Rahmer Wins Rain-Shortened Feature at 'The Grove' By Richard Day MECHANICSBURG, PA (May 19) -- Fred Rahmer has a burning desire to beat the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' fire-breathing, ...
Rahmer Wins Rain-Shortened Feature at 'The Grove'
By Richard Day MECHANICSBURG, PA (May 19) -- Fred Rahmer has a burning desire to beat the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' fire-breathing, mudslinging sprint car racing teams and will do whatever it takes to achieve it.
The Salfordville, PA, driver and his crew built a new car after Thursday's preliminary program at Williams Grove Speedway and it paid off. Rahmer inherited the lead after defending Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion Mark Kinser suffered a flat tire and was leading the "A" Feature when rain hit the half-mile oval. Officials declared Rahmer the winner and he received the $12,000 first prize.
"We really got the breaks tonight," Rahmer admitted. "Mark had the fastest car here. I don't think we could have caught him, and then I don't know if we would have had enough fuel to finish the race if we had restarted. I'm just so glad we could finally win one here at 'The Grove' for all the Pennsylvania fans.
"We were embarrassed Tuesday night at Lernerville, and we looked pretty bad last night. We stayed up all night and built a brand new car and put in a brand new Don Ott motor, and I'll tell you this thing runs! These guys are, without a doubt, the best sprint car drivers in the world, and we have a few wins. If you race with them night in and night out I guarantee you'll whipped a bunch, too."
It was Rahmer's third main event victory in Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series competition. He also won at Lernerville Speedway May 19, 1998, and at Lincoln Speedway May 30, 1998.
Rahmer, the eighth-fastest qualifier in the 38-car field, won the Fourth NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race and earned the right to start the "A" Feature outside the third row by finishing sixth in the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash.
Kinser, the defending Williams Grove National Open champion, drove the #5M Mopar Maxim into the lead from the pole as the green flag fell in the main event. He was a half-straightaway ahead of outside pole- sitter Sammy Swindell when he entered lapped traffic during lap six.
Kinser lost his comfortable advantage the next time around, however, when a mechanical malfunction in the #11H Vivarin Eagle forced Tim Shaffer to stop on the back straightaway. Tyler Walker took the #12 Apple Chevrolet sprinter for a spin in turn four as the green flag replaced the yellow.
Rahmer passed First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Stevie Smith with an inside move into turn four as the race resumed.
Kinser was five car-lengths ahead of his closest pursuers by the 13th lap. He increased his advantage to a half-straightaway in dense traffic within two laps, only to have debris on the front straightaway bring out the caution flag during lap 20.
Rahmer drove the #77 Hamilton Motorsports Maxim around Swindell for second place in turn two and Second NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Brian Paulus took fourth with an inside move past Smith in the fourth corner as the race resumed.
Kinser was comfortably ahead of Rahmer when he stopped with a shredded right rear tire midway through lap 25. Rahmer restarted ahead of the 28-car field and was leading Swindell when Brooke Tatnell flipped in the second corner as the green flag replaced the yellow. A rain storm hit Williams Grove Speedway during the red period, so officials threw the checkered flag and declared Rahmer the winner.
First CHANNELLOCK Dash winner Steve Kinser finished in third place, ahead of Paulus, Daryn Pittman, Smith, Don Kreitz, Jr., Third NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Greg Hodnett, Danny Lasoski and 20th- starting Jac Haudenschild.
Andy Hillenburg took a provisional starting position in the "A" Feature and drove his #2 Luxaire J&J past 10 cars to finish 17th.
Joey Saldana received his fifth Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the season after pacing the qualifying session with a 17.048-second, 105.584-m.p.h., lap around the semi-banked, 1/2-mile oval. Johnny Herrera and Dave Ely crashed during their qualifying laps. DOCC Motorsports' crew repaired the #20 Networks Eagle so Herrera could continue racing, but Ely wasn't as fortunate.