Port Royal, Pa. — Freddie Rahmer put an end to Lance Dewease’s streak of five consecutive Artic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victories Friday night at Port Royal Speedway. The Salfordville, Pennsylvania driver held off a pair of Pennsylvania hotshoes for the Night Before The Tuscarora 50 presented by Tedd Reitz crown worth $5,000.
Although dominate for much of the 30 turned 31-lap main event, Rahmer would earn his place on the coveted Port Royal Speedway victory lane platform in dramatic fashion, forced to hold back the ‘Steel City Outlaw’ Tim Shaffer and the ‘Kunkletown Kid’ Ryan Smith during a green-white-checkered finish. Rahmer prevailed, ultimately driving away from Shaffer, Smith, Brock Zearfoss, and Lance Dewease to the final checkers. The victory, his second All Star Circuit of Champions triumph of the season, was Rahmer’s first-ever at the Port Royal ‘Speed Palace.’
“This feels great. I knew if we got the car where it needed to be, we were going to be good,” Freddie Rahmer said in victory lane, driver of the Leffler Energy No. 51R. “There are so many parts of the night that need to go together to make this happen, the dash draw included. You can’t let up when you have a guy like Tim Shaffer behind you. I just want to thank everyone who helps on the car. We have a guy helping us who lives right around here. It’s cool to win this for him.”
After a caution during the initial start for a slowing Trey Starks, the Night Before The Tuscarora 50 presented by Tedd Reitz main event was officially underway with the ‘Steel City Outlaw’ Tim Shaffer earning the early advantage, racing by the flagstand for the first time with Freddie Rahmer and Ryan Smith in tow. Shaffer led the first six circuits undisturbed, eventually reaching the back of the field for the first time on lap 7.
As traffic intensified, so did the battle for the lead. Cutting down on Shaffer’s advantage in the hurry, Freddie Rahmer used traffic to his advantage and closed the gap to a car-length as the leaders checked off lap 8. As the lead duo entered turn one on lap nine, Rahmer pounced, diving to the bottom of the speedway in an attempt to slide Shaffer for the lead. Although Shaffer was able to cut back underneath Rahmer to regain control, Rahmer did not lose focus, eventually chasing Shaffer down the backstretch before sliding the Aliquippa, Pa., native once again in turns three and four, this time making the move stick.
Although forced to slow for cautions on laps 10, 13, and 21, the only true challenge for Rahmer after working to the lead was on lap 30 when the field was forced to halt once again, this time for a slowing Jared Esh, ultimately turning the situation into an open red to allow teams to add fuel. The caution erased a near-three second advantage for Rahmer.
Due to All Star rules mandating that a feature must be finished with two consecutive green flag laps, the ensuing restart resulted in a green-white-checkered restart, planting the ‘Steel City Outlaw’ on Rahmer’s back bumper.
On the restart, Shaffer dived to the bottom of turns one and two forcing Rahmer up the track. Although the move looked convincing, Rahmer held on, powering back to comfortable advantage as the pair raced down the backstretch. The 31st and final circuit proved to be much like the rest; all Freddie Rahmer at the front of the field, eventually crossing under the final checkers with Tim Shaffer and Ryan Smith in tow.
“Timmy [Shaffer] was getting loose there at the beginning. I was lucky to be able to get by him in traffic,” Rahmer continued. “I could feel that I was starting to get low on fuel there at the end, then the red flag came out. I got lucky there. That was still too many shots for Shaffer to get by me. I need to do a better job on my restarts. If you have clean air, you can really build some speed. It means so much to win this race.”
The All Star Circuit of Champions will return to the ‘Speed Palace’ tomorrow evening, Saturday, September 8, for the 51st running of the Tuscarora 50 awarding a $51,000 top prize.
Port Royal Speedway in Port Royal, Pa., will have pit gates open most of the day on Saturday, September 8. The All Star drivers meeting will take shape at 4:30 p.m. followed by hot laps at 5 p.m., sharp. Those seeking additional news and notes should visit the ‘Speed Palace’ live on the Web at www.portroyalspeedway.com.
For those who cannot make the trip to Port Royal Speedway for the 51st running of the Tuscarora 50, Speed Shift TV will have a live pay-per-view internet broadcast available for purchase. Those interested should visit Speed Shift TV live on the Web at www.speedshifttv.com.
In addition, MAVTV Motorsports Network, the official television home of the All Star Circuit of Champions in 2018, will be on hand to capture all of the action from Tuscarora 50 weekend. MAVTV Motorsports Network will air the Night Before The Tuscarora 50 and the Tuscarora 50 on consecutive Sundays beginning October 14. The Night Before The Tuscarora 50 will air on October 14 at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., followed by the Tuscarora 50 on October 21 during the exact same time slots. Those wanting to learn more about MAVTV Motorsports Network should visit MAVTV live on the Web at www.mavtv.com.
-All Star Circuit of Champions Press Release & Photo