YORK HAVEN, Pa. – Freddie Rahmer is ready to put this season behind him and lay the groundwork for next year.
This Saturday at BAPS Motor Speedway, Rahmer will log race No. 2 in Rich Eichelberger’s No. 8, another building block in what he envisions as a long-lasting relationship.
The 25-year-old recently wrapped up his second straight title at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, Pa., and his six wins this year are tied for fourth amongst Pennsylvania Posse drivers.
Danny Dietrich and Lance Dewease are the only other drivers in Central PA with 410 track titles and five or more victories this year. That, however, doesn’t quantify contentment.
“We didn’t do very well at all compared to what we’re capable of,” Rahmer said. “We were decent a lot of the times, or fast a lot of the times. Just wasn’t [qualifying] good. Basically that hurt us the whole time.
“We’ve shown at different points this year what we’re capable of,” Rahmer said. “You don’t [qualify] good, and you’re forgotten about. You time well, you’re right there. I’m more excited to get started with the [Eichelberger] guys.”
The World of Outlaws NOS Energy Nittany Showdown two weeks ago at Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway fits Rahmer’s words drawing the line between relevance and outcast on race night’s.
During the Friday night program, Rahmer qualified 35th of 38 cars. He ended up ninth in the main event and actually backslid from fifth by night’s end, realizing he could have easily competed for the win if he just found a little more in qualifying.
When Saturday’s program came around, Rahmer again qualified in the bottom four — that instance 36th of 38 entries.
Rahmer finished well out of a transfer spot and 11th in the Last Chance Showdown. In 16 qualifying shows since the start of August, Rahmer’s average time-trial position is 22.3.
He hasn’t started a race inside the top 10 since Sept. 4 at Lincoln and he hasn’t started a race inside the top five since Aug. 29 at BAPS, where Rahmer led the All Star Circuit of Champions to green
Even then, he had to make up for qualifying 18th overall.
“Your chances of winning are down for that,” Rahmer said. “We race great in a lot of the shows. It’s just that qualifying did not go well at all.”
It’s been a hard year on equipment for the Rahmers. They’ve repaired more motors than what they originally accounted for and that’s set them back.
Joining Eichelberger’s promising operation in which Rahmer flourished in the team’s Sept. 17 debut at BAPS takes some of the pressure off the Rahmers.
“A little bit,” Rahmer said. “I’m more excited to get prepared with [Eichelberger] and still able to race [our car] once or twice, feel things out a little bit more. And do everything we can this winter to run a lot better than this year, what we’re capable of.
“We’ve been thinking about what we have to do to be better together,” Rahmer added. “Now things are slowing down. We can get together and get to work.
“We’re just starting to get organized,” Rahmer said.
Beyond this weekend, Rahmer will run the Nov. 13 Sprint Showdown at BAPS, either in his family No. 51 or the Eichelberger No. 8.
Rahmer isn’t abandoning the No. 51, the car his legendary father, Fred, drove for many years.
He’d like to run a test session or two with his family equipment before the season ends. There is more to decipher and better in his own equipment, which he plans to race roughly 20 times next year around the full workload with Eichelberger.
Rahmer knows he’s a productive driver. Now he’s trying to level-up and become elite.
“That’s what we work toward all the time,” Rahmer said. “I just want to be the best we can around here.
“I don’t think it’s any different than what we were trying to do in our car, honestly,” Rahmer added. “Try to get in position to win and run up front. That’s all.”