ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 8/4/01 - Salfordville's Fred Rahmer has suffered through many highs, and has had his share of lows over the years. But through it all he continues to win. A severe thunderstorm swept through the Pigeon Hills at 8 PM after two ...
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 8/4/01 - Salfordville's Fred Rahmer has suffered through many highs, and has had his share of lows over the years. But through it all he continues to win.
A severe thunderstorm swept through the Pigeon Hills at 8 PM after two of the three sprint heats were in the books. Then after a three hour rain-delay, the cars took back to the track to complete the entire racing program.
And after it was all said and done, Rahmer reigned supreme once again.
In the wee hours of Sunday morning, Rahmer passed York's Jeff Rohrbaugh exiting the second turn of the 14th lap for the lead and drove away for his 10th win of the season - and in the process became the first driver ever to win 10 or more races in five consecutive seasons at Lincoln Speedway.
"We were lucky to get up through there," said Rahmer upon exiting his Al & Betty Hamilton-owned Manheim Auto Auction No.77 sprinter in victory lane. "I'm just glad to finally get a win."
"We were pretty good. Now we have something to work with hopefully. We're definitely in the 'can't see the trees through the forest mode', but we'll just keep doing what we've got to do."
Outside frontrow starter Billy Sims grabbed the lead at the drop of the green over polesitter Mark Coldren and led the first two laps. But disaster struck the driver from Enola in turn three of the third lap went he veered up the track and slammed into the outside wall - ending his night.
On the restart, Coldren had the point, but it was short-lived as second-place Jeff Rohrbaugh slipped past in the first and second turns for the lead. Seventh-starting Steve Siegel began to flex his muscles on the fifth lap as he charged into the runner-up spot.
Fourth-place Cliff Brian spun in the second turn on the seventh lap to bring out the caution.
Rohrbaugh then battled bumper-to-bumper with Siegel for the top spot over the next few laps with Rohrbaugh going high while Siegel dove low in every turn.
Tony Strine and Michael Markey tangled on the 11th lap, spinning in the first and second turn to bring out yet another caution with 10 laps in the books.
Meanwhile, Rahmer charged from his ninth starting spot, and moved past Johnny Mackison, Jr. for third just before the caution. On the restart, Rahmer slipped around Siegel in the third and fourth turns to grab second. On the same turns a lap later, Siegel hit the lapped car of Dan Shetler, damaging the front right side beyond repair. He was credited with a 20th-place finish.
When the race resumed, Rohrbaugh's .63-second lead quickly evaporated, as Rahmer closed onto the York racer's bumper on lap 13. The two made slight contact as Rahmer made his race-winning move exiting turn two on the next lap. From there Rahmer raced through lapped traffic and survived one final caution on lap 18 that saw Cris Eash close onto his back bumper from his eighth starting spot. Rahmer pulled away on the final restart, and finished 2.63 seconds ahead of Eash. It was his 109th career Lincoln win, and earned him $2,500.
"It was tough this year," said Rahmer when told he became the first driver to win 10 or more races in five consecutive seasons at Lincoln. "Hopefully we can get back on track and win some more."
"I've got to thank Al and the crew for sticking with us through this slump, and hopefully we just keep working hard and doing what we've got to do."
"I've got to thank everyone here at Lincoln for working so hard to get this in," Rahmer added. "And to all the diehard fans that stayed."
Crossing third was Mackison, with Rohrbaugh hanging on for fourth and Lance Dewease finishing fifth. Sixth through tenth were Brian Montieth, Niki Young, Bobby Weaver, Cliff Brian, and Chris Knopp.
Heats for the 26 super sprinters on hand were won by Craig Keel (who left when the rains came and relinquished the pole position when he was absent for the feature), Sims, and Shawn Weaver, with Bobby Weaver winning the consolation.
Two-time defending track champ Bobby Beard of McSherrystown claimed his first win of the year in the Fourth Annual Manufacturers Appreciation Night for the thundercars. Beard started on the outside of the front row, yielded the lead to third-starting Craig Wagaman at the flagstand, then recaptured the lead going down the backstretch of the first lap. He held off Wagaman's challenges through the 11th lap, when both Wagaman and Neil Smith dropped while running second and third. The caution was actually for Smith, who had heavy smoke pouring out of the car and was dropping fluids onto the track. Steve Clabaugh, who started fifth, chased Beard the rest of the way and finished second, with Allen Cullum running third from laps 12 through 20.
Tony Kuhn and points leader Bernie Beard completed the top five.
The numerous sponsors of Manufacturers Night, led by DELCO Signs and Miller Brothers Chevrolet/Oldsmobile/Cadillac, provided more than $23,000 in prizes awarded to drivers who made the feature field and two alternates.
Heats for the 45 thundercars were won by Clabaugh, Allen Cullum, Fred Cullum, and Bernie Beard. Twin consolations were won by Mike Ziegler Jr. and Jeremy Brown.
Next Saturday night, August 11th, Lincoln Speedway will be back in action with the micro-sprints joining the Cindy Rowe Auto Glass Super Sprints and Miller Brothers Chevrolet Thundercar regulars for a three-division show. Gates will open at 5:30 PM, with hot laps at 7 PM and racing action getting under way at 7:30 PM.