Rahmer Conquers the Outlaws to Win the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Mechanicsburg, PA -- July 23, 2005 -- When the World of Outlaws Sprint Series raced in late May at Williams Grove Speedway, Fred Rahmer was just a tick behind Steve...
Rahmer Conquers the Outlaws to Win the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove
Mechanicsburg, PA -- July 23, 2005 -- When the World of Outlaws Sprint Series raced in late May at Williams Grove Speedway, Fred Rahmer was just a tick behind Steve Kinser, settling for a runner-up finish and setting his sights on the three-night Cleveland Brothers Summer Nationals.
He made up for that second-place run in the finale Saturday night. With $20,000 on the line, Rahmer slipped past Kinser with 12 laps down, chased down leader Joey Saldana with eight to go and raced to the checkered flag to beat the Outlaws for the fourth time in his career.
When you can beat these guys, you beat them for yourself," said Rahmer, the legendary leader of the Pennsylvania Posse who won for the 19th time this season. "You just feel so good. It's 30 years of racing to win one night, as far as I'm concerned. This is big for me, it's a big deal."
Kinser started on the pole for the 30-lap main event and got a huge jump off of Turn 4, beating Jac Haudenschild into the first corner. Saldana settled into third with opening-night winner Jason Johnson racing into fourth. Saldana darted past Haudenschild two laps later but it only took five circuits around the paperclip half-mile oval for Rahmer to pick off Johnson after starting 12th on the grid and one more time around for him to get Haudenschild.
The top three were pulling away when Jason Solwold had motor trouble coming off of Turn 4, bringing out a caution with eight laps complete. On the restart, Kinser, Saldana and Rahmer shot out quickly, but Haudenschild raced out of line diving to the inside and passing cars before the field got to the flagstand, drawing a penalty that sent him to the rear of the field and turning the race into a three-way shootout with Kinser, Saldana and Rahmer.
The three raced in the same low groove before Saldana slid up to the top of the track and carried his momentum off the corners. He slid past Kinser in Turns 3 and 4 with 10 laps down, putting him back ahead of Kinser just like last weekend in the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway.
But like the Kings Royal, Saldana was a victim of being in front. Knowing he couldn't catch Saldana in the top groove, Rahmer dropped a couple of lines lower on the track and found some rubber in the corners. On a restart after a caution on Lap 12, Rahmer darted around Kinser on the bottom in Turns 3 and 4 then methodically cut the gap to Saldana.
Saldana's lead evaporated as Rahmer shot past him at the flagstand to complete Lap 22. But Rahmer was carrying so much speed into Turn 1 he allowed Saldana to slide back around him and into the lead off of Turn 2. But once again, Saldana went back to the top in Turns 3 and 4 while Rahmer found some bite in the rubber at the bottom and cut back to the lead for good off of Turn 4 and down the front stretch as the packed grandstands erupted in support of the local star.
"Being the leader was tough at that point because I showed [Saldana] the top on the one restart and the yellow came out," Rahmer said. "Then he rolled around Steve and I struggled to get by Steve. I was doing what [Saldana] was doing and I was only breaking even. I went back to the bottom and it had rubbered up and he didn't know it. Then I went in too hot down there and let him get back by me and I thought, 'Aww, I'm in trouble.' But he still didn't know it was rubbered up. I said this time I've got to make it stick."
Once in front with clear track ahead, Rahmer cruised to the checkered flag, winning an Outlaws race from the deepest starting position in the field this year. Saldana held on to finish second ahead of Kinser, Lance Dewease, Johnson, Craig Dollansky, Lucas Wolfe, Greg Hodnett, Don Kreitz Jr., and Jason Meyers.
"I was leading it and I was running the top off of Turn 4 and when he did pass me I passed him back and the next lap I went to the top again," said Saldana, a Mean 15 racer from Brownsburg, Ind. "I knew to go to the bottom, it's not the car's fault. Once I did go to the bottom I was nice.
When he did pass me, I drove back by him and I went back to the top. You can't make mistakes. It's cost me two races, two big races."
