MECHANICSBURG, Pa. – On Saturday at Lincoln Speedway, Freddie Rahmer’s shot to win from the pole ended with a vicious tumble into turns one and two.
The 25-year-old was upset at himself as a third-straight race to start the year ended in dissatisfaction. On Sunday at Williams Grove Speedway, Rahmer again started on the pole and this time things ended as he had hoped.
Rahmer led all 25 laps in Sunday’s opener at the historic half-mile track for his first win of the young year in central Pennsylvania. The Salfordville, Pa., native topped Justin Peck by .378 seconds to take home the $5,500 prize.
“It feels good,” Rahmer said. ““It takes a lot of pressure off today, winning. We got fortunate with the pill draw today, just like [Saturday]. Really messed it up [Saturday at Lincoln]. Glad we recovered today and rebounded.”
Last year, it took Rahmer until Aug. 21 to score his first win at Williams Grove. This time around it took him just four races and it came the day after one of the hardest crashes of his racing journey, when he wrecked in the first corner of the race Saturday at Lincoln.
That marked Rahmer’s second did-not-finish in three races. The other was a non-factor eighth-place finish, also at Lincoln.
“You’re only four races in, but you have a lot of pressure,” Rahmer said. “Now … you can just race.”
On Sunday, a chilly, blustery atmosphere made for a slick racing surface. Once Rahmer drew the pole for the feature, the focus shifted to clicking off smooth, clean laps on the bottom.
“You just try not to mess up,” Rahmer said. “Usually you run as hard as possible. Today, it was just trying to be smart.”
Rahmer raced out to a 1.6-second lead three laps into the race, before 16th-running Kerry Madsen wiped it away with a spin in turn two. It only strengthened Rahmer, as the reigning track champion executed restarts to a tee. By lap 15, Rahmer’s lead swelled to 2.5 seconds and Peck had worked his way around Brandon Rahmer for second.
Over those next two laps, as Rahmer was stuck in traffic with nowhere to go, Peck erased the margin to mere car lengths. For the next eight laps, Peck applied pressure on Rahmer, who never cracked.
Then, a caution flag waved for Alan Krimes with two laps to go, right as Peck was getting comfortable, and practically ended the 22-year-old’s chances at victory.
“I felt like my best shot would have been if we stayed green running through lapped traffic,” Peck said. “I was able to put a little pressure on him. He would kill me off of [turn] four on those restarts, and I just couldn’t hang with him.”
Rahmer executed two more restarts in the final two laps, but had to do so nursing a right rear tire Rahmer could feel was about to blow.
“There was maybe a lap left,” Rahmer said. “Worst I’ve ever felt.”
It’s Rahmer’s 14th career 410 win at Williams Grove, putting him tied for 36th all-time with Bobby Davis Jr. and Ted Horn.
Lance Dewease, taking another crack at win No. 100 at Williams Grove, raced to third from sixth. Brandon Rahmer and Dylan Cisney rounded out the top five.
Rick Lafferty, Hunter Schuerenberg, Chad Trout, Brent Shearer and Danny Dietrich completed the top 10.
Anthony Macri, an 11-time winner in central Pennsylvania last year, finished 12th.
Tim Shaffer, already victorious in his new ride for Mike Heffner, came 23rd.
Freddie Rahmer, Justin Peck, Lance Dewease, Brandon Rahmer, Dylan Cisney, Rick Lafferty, Hunter Schuerenberg, Chad Trout, Brent Shearer, Danny Dietrich, Matt Campbell, Anthony Macri, T.J. Stutts, Dylan Norris, Kyle Moody, Jason Shultz, Kerry Madsen, Chase Dietz, Justin Whittall, Alan Krimes, George Hobaugh, Jordan Mackison, Tim Shaffer, Troy Wagaman Jr.