ABBOTTSTOWN, Pa. – After a rude awakening during Pennsylvania Speedweek and with marquee events on the horizon, Freddie Rahmer knew he had to find something extra in this break between the madness.
On Saturday night at Lincoln Speedway, in what was the track’s lone weekly show for July, Rahmer tinkered with a new approach and ran the entire evening in attack mode, a mentality imposed by certain outsiders just a week ago.
By the end of the night, that combination helped Rahmer to victory lane for the fourth time this season in central Pennsylvania, as the determined driver led the final 21 of 30 laps for the $4,000 winners purse Saturday night at Lincoln.
It’s Rahmer’s third overall win at Lincoln and comes at an opportune time with three top-dollar races coming up: a $10,000-to-win show next Saturday, the World of Outlaws stop on July 23 and another $10,000-to-win event July 29.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Rahmer, who scored a 3.070-second victory over Billy Dietrich. “It wasn’t a Speedweek field tonight but it doesn’t matter. Knowing what I needed to feel here, the car felt good.”
Rahmer scoured the field of 23 entrants on Saturday night, picking off 13 positions in 38 laps when you combine his advancements through his eight-lap heat race and the main event.
He started seventh in his heat race by lap three, Rahmer had charged his way to second and ran out of time to overtake Dietrich for the heat win. In the feature, he started ninth, but by lap seven, he moved around Brian Montieth for second and hunted down Dietrich for the race lead amid the usual tricky lapped traffic around Lincoln.
On lap 10, Rahmer wound up his No. 51 through the top of turns one and two and, like he had done to everyone else in front of him to that point, roared by Dietrich for the lead. At that point, Dietrich pretty much knew what the end result was going to look like.
“He was just better than me,” Dietrich said. “[Freddie] was just better than me. We had a second-place car. It’s OK. We’ll take it.”
A lap 14 caution for Bradley Howard wiped away Rahmer’s 2.4-second lead on Dietrich, but three laps into the restart, and Rahmer had already regained his advantage and more. His lead swelled to three seconds by lap 20 and once he staved off two late-race restarts with 10 and eight laps to go, Rahmer could finally assess his winning night.
Rahmer didn’t deviate from his staple Lincoln package, but he did try a smaller left rear tire to help the car rotate more through turns three and four.
“It’s something to learn if the track is wet like this for the rest of the year,” said Rahmer, who could seemingly maneuver his way through and out of any situation on Saturday.
“The car had traction,” Rahmer added. “When I got a run on somebody I could pass anywhere. Our car is pretty good like most places, but tonight it was better than normal.”
From the onset, Rahmer was in attack mode. It’s the aftermath of what Kyle Larson did to the central Pennsylvania racing scene just a week ago, as the talented Californian romped his way to a Speedweek title by 323 points with his full-send approach. Rahmer, like everyone else, took mental note, whether they wanted to or not: if they want to keep pace, this is the new precedent.
“When you get to a lapped car, you have to pass them [immediately], even if you have to drive through the worst part of the racetrack, through the slick, to keep your speed up,” Rahmer explained. “That is what those guys did that kicked our ass last week. But we can run with them. It’s just I didn’t put a whole night together during Speedweek. It just worked out tonight. We’re capable of doing it.”