SELINSGROVE, Pa. (September 15, 2018) - Holding off a hard charging Freddie Rahmer, the ‘Kunkletown Kid’ Ryan Smith put fans on their feet on Saturday night in Central Pennsylvania, ultimately earning a first-ever Jim Nace Memorial/National Open victory at Selinsgrove Speedway.
For Smith, the route to Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victory lane was not only challenging for the driver, but also challenging for the crew, as the team discovered a hole in the right-rear tire during an open red just before the midpoint of the 30-lap main event. Despite the setback, Smith and his team prevailed, eventually leading every lap to score the $10,000 payday.
The All Star victory, aboard the Mike McGhee & Associates No. 11, was Smith’s second of the 2018 season and his eighth overall with the Series. Freddie Rahmer held on to finish, just ahead of Brian Brown, Lucas Wolfe and TJ Stutts.
“This is all because of the crew guys standing behind me,” an elated Ryan Smith said in victory lane. “We started on this thing in May. We struggled some at first, but we kept getting faster and faster and now here we are in September with a big win. They work their butts off, that’s for sure. I definitely wouldn’t be standing here without their hard work and support.”
Ryan Smith and TJ Stutts led the field to green on Saturday night at Selinsgrove Speedway. Although Smith was able to get the initial jump, it was Salfordville, Pennsylvania’s Freddie Rahmer who was making the early moves, actually advancing from eighth to fifth by the time the leaders crossed under the flagstand to complete the first circuit.
The top-five remained unchanged until the main event’s first caution appeared on lap six for a slowing Michael Walter. When green flag action returned, Freddie Rahmer made another move toward the front, this time driving around Lucas Wolfe to take the fourth spot. Just three circuits later, Rahmer pounced again, this time taking the third position from TJ Stutts.
Traffic came into play for the first time on lap 13 which slowed Smith’s pace at the front of the field, ultimately allowing Brian Brown, who raced in the runner-up spot the entire distance, and Rahmer to catch Smith in a hurry. The very next circuit, Rahmer advanced in the running order yet again, this time beating Brian Brown in a drag race off of turn four to complete lap 14. A caution on lap 15 for a slowing Tyler Esh halted the feature field yet again allowing Rahmer to catch his breath. Due to the number of combined laps completed, the main event’s second caution resulted in a fuel stop.
During the five minute open red stop, Ryan Smith’s team noticed a hole in their right-rear tire. Instead of replacing the tire and forfeiting the lead, the team decided to plug the hole and attempt to finish the final 16 circuits. The decision proved to be worth $10,000, but not without a fight from Freddie Rahmer.
The field returned to green with Ryan Smith in control once again over Rahmer, Brown, Wolfe and Stutts. Although the action was limited for the next few circuits, it was what happened after the feature’s third and final caution on lap 23 that created the stir at the front of the field. When the green lights kicked back on, so did Freddie Rahmer, instantly applying pressure on Smith as the pair completed lap 23. By lap 24, Rahmer was all over the ‘Kunkletown Kid,’ actually pulling even with Smith to create a side-by-side battle for the lead.
Although the wheel-to-wheel battle ended in Smith’s favor, Rahmer was far from raising the white flag. The recent All Star winner at Port Royal Speedway threw everything he had at Smith for the next three circuits, pounding the cushion as Smith ran the bottom, nearly driving around Smith in turn four on three consecutive occasions. Despite Rahmer’s mad attempts, Smith prevailed, eventually pulling away to a 1.3 second advantage at the final checkers.
“I really wasn’t sure where to go there after that last restart,” Ryan Smith explained. “During the fuel stop, my crew was actually telling me to run the bottom, but I was so comfortable running the top. I knew Freddie [Rahmer] was going to be good, but if he was that good, he was going to have to drive around me.”
Only two events remain on the 2018 Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 schedule including a stop at the legendary Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, on Saturday, September 22. Joining all three divisions of USAC, Tony Stewart’s All Stars will help headline the 37th running of the 4-Crown Nationals which will also feature the USAC National Midgets, USAC National Sprint Cars and the USAC Silver Crown Series. The 4-Crown Nationals weekend at The Big E will actually begin on Friday, September 21, with World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series competition.
