From Williams Grove, photo from Steve Lanford

MECHANICSURG, PA — Fred Rahmer used a bold inside move through turns three and four to wrest the lead from Doug Esh on lap 24, then went on to win the 25-lap Eastern opener for sprint cars Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway. Esh started on the pole after passing points and a draw determined the lineup. Esh set the early pace with Brian Montieth closing on him before a spin on lap five sent Montieth to the rear of a strong 24-car field. Rahmer, who started third, stayed within striking distance of Esh until an 18th-lap caution. On the restart Rahmer and Esh exchanged the lead twice on the same lap before Esh regained control. Rahmer made his move entering turn three on lap 24. He exited turn four with the lead, but suddenly Greg Hodnett, who started 13th, entered the picture. Hodnett drove by Esh and was glued to Rahmer’s rear bumper at the finish. Esh settled for third. Brian Leppo came from ninth to finish fourth andTodd Shaffer, who started eleventh, completed the top five. Chad Layton, Danny Dietrich, Dave Ely, Mark Smith and Rick Lafferty finished in positions six through ten respectively. The victory, worth $3600, was the 82nd of Rahmer’s legendary career at Williams Grove, and gave him the early lead for the $20,000 Lawrence Chevrolet championship. Rahmer left little doubt about his intentions for the remainder of the season when he emphatically stated, “I will be the champion!” It was his fifth victory in a Grove opener and each of the previous times he has gone on to win the championship. Heats for the 29 sprint cars in competition were claimed by Ryan Taylor, Montieth and Rahmer. Steve Buckwalter won the consolation race. In the 20-lap 358 c.i. sprint feature, Jason Shultz took the lead from Matt Boland at the start and went on to set the pace for the first 18 laps. Defending division champion Cory Haas made a bid for the lead oln lap 18, but he and Shultz made contact with Haas flipping on the frontstretch and Shultz forced to retire on the restart.

. Blane Heimbach, who started 10th, took over at this point and rolled to his fifth career win at Williams Grove. Matt Boland, T. J. Stutts, Nate Snyder and Pat Cannon completed the top five. Heats for the 38 358 c.i. sprints went to Cannon, Haas, Tony Smolenyak and Colby Womer. Nate Hammaker and Eric Tomecek won the consolation races.

Williams Grove Speedway Feature Finishes – March 19, 2010

Sprint Car Feature – 25 laps – 1. Fred Rahmer, 2. Greg Hodnett, 3. Doug Esh, 4. Brian Leppo, 5. Todd Shaffer, 6. Chad Layton, 8. Dave Ely, 9. Mark Smith, 10. Rick Lafferty, 11. Curt Michael, 12. Brian Montieth, 13. Johnny Mackison, Jr., 14. Aaron Ott, 15. Brent Marks, 16. Chris Meleason, 17. Don Kreitz, Jr., 18. Alan Krimes, 19. A. J. Michael, 2.Davey Sammons, 21. Tyler Walker, 22. Adam Wilt, 23. Steve Buckwalter, 24. Ryan Taylor

358 c.i. Sprint Feature – 20 laps – 1. Blane Heimbach, 2. Matt Boland, 3. T. J. Stutts, 4. Nate Snyder, 5. Pat Cannon, 6. Chad Criswell, 7. Colby Womer, 8. Kyle Moody, 9. Scott Geesey, 10. Billy Dietrich, 11. Eric Tomecek, 12. Nate Hammaker, 13. Danny Massey, 14. Brie Hershey, 15. Doug Hammaker, 16. Mike Ressler, 17. Glenndon Forsythe, 18. Jessica Anderson, 19. Jason Shultz, 20. Scott Flammer, 21. Cory Haas, 22. Kevin Nagy, 23. Logan Schuchart, 24. Chad