Lincoln Speedway 2001 Season Opener 3/3/01

By David Reininger - Motorsport.com Abbottstown, PA (March 3, 2001) - Fred Rahmer won the Icebreaker 30 at Lincoln Speedway this afternoon, capturing his 100th victory at the Pigeon Hills oval. Rahmer, who celebrated his 42nd birthday today,...

By David Reininger - Motorsport.com

Abbottstown, PA (March 3, 2001) - Fred Rahmer won the Icebreaker 30 at Lincoln Speedway this afternoon, capturing his 100th victory at the Pigeon Hills oval. Rahmer, who celebrated his 42nd birthday today, earned $3,000 for winning the 30 lap feature event.

A blind draw for the first 12 starting positions placed Rahmer alongside polesitter Jeff Rohrbaugh for the start. Rohrbaugh made a good start, leading the field into the first turn. The daytime track surface, which produced two track records in the heat races, dried to the point where Rohrbaugh slid off the low line, allowing Rahmer to have a look underneath the leader.

As Rohrbaugh slid high coming off turn two, Rahmer gassed the No. 77 car into the lead. Down the backstretch, Rahmer's lead never extended beyond the length of his car.

Rohrbaugh kept Rahmer within striking distance as the pair dove for turn three, Rahmer to the high side, Rohrbaugh down low. Rohrbaugh found enough grip on the bottom to launch a slider on Rahmer, narrowly taking the lead off turn four.

Rahmer's car lurched onto the frontstretch in defiance, daylight under both front wheels as he approached the flagstand.

Rahmer's pursuit lasted another lap and a half, until lap three, when Rohrbaugh used the high line in the third turn. Rahmer shot to the inside, taking command of the lead until the checkered flag.

"It feels good to win one hundred races," said Rahmer after climbing from his Al Hamilton owned No. 77 sprint car.

Rohrbaugh, who never let Rahmer out of his sight, had his day come to an abrupt end when the spinning car of Bob Beidleman collected him just past the midpoint of the race. Rohrbaugh was racing hard on the low line when Beidleman, a lap down at the time, veered to the left, directly into Rohrbaugh's path. Rahmer finished the race leading comfortably over Lance Dewease who started seventh. Following Dewease over the line were Don Kreitz Jr., Greg Hodnett and Phil Gressman in fifth.

Rahmer, who has won four consecutive track championships at Lincoln Speedway, is the leading contender to take the 2001 championship. "If you win enough races, you'll win the points," said Rahmer. "My main concern is to win races. Today was a milestone that I wanted to reach. One hundred wins, to me, is unbelievable because when I came out here, I didn't win a race the first year. I still can't believe when I any, to tell you the truth, because it's a good level of competition."

Today's race was stopped a total of seven times, three times for the flips of Cris Eash, Rodney Duncan and Dave Ely. With four laps complete, contact with another car sent Eash's car onto its side, causing the first red flag of the day. Eash was towed to the pits for repairs before rejoining the race. Eash drove through the field to finish ninth.

The last red flag of the day occurred when Dave Ely, driver of Bob Weikert's famous No. 29, flipped violently in turn one. The car climbed the first turn wall making hard impact with the wall while inverted. The remains of the car came to a rest upside down on the track with pieces strewn across the track and lodged on the fence. Safety crews rushed to the scene fearing the worst when Ely popped from the cockpit and walked away.

Ely was examined by medical officials at the track and was later transported to Hanover Hospital for a precautionary examination. There was no word on his condition at press time.

Racing continues on Saturday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. through March 17. On March 24 the start time moves to 6:00 p.m.

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Series Sprint