"If they saw how much work, [Freddie] puts in to these cars - it is incredible," said Central Pennsylvania Legend Fred Rahmer after watching his son, Freddie, flawlessly drive from the ninth-starting position to win his second career Williams Grove feature.
Cory Haas, Matt Campbell and fifth-starting Lucas Wolfe set a torrid pace from the drop of the green. Haas and Campbell started on the front row that saw Haas get the early jump. Campbell went to work on the cushion and pulled even with Haas on lap three, but couldn't get complete the pass. Not long after, Wolfe reeled in and drove by Campbell for the runner up position.
As Haas worked traffic, Wolfe continued to close the gap. Wolfe took his shot at the lead with a slide job, but Haas willed his #39 car back to the lead under the famous Williams Grove backstretch bridge.
You could almost feel the intensity ramp up as Wolfe continued to chase Haas down. Lucas Wolfe is in his first year aboard the Michael Barshinger entry, a ride that Haas was let go of in the off-season after a decade of work together. Through traffic Haas continued to lead the way as Matt Campbell continued to work away at the bottom. "It seemed like there was some moisture off the bottom of turn 2 and when I hit it, I was gaining back on the #39 and #24," said the Fawn Grove teenager. Campbell used that line to get back by Wolfe for the runner up spot.
While eyes remained on the leaders as they jockeyed for track position, the #51 of Freddie Rahmer continued to drive through the field. Within laps, Rahmer got around Wolfe, Campbell and set his eyes on Haas. Coming to the white flag, Rahmer ducked underneath and took the lead from Haas.
The lone caution of the race came on the last lap as Lucas Wolfe had mechanical problems that ended his night on the front stretch. That set up a one-lap dash to the finish. Haas tried everything he could to muscle past Rahmer but came up short and settled for second, his best run to date with Trone Motorsports. Haas led 23 laps and was understandably disappointed, "I should have moved to the bottom earlier. I just got beat," said Haas.
Rahmer's margin of victory was .334 seconds and paid him $4100. Haas settled for 2nd. Campbell crossed the line third, a nose ahead of Rick Lafferty, who was strong all night as well. Brian Montieth came from 11th to round out the top five. Sixth through tenth were Danny Dietrich, Brock Zearfoss, Greg Hodnett, Doug Esh and 15th starting Alan Krimes. Fred Rahmer was vocal about Brandon Rahmer's progress throughout the night. Brandon crossed the line 14th.
The 358 sprint car feature was a thriller in its own right. Kevin Nouse, Eric Parker and Phil Walter were side-by-side for what seemed like the entire race. Nouse ended up edging the competition to pick up the win. It is safe to say no one left Williams Grove disappointed Friday night. All racing was completed before 10pm.