Fred Rahmer wins elusive Williams Grove National Open title
Logan Schuchart and Rick Lafferty split the twin 20-lap features for sprint cars at Selinsgrove Speedway on Sunday afternoon.
Schuchart, of Hanover, started on the pole and led all 20 laps of the first race for his first career Selinsgrove win in a 410 sprint car. He earned $2,500.
Harrisburg's Chad Layton finished second. He closed on Schuchart in lapped traffic late in the race, but a caution flag gave Schuchart a clear track and he pulled away again for the win. Rookie Brock Zearfoss was third followed by Steve Buckwalter and Blane Heimbach.
New York's Justin Barger started on the pole and led the first 19 laps of the second race. The caution flag flew with one lap to go setting up a dramatic finish. Rick Lafferty drove under Barger in the first corner and to take the lead and steal the win.
Barger settled for second ahead of Heimbach, Schuchart and Jacob Allen. Selinsgrove's season will conclude on Saturday with a $5,000 to win race for the super late models.
51st annual Williams Grove Speedway National Open
Fred Rahmer wanted to go out on his own terms when he decided to retire from sprint car racing at the end of this season
And, now he has authored a storybook ending to a Hall of Fame career that includes 420 sprint car wins and 99 in modifieds.
Until Saturday night, he'd never won the Williams Grove National Open. He had finished second three times and third two times.
In his 28th and final attempt, Rahmer dominated the event after securing the lead from Steve Buckwalter on lap 14.
In one of the last - if not the last - sprint car feature of his career, it was one of the most determined and precise drives ever by Rahmer.
The win was worth $50,000 in a sprinter owned by Rob Sell.
"It's just unbelievable," said Rahmer. "All the great owners I've been with. The guys we race against weekly that make you good enough to be able to get lucky enough to win this thing."
"My boy and Moon and all the guys are the ones that did it," said Rahmer. "Moon and this whole team turned my whole deal around. They had me dead and buried. â¦Not quite so dead. The one thing I learned from the last couple of years is the people you're with can beat you way easier than the people you race against. These people are working with me and made all the difference in the world."
Rahmer said earlier this season that if he won the National Open, he would immediately retire instead of finishing out the season. We will see.
"My whole career, I've never been able to win this race, and I said if I could win it in this situation, I'd be like Lynn Paxton. â¦I will probably take until Wednesday to figure out what I want to do. I want to talk to my wife and everybody involved."
Buckwalter started on the pole after winning the dash with Rahmer to his outside. Rahmer got the jump, but Buckwalter took the lead away.
He led until lap eight when he jumped the cushion trying to lap a car. Rahmer led lap nine, but Buckwalter got by again.
Following a lap 13 restart, Rahmer turned up the wick and drove by off turn four and into the lead. The red flag was displayed for a fuel stop with 15 laps to go. Rahmer drove away and sliced through traffic to score a 3.41 second win.
World of Outlaws point leader Daryn Pittman came up to second and Lance Dewease was third. Paul McMahan and Craig Dollansky rounded out the top five. Buckwalter, Greg Hodnett, David Gravel, Joey Saldana and Donny Schatz completed the top 10.