Those seeking more news and notes regarding the 4-Crown Nationals blockbuster at Eldora Speedway should visit the facility live on the Web at www.eldoraspeedway.com.
Contingency Awards/Results: Selinsgrove Speedway - September 15, 2018:
Jim Nace Memorial/36th Annual National Open
EMi Driver’s Meeting: 31 entrants
State Water Heaters Warm-Ups: Brian Brown - 16.159 seconds
Lincoln Electric Fast Qualifier: Aaron Reutzel - 15.876 seconds
Ford Performance Heat #1: Chad Kemenah
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2: Lucas Wolfe
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3: Greg Hodnett
Mobil 1 Heat #4: Dave Blaney
JE Pistons Dash #1: Ryan Smith
WIX Filters Dash #2: TJ Stutts
Classic Ink USA B-Main: Cale Conley
Daido Engine Bearings Main Event Winner: Ryan Smith
MSD Performance Hard Charger Award: Freddie Rahmer (+6)
(Lincoln Electric, Daido Engine Bearings, MSD Performance: Need decal to qualify for contingency award)
1. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 15.876; 2. 21-Brian Brown, 15.992; 3. 44-Trey Starks, 16.211; 4. 10H-Chad Kemenah, 16.351; 5. 5T-Tyler Reeser, 16.390; 6. 39M-Anthony Macri, 16.439; 7. 35-Tyler Esh, 16.664; 8. 22-Brandon Spithaler, 99.000
1. 11-Ryan Smith, 16.087; 2. 11T-TJ Stutts, 16.091; 3. 24-Lucas Wolfe, 16.149; 4. 20-Ryan Taylor, 16.405; 5. 17B-Steve Buckwalter, 16.490; 6. 3G-Carson Macedo, 16.618; 7. 11S-Jim Shuster, 16.823; 8. 10-Joe Kata, 17.437
1. 48-Danny Dietrich, 16.158; 2. 33-Jared Esh, 16.214; 3. 27-Greg Hodnett, 16.228; 4. 1R-Kyle Reinhardt, 16.255; 5. 4-Brock Zearfoss, 16.275; 6. 7K-Cale Conley, 16.500; 7. 8S-Trenton Sheaffer, 16.663; 8. 9-Ryan Linder, 17.024
1. 51-Freddie Rahmer, 16.092; 2. 13-Paul McMahan, 16.133; 3. 70-Dave Blaney, 16.177; 4. 29-Jason Shultz, 16.219; 5. 12-Blane Heimbach, 16.292; 6. 49-Mallie Shuster, 16.972; 7. 33W-Michael Walter, 17.122
Heat #1 - Group (A) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
1. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 2. 21-Brian Brown ; 3. 87-Aaron Reutzel ; 4. 39M-Anthony Macri ; 5. 35-Tyler Esh ; 6. 44-Trey Starks ; 7. 5T-Tyler Reeser ; 8. 22-Brandon Spithaler 
Heat #2 - Group (B) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
1. 24-Lucas Wolfe ; 2. 11-Ryan Smith ; 3. 11T-TJ Stutts ; 4. 3G-Carson Macedo ; 5. 17B-Steve Buckwalter ; 6. 11S-Jim Shuster ; 7. 10-Joe Kata ; 8. 20-Ryan Taylor 
Heat #3 - Group (C) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
1. 27-Greg Hodnett ; 2. 1R-Kyle Reinhardt ; 3. 4-Brock Zearfoss ; 4. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 5. 33-Jared Esh ; 6. 7K-Cale Conley ; 7. 8S-Trenton Sheaffer ; 8. 9-Ryan Linder 
Heat #4 - Group (D) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
1. 70-Dave Blaney ; 2. 51-Freddie Rahmer ; 3. 13-Paul McMahan ; 4. 12-Blane Heimbach ; 5. 29-Jason Shultz ; 6. 33W-Michael Walter ; 7. 49-Mallie Shuster 
Dash #1 (4 Laps)
1. 11-Ryan Smith ; 2. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 3. 27-Greg Hodnett ; 4. 70-Dave Blaney ; 5. 87-Aaron Reutzel 
Dash #2 (4 Laps)
1. 11T-TJ Stutts ; 2. 21-Brian Brown ; 3. 24-Lucas Wolfe ; 4. 51-Freddie Rahmer ; 5. 1R-Kyle Reinhardt 
B-Main (12 Laps) - Top 4 Transfer
1. 7K-Cale Conley ; 2. 8S-Trenton Sheaffer ; 3. 33W-Michael Walter ; 4. 9-Ryan Linder ; 5. 10-Joe Kata ; 6. 49-Mallie Shuster ; 7. 11S-Jim Shuster 
A-Main (30 Laps)
