Saturday - May 12, 2001 LINCOLN SPEEDWAY Abbottstown, PA Rahmer Improves Lincoln Winning Percentage to 80; Esh, Beard win last lap thrillers in 358's, thundercars ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 5/12/01 - Lincoln Speedway is a jigsaw puzzle for most sprint...
Saturday - May 12, 2001 LINCOLN SPEEDWAY Abbottstown, PA
Rahmer Improves Lincoln Winning Percentage to 80; Esh, Beard win last lap thrillers in 358's, thundercars
ABBOTTSTOWN, PA, 5/12/01 - Lincoln Speedway is a jigsaw puzzle for most sprint teams.
But Fred Rahmer and his Manheim Auto Auction No.77 Team have figured out where all the pieces go.
Rahmer avenged last week's defeat to Steve Siegel against the All Star Circuit of Champions by roaring back to win the 25 lap super sprint feature Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway. Rahmer passed Glenndon Forsythe on the backstretch of the 12th lap for the lead and then held off Hanover's Cris Eash and Steve Siegel to nail down his eighth win in ten races at the Pigeon Hills oval.
"We worked all day and changed everything around because we were a little bit off last night at the Grove," said Rahmer, "That's just the way it goes. It might look easy (winning), but it's all through hard work. Anybody can get all the pieces together. It's just putting them in the right place."
Rahmer, who started eighth, won the race to the front by taking the lead during a wild three-car scramble for the lead on the 12th lap between himself, race-long leader Forsythe, and last weeks' winner Siegel.
Rahmer emerged with the lead from the close three-car action down the backstretch of the 12th lap, and survived a final caution restart on the 22nd lap over Eash and Siegel to take the checkered 1.26 seconds ahead of Eash.
"We had a different motor in tonight and it seemed real good," said Rahmer upon exiting his Al and Betty Hamilton-owned Manheim Auto Auction No.77, "It was slick...I had a good initial start, and that's what it takes. The first guy to the front is going to win."
Outside frontrow starter Forsythe grabbed the lead from polesitter Dustin Hoffman at the drop of the green with third-starting Billy Sims and fourth-starting Darren Eash falling in behind. A three car spin involving P.J. Chesson, Josh Wells, and Hoffman in the fourth turn of the fifth lap allowed Rahmer, who started eighth, to fall in behind in fourth, with seventh-place Cris Eash right behind in fifth.
On the restart, Darren Eash began to pressure Sims for the runner-up spot. Darren made the pass on the sixth lap, and Rahmer moved into third a lap later. Rahmer passed Darren Eash on the backstretch of the ninth lap to move into second as Forsythe entered lapped traffic holding a one second lead. Rahmer quickly closed on Forsythe, as did a Cris Eash, who had moved into third on the 11th lap with Siegel right on his bumper.
Rahmer, then went to work on Forsythe in the first and second turns of the 12th lap, with Eash and Siegel also entering the wild action. But Rahmer hung onto the lead exiting the second turn.
"The fastest way around tonight was the top, and I sort of committed there," said Rahmer, "The lapped cars, they were not running the top or bottom and it made it tough making a decision...you don't want to run over them and screw yourself up, so I got a little cautious."
"Last week I had a really good race with Steve (Siegel)," Rahmer reflected. "But he's such a quality racer that I knew when they put me behind him on the restart that I was in trouble...it was going to be tough with six to go. He's such a good racer, heck, if I couldn't win I'm glad to see him win, he's one heck of a good guy."
The win, Rahmer's 107th career win at Lincoln, was also his ninth overall in 2001 and was worth $2,500.
Eash settled for second, and was followed by Siegel, Johnny Mackison Jr., and Greg Hodnett. Completing the top ten were Darren Eash, Billy Sims, James Chesson, Forsythe, and Bobby Weaver.
Heats for the 23 super sprints on hand were won by Siegel, Forsythe, and Rahmer.
Doug Esh got a little help from the Rahmer team in picking up his second straight win in the "358" sprint division. Esh, who started 15th, had advanced through the field to the runner-up spot when a red flag came out for and flipping Eric Stambaugh and two cars he collected on the second turn of the final lap. The red was thrown to keep the leaders from driving full-speed into the blocked track. During the red, Rahmer chief mechanic Moon Byers told Esh to stay on the high side of the race track, the fastest way around on this night.
Scott Ausherman, who started 11th, was the race leader, but stayed low on the final circuit. Esh drove high in one and two and came out with the race lead midway down the backstretch of the final lap. He stayed on the cushion through the final two turns, and held off Ausherman by less than a carlength at the end. Esh, driving the Larry Lamey 88X, became the first repeat winner of the year in Lincoln 358's.
Ausherman, who led laps nine through 19, settled for second, with Kevin Drury (who started 8th) finishing third, Bob Fisher crossing fourth, and Billy Dietrich completing the top five. Sixth through tenth were Adrian Shaffer, Alan Krimes, Tim Hershey, Judd Shepard, and Cory Haas (who came from the back after an early race spin). Jake Raudabaugh and Dale Hammaker were uninjured in a multi-car crash that saw both drivers flip on lap 14 of the feature. Former micro-sprint driver Mark Zellars led the first eight laps before yielding to Ausherman and fading to 13th at the finish.
Heats for the 33 "358" sprints on hand were won by Chad Trout, Joe Ilg, and Dale Hammaker, with Haas winning the consolation.
Bernie Beard claimed his third win in-a-row in a last-lap thriller in the thundercar division. Beard, who started 12th, found himself in the lead when Bobby Rudisill dropped off the pace on the final turn. It was the points leader's fifth win of the year and 63rd of his career in the Pigeon Hills.
"I don't know what happened to Bobby, but there was smoke pouring out of the left side rear," said Beard in victory lane. Rudisill also lost second to Neil Smith at the end. Finishing fourth and fifth were Bobby Beard and Gary Potts, who came from the rear after an early-race caution.
Heats for the 27 thundercars on hand were won by Mike Ziegler Jr., Jeremy Brown, and David Prunkl, with Pat McClane winning the consolation.
It will be YORK COUNTY RACING CLUB NIGHT at Lincoln Speedway next Saturday night, May 19th. Another three-division show will be on tap featuring all three regular divisions - the Cindy Rowe Auto Glass Super Sprints, the Budweiser/Motorsports Monthly 358 Sprints & the Miller Brothers Thunedrcars. Gates will open at 5 p.m., with hot laps at 6:30 p.m., with the first heat scheduled to take the green flag at 7 p.m.