Young Rahmer flawless in Paxton Tribute victory

MECHANICSBURG — Freddie Rahmer is a young sprint car driver and admits that he still makes mistakes.

That may be true in some races, but the 23-year-old didn’t make any mistakes Friday night as he dominated the Lynn Paxton Tribute at Williams Grove Speedway.

Rahmer’s first Grove win of the season was worth $4,771 and came by 4.846 seconds. The race honored former track champion and National Open winner Lynn Paxton.

“I respect him for all he’s done and he’s still doing a lot for the sport,” Rahmer said. “It’s pretty cool to win tonight.”

Rahmer, of Salfordville, led all 25 laps and was never challenged. The non-stop race was timed in 8:09.

“We’ve been pretty good, but I haven’t been getting the job done,” Rahmer said. “We haven’t been drawing good and all that kind of stuff. Last week, we could have timed good even with the bad pill draw. I think we’re getting the feel back I want.

“It was tricky before the feature. It was a crap shoot as far as where we were going to run. I ran the bottom in the heat race and then switched to the top and then about half-way through we had to move around again. I’m proud of everybody that helps me on the car. They do a lot. I’m still a young guy and do some dumb stuff. It means a lot to win here again.”

The race’s namesake joined Rahmer in Victory Lane.

“I grew up here,” Paxton said. “I was born four miles from here. I grew up here. I worked here for a while and I got to race here and that’s what I always wanted to do.”

Rahmer started on the pole and drove into the lead over Danny Dietrich and Lucas Wolfe. The former track champion built a comfortable lead as he raced around the cushion. He didn’t get held up by slower traffic as they raced around the inside line.

At the half-way point, he led by 1.7 seconds.

He switched to the bottom for the final 10 laps increasing his lead.

“Sometimes it’s hard,” he said about choosing the fastest lane. “You start racing those lapped cars and it gets harder and harder to get by them. On the top of one and two, I was kind of breaking even. Down here, I could hustle it in pretty good. It was time to make a change. I went down there in one corner and I knew I was alright. It cleaned off nice for the feature. It was kind of dirty all night. I’m proud to win here. Williams Grove does a lot for us. Tonight, it’s $4,700 to win and we only have 19 cars. I don’t know if guys are afraid to come here or what, but I look forward to coming every week.”

Rahmer cleared Rodney Westhafer and had a clear track in front of him for the final six laps. His final margin of victory was 4.846. Dietrich, Wolfe, Ryan Smith and T.J. Stutts completed the top five. Brian Montieth, Anthony Macri, Cory Haas, Kyle Reinhardt, and Chad Trout rounded out the top 10.

Wolfe set fast time with a lap of 17.271. Dietrich and Rahmer won the heat races.

Jeff Halligan won the 358 sprint car feature. Doug Hammaker, Rodney Westhafer, Cody Fletcher and Scott Fisher completed the top five.