1. 11-Ryan Smith ; 2. 51-Freddie Rahmer ; 3. 21-Brian Brown ; 4. 24-Lucas Wolfe ; 5. 11T-TJ Stutts ; 6. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 7. 27-Greg Hodnett ; 8. 12-Blane Heimbach ; 9. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 10. 13-Paul McMahan ; 11. 87-Aaron Reutzel ; 12. 29-Jason Shultz ; 13. 3G-Carson Macedo ; 14. 70-Dave Blaney ; 15. 39M-Anthony Macri ; 16. 7K-Cale Conley ; 17. 17B-Steve Buckwalter ; 18. 33-Jared Esh ; 19. 8S-Trenton Sheaffer ; 20. 4-Brock Zearfoss ; 21. 35-Tyler Esh ; 22. 9-Ryan Linder ; 23. 1R-Kyle Reinhardt ; 24. 33W-Michael Walter  Lap Leaders: Ryan Smith (1-30)
All Star Circuit of Champions Driver Standings: (after Selinsgrove Speedway on 9/15/2018)
1. Aaron Reutzel - 5312
2. Carson Macedo - 5296
3. Chad Kemenah - 5198
4. Paul McMahan - 5048
5. Dave Blaney - 4878
6. Cale Conley - 4620
7. Brandon Spithaler - 4320
8. Tyler Esh - 4056
9. Jac Haudenschild - 3952
10. Parker Price-Miller - 3848
About the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1:
All Star Enterprises, LLC, wholly owned by Tony Stewart, d/b/a the All Star Circuit of Champions, is a winged sprint car series. The All-Star Circuit of Champions Sprint Car Series is one of the oldest traveling 410 sprint car organizations and is a staple of grassroots, open-wheel racing. Formed in 1970 by Bud Miller, the series has largely been considered the first 'outlaw' Sprint Car organization of the modern era. Motorsports entrepreneur Tony Stewart agreed to terms with Guy Webb to become the sole owner of the original winged sprint car tour in January of 2015. In 2018, MAVTV Motorsports Network will be the official television home of the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 and will broadcast eight high-profile events.
About Arctic Cat:
For more than 50 years, the Arctic Cat snowmobile brand has stood as one of the most widely recognized and respected in the industry. Today Arctic Cat’s snowmobile product lines span more than 50 different models, with offerings for every style of riding, from trail-riding with the family, to long-distance touring with friends, to mountain sleds to handle the most severe backcountry conditions. For more information, visit: www.arcticcat.com.
About Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc:
Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of golf cars, utility and personal transportation vehicles, snowmobiles, side-by-sides, all-terrain vehicles, professional turf-care equipment, and ground support equipment. Textron Specialized Vehicles markets products under the E-Z-GO®, Cushman®, Arctic Cat®, Textron Off Road™, Jacobsen®, Dixie Chopper®, Ransomes®, TUG™, Douglas™, Premier™ and Safeaero™ brands. Its vehicles are found in environments ranging from golf courses to factories, airports to planned communities, and theme parks to hunting preserves.
About Mobil 1:
The world's leading synthetic motor oil brand, Mobil 1™ features anti-wear technology that provides performance beyond our conventional motor oils. This technology allows Mobil 1 to meet or exceed the toughest standards of car builders and to provide exceptional protection against engine wear, under normal or even some of the most extreme conditions. Mobil 1 flows quickly in extreme temperatures to protect critical engine parts and is designed to maximize engine performance and help extend engine life.
Mobil, Mobil 1 and Mobil 1 Racing are registered trademarks of Exxon Mobil Corporation or one of its subsidiaries.
Visit the Tony Stewart's All Star Circuit of Champions show page for more information.