Lincoln opener features big crowd, lots of cars, first win for Rahmer-Eichelberger team
- Freddie Rahmer won the Icebreaker 30 at Lincoln Speedway on Sunday.
- Rahmer earned $5,000 for the super-sprint triumph at the Adams County track.
- The race was originally set for Saturday, but moved to Sunday for better weather.
I have attended quite a few season-opening dirt-track races over the years, dating back to the 1960s and my childhood.
I have to say, it never gets old.
The new cars for the new season, the refreshing (sometimes very cold) air, the sounds and smells of the day and the usually very large crowds: It was all in place Sunday afternoon for Lincoln Speedway’s Icebreaker 30.
Lincoln made the wise decision to hold off one day in presenting central Pennsylvania's outdoor season opener. The forecast for Sunday was much nicer than for Saturday. In the end, I would say that move paid off very nicely.
The crowd was stellar and 34 sprint cars dotted the pit area. In the end, Freddie Rahmer gave his new car owner about the only thing he, Rich Eichelberger, was never able to get in his own career. A super-sprint feature win.
Eichelberger has been a force in local racing for more than 50 years. In fact, he has been driving race cars for that long. Along the way, Eichelberger won enough super-sportsman races to still rank third all-time in that class. He has also won numerous times in the 358 sprint cars and a handful of times in limited late models. About the only thing the Dillsburg-area businessman raced regularly in, and never won with, were the super-sprint cars.
Now in just his third start in Eichelberger’s car, the third-generation Rahmer gave Eichelberger that first super-sprint win. Rahmer drove the car twice near the end of last season, with a pair of top-five finishes.
For Rahmer, it was a continuation of a family tradition. The win was Rahmer’s first in the Icebreaker at the Adams County oval, but it’s not the first time someone named Fred Rahmer has won Lincoln’s opener. Freddie’s father, Fred Rahmer, is Lincoln’s all-time career win leader and also leads all drivers in opening-day wins at Lincoln.
Sunday’s race was the 70th season opener at Lincoln and Fred Rahmer owns 10% of those opening-day wins with seven.
Rahmer overcomes tough start: Rahmer’s day didn’t start all that well. He drew a number deep in the field for his heat race. On a day when most of the top heat race qualifiers came from the front of the field, Rahmer drove from sixth to win his heat. The feature draw went better. Rahmer drew third for the feature start.
Outside front-row starter Aaron Bollinger, now in his third year of sprint racing, took the early lead over pole-sitter Jordan Givler. Bollinger led for 10 laps before Rahmer took over the top spot. Then Rahmer had to fend off Brent Marks, who started eighth, for the win. Anthony Macri came from 12th for third, and Danny Dietrich from 10th for fourth after he and Macri waged a spirited duel.
The front-row starters raced each other for much of the race, with Givler getting fifth from Bollinger right near the end. Billy Dietrich joined his brother in the top 10 with a seventh-place finish.
Defending United States Auto Club National Midget champion Buddy Kofoid, a Californian who now lives in Indiana, brought Bernie Stubben’s famed No. 71 home eighth after starting 17th. Justin Whitttall and Dylan Cisney completed the top 10.
Devin Borden came from the 24th-and-final starting spot for 11th. Borden wasn’t the only Washington state native to race at Lincoln Sunday. Michael Millard has moved to the area for this season’s competition. Millard was not able to qualify Sunday.
The opening-day field at Lincoln had drivers representing six states. Three of those states were on the East Coast, two on the West Coast and one in the center of the country.
Indiana’s Justin Peck had an eventful day. He came from the back of his heat race to qualify for the feature only to forget to report to the scales following the heat race. That miscue sent him to the rear of the consy. Again Peck came from the rear to qualify. Then he had to advance from the back row of the feature to midfield when he suffered mechanical woes with 10 laps remaining.
Next week: Lincoln is set to do it all over again this weekend.
Lincoln will present another all-super-sprint show on Saturday afternoon. This week, however, there is no announced Sunday rain date.
That’s because Port Royal Speedway in Juniata County is set to open its season on Sunday afternoon. The racing program at the Port will include the super sprints and the super late models.
CHAMPION RACING OIL
SPRINT CAR SERIES
Presented by Hoseheads.com
(Wins in parenthesis)
1. Freddie Rahmer (1) 50
2. Brent Marks 35
3. Anthony Macri 30
4. Danny Dietrich 25
5. Jordan Givler 20
6. Aaron Bollinger 18
7. Billy Dietrich 16
8. Buddy Kofoid 14
9. Justin Whittall 12
10.Dylan Cisney 10
Reach Bryan Householder at email@example.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.