The win was Potts' 19th of his career at Lincoln.
Bernie Beard took third place ahead of Neil Smith, Nat Tuckey, Chet McCormick, Mike Johnson, Tim Hahn, Butch Harvey and Steve Clabaugh.
Heats for the 26 thundercars on hand were won by Beard, Mike Zeigler Jr. and Berwager, with Mike Walls winning the consolation.
In the Silver Spring limited late model feature, York's Jeff Leiphart, who won one of the division's two appearances at Lincoln in 2001, powered past race leader Scott Richwine in third turn of the 14th lap and took the 20-lap feature win.
Richwine held onto second place ahead of Jason Covert, Carl Billet, Carl Graves, Bud Witmer, Mark Billet, Jake Lettich and Bernie Beard.
Heats for the 33 limited late models on hand were won by Bernie Beard, Kory Sites and Jason Covert. Harold Beinhower won the consolation.
Lincoln Speedway welcomes the ARDC Midgets next weekend, Saturday, April 13th, as they hold their annual season opener once again at the Pigeon Hills oval. The ARDC stars will share the limelight with Lincoln's super sprint and thundercar regulars as Lincoln Speedway also shifts to a 7 PM start time. Gates will open at 5 PM, with hot laps at 6:30 PM, and the first heat getting underway at 7 PM.