David Reininger - Motorsport News International Abbottstown, PA (February 20, 1999) Lincoln Speedway kicked off the 1999 racing season today with the Ice Breaker 25. Fred Rahmer led all 25 laps on his way to collecting the $3,000 winner's share...
David Reininger - Motorsport News International
Abbottstown, PA (February 20, 1999) Lincoln Speedway kicked off the 1999 racing season today with the Ice Breaker 25. Fred Rahmer led all 25 laps on his way to collecting the $3,000 winner's share of the purse. As Rahmer exited his car in victory lane the first words from track announcer, Wayne Harper, were, "Welcome home".
Welcome home, indeed. The Pennsylvania Posse returned home to Lincoln Speedway to open the east coast season after winning six of eight races held during Speedweeks in Florida. Jeff Shepard and Billy Pauch each took a pair of wins while Kevin Gobrecht and Greg Hodnett each won one. Except for Hodnett, driver of the York, PA based No. 12 Apple Chevrolet car, all were present at Lincoln for today's race.
Rahmer, the winningest driver in the country last season with 33 feature wins, 17 of them coming at Lincoln Speedway, never finished better than eighth during the Florida tour. "We had a rough Florida tour. I have a hard time running down there," Rahmer said. "I'm embarrassed how I run in Florida. I think a lot of it's me. Jeff Shepard, down there, he did a helluva job but he always runs good down there and I always run bad."
Lincoln Speedway's first of five Saturday afternoon races saw the track in fantastic shape. With a daytime race, the racing surface on a dirt track will very often get slick and dusty as the track dries out. The track was quick right off the bat with Jeff Shepard turning an unofficial 13.73 second lap while pulling wheelies off turn four. Lincoln Speedway's track crew did a great job in preparing the 3/8 mile oval for today's contest. "Fred always gets the track ready, you come up here, you figure it'll be one lane, just spin the tires," said Rahmer. "But you could do wheelies the whole straight-away. It was just incredible."
And incredible it was. Rahmer, in Al Hamilton's No. 77, started on the outside pole, alongside Kenny Adams in the Joe Harz owned No. 88. Rahmer edged ahead into turn one and pulled away as the pair raced down the backstretch.
Billy Pauch moved around Adams on a lap seven restart and proceeded to keep Rahmer within his sights. With most cars running the low groove, Pauch tried a couple of different lines and ended up loosing some ground to the leader. Just past half distance, Pauch found himself under intense pressure from his teammmate Kevin Gobrecht but the battle was short lived as Pauch pulled off the track, causing a yellow with 14 laps complete.
Gobrecht started tenth and moved up quickly. On the lap seven restart he was fifth behind Rahmer, Adams, Pauch, and Cris Eash. After a fierce battle with Adams and Pauch dropping out the Hanover, PA driver found himself in second place.
When green replaced yellow on lap fourteen, Rahmer pulled away with Gobrecht in tow. The pair raced nose to tail, both cars smoking the right rear tire as they came off turn four.
Just behind the pair at the front, Kenny Adams was attacked by Keith Kauffman who had just mugged four cars on the restart, including Eash and Shepard. Kauffman, driving the No. 7 car after spending last year on the Allstar tour, mounted a challenge to Gobrecht for second place. But Gobrecht had other plans. He was busy trying to find a way around Rahmer for the win.
Gobrecht took a look under Rahmer as they raced off turn four towards the checkered flag but Fred wasn't leaving any room. "I knew it was going to be hard for him to pass me on the top in one and two," Rahmer said. "I thought maybe in three and four he could but it was, more or less, just defense, driving around as fast as I had to".
Todd Shaffer missed today's east coast opener at Lincoln Speedway. Shaffer was busy racing snowmobiles in Canada.
The initial start at Lincoln Speedway will now come as the cars exit turn four. In the past, the green flag would fly between turns three and four.
The restart cone has been moved from the backstretch to the start finish line. This gives fans a better look at the cars as they take the green on restarts.
For trivia buffs: Kenny Adams was the first one in the gate and Shawn Keen was the first one on the track in 1999.
RACE RESULTS SATURDAY - FEBRUARY 20, 1999 LINCOLN SPEEDWAY Abbottstown, Pa. SUPER SPRINTS 1999 NORTHEAST SEASON OPENER - ICE BREAKER 25 Feature (25 laps) - 1. 77-Fred Rahmer ($3,000); 2. 11-Kevin Gobrecht; 3. 7-Keith Kauffman; 4. 4J-Jeff Shepard; 5. 88-Kenny Adams; 6. 59-Steve Siegel; 7. 77E-Dave Ely; 8. 17E-Cris Eash; 9. 07-Jeff Rohrbaugh; 10. 461-Lance Dewease; 11. 28-Brian Paulus; 12. 10N-Dave Haight; 13. 25-Todd Gracey; 14. 53-Shawn Keen; 15. 03-Jeff Miller; 16. 26-Pat Cooper (DNF); 17. 1-Billy Pauch (DNF); 18. 8D-Billy Dietrich (DNF); 19. 65-Johnny Mackison Jr. (DNF); 20. 69-Donnie Kreitz Jr. (DNF); 21. 8-Dan Dietrich (DNF); 22. 3-Bob Bennett (DNF); DNS - 17K-Steve Wilbur. No Time Lap Leaders - Fred Rahmer (1-25) 1st Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 1-Billy Pauch; 2. 88-Kenny Adams; 3. 25-Todd Gracey; 4. 59-Steve Siegel; 5. 69-Donnie Kreitz Jr.; 6. 28-Brian Paulus; 7. 17K-Steve Wilbur; DNS - 3-Bob Bennett. Time - 2:23.27 2nd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 461-Lance Dewease; 2. 53-Shawn Keen; 3. 77E-Dave Ely; 4. 26-Pat Cooper; 5. 8-Dan Dietrich (DNF); 6. 07-Jeff Rohrbaugh (DNF); DNS - 03-Jeff Miller, 7-Keith Kauffman. No Time 3rd Heat (10 Laps/6 to qualify) - 1. 11-Kevin Gobrecht; 2. 77-Fred Rahmer; 3. 17E-Cris Eash; 4. 4J-Jeff Shepard; 5. 65-Johnny Mackison Jr.; 6. 10N-Dave Haight; 7. 8D-Billy Dietrich. Time - 2:20.68