Rahmer, who has more than 300 victories in his career, called the Summer Nationals win the biggest of his career.
"Dollar-wise, which doesn't mean anything when you respect the competition, that determines how big a win it is," he said. "Good competition, good win. This is pretty cool, pretty cool."
After the caution with eight laps down, Kinser's car wouldn't handle like it had throughout the night, which included a victory in the Stacker 2® Dash.
"I was pretty slow on the bottom," said Kinser, who increased his lead in the championship standings to 351 points in his quest for a 20th series title. "Once I had to get off the top I couldn't run the bottom very good. I was just spinning tires.
"We would have liked to run a little better. We were just off tonight, that's all you can say. There weren't any motor problems, we were just off on the chassis a little bit and that was about it."
Earlier in the evening, the second preliminary feature events delayed from Friday were completed with Paul McMahan racing to Victory Lane for the first time this season. The B- and A-mains were pushed back to Saturday when a heavy rain and lightning rolled over Williams Grove after the Dashes were completed Friday night.
Following the completion of the second preliminary events, qualifying points were tallied with Kinser, Saldana, Johnson and McMahan earning the most points and filling out the top four positions in the Stacker 2® Dash.
The Outlaws head north for a one-night event July 25 at Fulton Speedway in Fulton, N.Y., then return to Michigan for an SLS Promotions race July 27 at Hartford Speedway Park, before heading to Minnesota for the July 29-30 SLS Promotions' Princeton National.
SUMMER NATIONALS NIGHT THREE NOTEBOOK
* A three-night event requires a unique scoring system. Teams earn qualifying points during the first two programs, with the top four in qualifying points after the second preliminary feature locked into the first four starting positions of Saturday's Stacker 2® Dash. The remainder of the field was placed into heat races, lined up according to qualifying points with no inversion. Of the heat race cars, the highest two in qualifying points that transferred from the heats (Jac Haudenschild and Terry McCarl) started fifth and sixth in the Stacker 2® Dash. Starting positions 7-24 in the A-feature were lined up according to qualifying points from the two preliminary events. Also, teams were not allowed to use provisionals in either of the preliminary features, but Danny Lasoski used his fifth provisional and Brian Paulus used his seconds provisional to start the A-feature.
* Since returning to action at the beginning of the July following a serious head injury in a three-car crash during a heat race in June at Eagle Raceway, Joey Saldana has finished in the top 10 five times, including second-place runs in two of the three highest-paying events this season at Eldora and Williams Grove.
"I'm just glad I'm racing right now," said Saldana, who is looking forward to the Knoxville Nationals on a track where in April he set the single-lap record. "I'm racing a sprint car and I'm having fun but we're here to win and it just seems like every time we're right there to win something happens."
* In the Stacker 2® Dash, Steve Kinser charged into the lead but contact between Terry McCarl and Paul McMahan brought out a quick caution. On the restart, Kinser shot back to the lead and drove off with the pole in the feature for the eighth time this season. Jac Haudenschild held on to finish second, followed by Joey Saldana, Jason Johnson and Terry McCarl. McMahan's car had too much front-end damage to continue and he was credited with finishing sixth.
* In the B-main, Lucas Wolfe and Shane Stewart both raced to the high side of the track as the green flag waved. Before they could exit Turn 2, Brian Leppo slid to the inside of Stewart to steal second. Wolfe continued to drive away, having little trouble with clear track in front of him. Leppo finished in second as both Donny Schatz and Tim Shaffer raced into the final transfer spots to the main event.
* In the first heat, Craig Dollansky raced high into Turn 1 and charged into the lead ahead of Fred Rahmer and Jac Haudenschild. With two laps down, Rahmer tried to slip past Dollansky on the exit of Turn 4 but Dollansky held him off. But with three to go, Rahmer finally used his Williams Grove experience slide by Dollansky going into Turn 3 and make it stick on the exit of Turn 4 for the victory. Dollansky held on for second as Jac Haudenshild and Brooke Tatnell earned the final transfer positions to the main event.
