Fred Rahmer’s Next Chapter
Editor’s Note: National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Fred Rahmer retired in October following a spectacular career that saw him win 519 features. Here’s an excerpt from Toddy Heintzelman’s profile on Rahmer in the December issue of SPEED SPORT Magazine.
Fred Rahmer, of Salfordville in Eastern Pennsylvania, won seven features in his final season, pushing his sprint car victory total to 420 and his career total to 519 with 99 wins in modifieds. Rahmer’s consistency was incredible. He had 66 starts with 40 top-five finishes and 61 top 10s. He wasn’t out of the top 10 in his first 42 starts.
Rahmer turned 55 in March. He will be missed on track, but there will be Rahmers in the field as his boys will take to the track next season after getting their feet wet the past few years driving speedsters and 305 sprints. Rahmer’s longtime mechanic, Moon Byers, will continue helping the boys.
“The next Rahmers will be my boys,” he said. “They’re going to run (at Lincoln) and I’m going to make them learn to pass cars and start them in the back as long as I think I have to. I don’t want to teach them to back through the field. I want to teach them to be able to pass cars. If it takes all year, that’s what it’s going to be. I think it’s the best way and the most respectful way to these other guys. I don’t think it’s right that anybody just plunks their kid in there and says, ‘Hey we can afford to get a car, have at ’er.’ I don’t think it’s right for the other guys that have paid their dues. We’ll see. When they’re in control, maybe we’ll let them start up front.”
Rahmer has some other plans as well.
“I’ve got one or two other things that are going to happen that will be interesting,” said Rahmer. “I’m not going away; just not doing what I’m doing now. I still love racing and I like the people at the races. Driving and the pressures of driving have worn me down.”
Rahmer won 99 modified races before turning to sprint cars in the mid-1980s.
“I can’t even fathom when you look back,” said Rahmer. “I think (wife, Debbie) said that was my 28th track title in open-wheel cars. That’s ridiculous. When you respect the guys you race with and you know what they’re capable of, and then to be able to do that 28 times. It’s pretty cool. I got lucky a lot of times and worked hard. It’s pretty neat.”