Have you ever wanted to go inside the mind of a 410 sprint car driver’s mind? Wondered what it takes to win at a high level on the most grueling circuit of races?
There’s one driver who knows exactly how to attack the 10-day schedule of PA Speedweek: Fred Rahmer. Ahead of the 2021 slate, all-time wins leader Rahmer breaks down the strategy of each track, how to stay consistent and win the overall points title.
Rahmer won 30 races in his PA Speedweek career and 13 overall points titles. The legendary driver won in 1992, ‘93, ‘94, ‘95, ‘98, 2000, ‘03, ‘04, ‘05, ‘06, ’08, ’11, ’12.
Rahmer’s sons Freddie and Brandon both plan to run all 10 races, and the eldest Rahmer explained how to make it from Friday, June 25 through Sunday, July 4.
Night 1: Williams Grove Speedway (Friday, June 25)
PA Speedweek kicks off on Friday, June 25 at Williams Grove, winner takes $6,000.
“You have to try to win every [race],” Rahmer said of the importance of winning night one. “You have to be good in the heat, good in the time trials and the whole deal. Obviously it’s easier if you win the first night, but there is no guarantee of that.”
Night 2: Lincoln Speedway (Saturday, June 26)
Speedweek heads right to Abbottstown in Night 2 at Lincoln Speedway.
“The smaller the track the bigger the racing,” Rahmer said of Lincoln. “I just like the closeness. Lincoln puts on good racing. If the track is good, people will be able to see some good racing.”
It’s the 22nd Annual Kevin Gobrecht Memorial with $9,200 to the winner.
“Saturday, for whatever reason, everybody starts to come in,” Rahmer continued. “All the spectators with the motor homes, they’re out there playing games and the whole deal, drinking beer and having fun. You start to feel the Speedweek vibe.”
Night 3: BAPS Speedway (Sunday, June 27)
Headed into Sunday, PA Speedweek heads to BAPS Motor Speedway, it is the circuits first stop at the track in event history.
“It’s a shorter track,” Rahmer said of BAPS. “It’s probably 3/8ths. It just puts on good racing. It’s another opportunity for us to win another race and win some money.”
Night 4: Lincoln Speedway (Monday, June 28)
Just 48 hours after the last stop, PA Speedweek returns to Lincoln Speedway on Monday. This time, the winner will take home $7,000.
“We race here all the time,” Rahmer said of his sons Brandon and Freddie. “But all of that being said, every night you show up is different. Depending on the weather, the wind, the sun, everything [can change the track]. You can have homefield advantage, and it’s not an advantage if the track goes a different direction. It seems like it would be easy and it’s not as easy as you would think.”
Night 5: Grandview Speedway (Tuesday, June 29)
On Tuesday, PA Speedweek makes its only stop at Grandview Speedway. The winner will take home $10,000, which is the largest payout to this point of Speedweek.
“We take a car there that we don’t like quite as much because anything could happen there.”FRED RAHMER ON GRANDVIEW
“Grandview is the closest track to our house,” Rahmer said. “It was my home track when I started racing. It’s just a really intense race track. It’s really good racing, it’s a third mile, and stuff happens so fast. We take a car there that we don’t like quite as much because anything could happen there.”
Night 6: Port Royal Speedway (Wednesday, June 30)
For Night 6, PA Speedweek heads to Port Royal on Wednesday, June 30. The winner will take home $7,000.
“If the track is right, it’s really good racing,” Rahmer said. “It’s been really top dominant the last couple of years; Lance [Dewease] can get around the middle. We don’t get to go there as much as we should, we went up and tested once this year. We’ll go up and see what we can do there. It’s a great track; they’ve done a lot of improvements, and there’s a really nice fanbase up there, really good people.”
Night 7: Hagerstown Speedway (Thursday, July 1)
Headed into the backstretch of PA Speedweek, Night 7 features Hagerstown Speedway. The winner will take home $6,000, and Rahmer says its a fun track and a good change of pace.
“A couple lanes of racing,” Rahmer said of what makes Hagerstown a fun track. “As it changes, as the night goes on, you know most of the time you’re ripping around the top and all of the sudden the bottom comes in. If your car is set up and you’re good enough, you can then switch.”
Night 8: Williams Grove Speedway (Friday, July 2)
For the second Friday night of PA Speedweek, the event is back at Williams Grove on Friday, July 2 for the Mitch Smith Memorial. This is the largest prize with $15,000 awarded to the winner.
“The same goal we have for every track is to win,” Rahmer said of heading back to the Grove. “The $15,000 is great, but that’s not why you go. You go to win, so somebody else can’t. Williams Grove, to me as a Pennsylvania guy, it’s still the track. I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished at all the others, Williams Grove is still the track. Historically, that is the place.”
Night 9: Port Royal Speedway (Saturday, July 3)
For Night 9, PA Speedweek heads to Port Royal for the 3rd Annual Greg Hodnett Classic. The winner will take home $10,000.
Rahmer and Hodnett were fierce competitors, and the Classic brought up emotion from PA Speedweek’s all-time wins leader.
“I raced against him quite a bit and he was a super tough competitor,” Rahmer said. “Probably one of the harder things I’ve had to deal with was when we weren’t there that night when he passed away. It bothered me obviously a lot. It was just terrible that we lost him.”
Night 10: Selinsgrove Speedway (Sunday, July 4)
The event wraps up on Sunday, July 4 at Selinsgrove Speedway.
“It’s one of the tracks we’ve had success at,” Rahmer said. “It’s really fast, and when the surface is right, it can provide really good racing. In all honesty by that point, it’s the last one and you get to go home.”
PA Speedweek kicks off Friday, June 25 at Williams Grove Speedway and lasts through the final stop at Selinsgrove Speedway on Sunday, July 4.