* In the second heat, Terry McCarl powered to an easy victory while the field behind him scattered high and low trying to pick up the other three transfer spots. Daryn Pittman edged ahead and finished second as Lance Dewease and Kraig Kinser picked up the final positions.
* In the third heat, Chad Layton and Mark Smith raced side-by-side into Turns 1 and 2 before Smith pulled ahead and raced to the checkered flag. Layton held off the hard-charging Jason Meyers to finish second as Meyers settled for third and Todd Hestor came to the checkered flag in the fourth and final transfer spot.
* In the fourth heat, Greg Hodnett and Jason Solwold shot to the high side of the track in Turns 1 and 2 as Alan Cole, Craig Keel and Donny Schatz went three-wide into the first corner. Cole wound up with the advantage and raced into third as the two leaders drove away from the pack. Don Kreitz Jr. held on for the final transfer position to the feature.
* Fred Rahmer's victory made him the 15th different World of Outlaws A-feature winner this season, and the 19th different winner including preliminary events. Tim Shaffer's victory July 19 in the Silver Cup was his third of the season, going with wins Lake Ozark Speedway and Thunderbowl Raceway. Steve Kinser earned his series-leading 14th A-feature victory by winning the Kings Royal. Kinser also has a preliminary feature win this season in the Eagle Nationals at Eagle Raceway. When Stevie Smith took the checkered flag at Attica Raceway Park, he became the 14th different A-feature winner this season. Kraig Kinser won his fourth A-feature of the season in June at Knoxville Raceway. He also has a preliminary feature win at Las Vegas. Jason Meyers earned his fourth win of the season July 2 at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D. Donny Schatz also has four A-feature victories, at Parramatta, Las Vegas and Houston and Joliet, Ill. Brian Paulus won June 28 at Huset's Speedway for his second victory of the season, and picked up a preliminary feature win in the following race at Red River Valley Speedway. Sammy Swindell won his second A-feature of the season June 4 at Eldora Speedway. Swindell also has a preliminary feature win April 8 at Eldora. Craig Dollansky has won two features, most recently at Powercom Park, and he also has two preliminary feature wins. Single-event winners include Tim Kaeding June 11 at Sheboygan County Fair Park, Daryn Pittman April 23 at 81 Speedway in Wichita, Brooke Tatnell July 4 at Cedar Lake Speedway, Chad Kemenah July 9 at I-55 Raceway, and Jeff Shepard Feb. 11 at Volusia Speedway Park. In Preliminary Features, Danny Lasoski has won twice while Joey Saldana, Paul McMahan and Jason Johnson have each won once.
* Williams Grove Speedway is a half-mile oval. Including preliminary features, the series has raced 23 times this year on half-mile circuits with Steve Kinser winning six times (Volusia, Eldora three times, Knoxville and Williams Grove), Sammy Swindell winning three times (twice at Eldora, once at Hagerstown), Craig Dollansky winning twice (Manzanita and Williams Grove), Kraig Kinser winning twice (Las Vegas, Knoxville), Jason Meyers winning twice (Granite City and Red River Valley), Donny Schatz winning twice (Las Vegas and Route 66 Raceway), and Brian Paulus (Red River Valley), Danny Lasoski (Knoxville), Jeff Shepard (Volusia), Jason Johnson (Williams Grove), Paul McMahan (Williams Grove) and Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove) each winning once.
* The Outlaws head north for a one-night event July 25 at Fulton Speedway in Fulton, N.Y., then return to Michigan for an SLS Promotions race July 27 at Hartford Speedway Park in Hartford, Mich., before heading to Minnesota for the July 29-30 SLS Promotions' Princeton National.
* The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) July 27 and Aug. 3 all of last weekend's action from Eldora Speedway. The Outdoor Channel will then broadcast the Silver Cup at 8 p.m. (ET) on Aug. 10. The Outdoor Channel will air the Cleveland Brothers Summer Nationals from Williams Grove at 8 p.m. (ET) on Aug. 17.