The 2013 racing season is all but over locally. However, there will be plenty of action tonight.
Lincoln Speedway is set to present the Fred Rahmer "Last Call Tribute Race." Gates open at 4 p.m. Time trials start at 6. The 410 and 358 sprint cars are joined by thunder cars.
The night honors one of the finest all around racers to ever compete in the region. Rahmer's list of accomplishments are amazing: 35 years of racing, 63 modified wins from 1978-85, 27 track championships as this weekend began (Rahmer entered last night's action at Williams Grove as the points leader.) Rahmer owns three Selinsgrove Speedway titles. He has won five at Susquehanna Speedway, eight at Williams Grove and 11 at Lincoln. In sprint car action Rahmer has been as good as it gets.
Overall Rahmer has at least 519 total victories. One thing is definite - Rahmer has been at his best at Lincoln Speedway where he won a record 169 times. It's going to be tough to top that accomplishment. This season Rahmer has been consistent and scored seven wins so far. He has placed in the top five positions 39 times and top 10 58. For a man that says he doesn't have anything left, that's pretty good.
Tonight's racing program includes show cars of past Rahmer car owners Joe Harz and Al Hamilton; he won more races with those two owners than anyone else. Even Rahmer has no idea what surprise honors await him this evening. Many former car owners, sponsors, friends and fellow racers will be called upon to give their thoughts about the Hall of Fame driver. Rahmer will wear a special last call helmet made for the occasion and fans purchasing T-shirts will have an opportunity to win the final helmet used by Rahmer. It's going to be a great night at the Pigeon Hills oval.
Should rain postpone the program, Lincoln will attempt to race tomorrow.
Rahmer's retirement is one of two area interest stories this weekend. Ashley Deihl-Stremme has been having a great month. Stremme is married to NASCAR driver David Stremme and lives in Mooresville, N.C. Many of you may recall she is from Mifflintown and won the Area Auto Racing News Ms. Motorsports title a few years back. Her career has taken off since then - she event competed in a women's professional football league a few years ago.
Stremme can also drive a race car. She won powder puff races at Port Royal Speedway as a young adult and recently added another victory to her record book: Stremme won the Better Half Dash Oct. 10 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The 25-lap event found Stremme leading most of the way after starting on the pole. Stremme lost the lead at one point but regained control and went on to win.
The event was to benefit charities including Motor Racing Outreach, a Christian based organization which hosts non-denominational services at NASCAR tracks on race weekends. Many teams attend these events. Overall at least $26,000 was donated to charity from the race. David and Ashley Stremme were featured guests on Raceline TV promoting the event. The interview can be found on YouTube.
While Stremme's accomplishments in racing are more than enough to make this column, she also is competing in the Mrs. North Carolina contest today, which is part of the national Mrs. America pageant. The 2002 graduate from Juniata High School has come a long way from Mifflintown but never forgets her roots, is proud to call Juniata County home and considers herself a redneck girl. Many of us in motorsports are proud to know Stremme and wish her the best.
Rahmer and Alan Kreitzer will be featured guests today on the PA Sports Network with Jed Donahue to discuss Rahmer's career. The program airs locally on WIEZ-AM 670.
In NASCAR action shifts to Talladega Motor Speedway where action gets under way Sunday at 2 p.m. ESPN has TV coverage. David Ragan won the spring race and current point's leader Matt Kenseth is the defending race champion. Kenseth holds a scant four point lead over Jimmie Johnson with five races remaining.
Jac Haudenschild will drive the Rick Rogers owned Destiny Motorsports car in 2014. Haudenschild replaced Brandon Wimmer in the car. The team will begin the season racing with the All Stars. Lance Dewease has not secured a ride yet for next season and may scale back his racing next year.
The World Finals for sprint cars and late models are at the dirt track at Charlotte Motor Speedway Nov. 7-9. The World of Outlaws sanction the program.
Have a great fall racing weekend and please drive safely.
Craig Rutherford writes about motorsports for The Sentinel.