By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE -- Pat Cannon might be the man over the past few years when it comes to winning the 410 National Open Jim Nace Memorial. But, if this is Fred Rahmer's final run at the speedway, he left a lasting impression on the packed house of race fans.
Cannon, of Etters, led all 44 laps and took home $13,936 for his efforts en route to becoming the third driver to win the race three years in a row.
"I am plum wore out," he said. "I wore the brakes off in the first two laps of the heat race as we've been chasing a vibration in the engine all year. This is awesome to win this race against the best drivers in the world.":
Cannon led the first 24 laps of the feature when the field came to a fuel stop.
The lone caution of the race came on lap 26 when Danny Dietrich slowed on the track.
On the restart, Lance Dewease, who was running second at the time, drove to the low side of turns 1 and 2 to pass Cannon, but was unable to clear him.
"We were really free, especially with a load of fuel in the car," Dewease said. "I knew that if we didn't get that fixed under the fuel stop, we were going to kill the left rear tire and that's what we did."
After he couldn't get past Cannon, Dewease then found himself in a dogfight with Rahmer.
Rahmer, a five-time winner of the National Open and a 54-time 410 sprint car winner at the track, passed Dewease on the outside of Turn 2 to take over the runner-up spot on lap 28.
Dewease then re-took the runner-up spot before Rahmer pulled a slide job on lap 30 to secure second for good.
At that point, Rahmer trailed Cannon by more than two seconds.
He was on a mission.
"I really wanted to win this race," he said. "I was hitting my marks about 80 percent of the time and just couldn't get past those lapped cars."
By lap 33, Rahmer was cutting into Cannon's lead and he got it down to under a second by lap 38.
"I had to slow down at the end for the lapped car and that's when I saw Fred's nose," Cannon said. "You can race guys like Fred and Lance very clean."
Rahmer got as close as two car lengths on lap 41, but that would be as close as he got over the final three laps.
Finishing behind Cannon and Rahmer was Dewease with Greg Hodnett and Stevie Smith rounding out the top five.
Sixth through 10th were Aaron Ott, Brent Marks, Chad Layton, Mike Erdley and Steve Buckwalter.
Heats for the 30 410 sprint cars were won by Dietrich, Brian Leppo and Rahmer.
Hodnett was the first driver to break into the 16-second bracket in qualifying, the latter coming in the 1998 Open.
Layton won the B-Main in a non-stop, 10-lap track record of 2 minutes, 48.95-seconds.
The 410 sprint cars will have one final race at Selinsgrove on Sunday, Oct. 4, a Twin-20s program. The date will not be used if Williams Grove has to use it for a rain date for the World of Outlaws-sanctioned National Open.
The first 24 laps went non-stop as Cannon lead Brian Leppo at the break by 1.6 seconds. Cannon jumped out to the lead at the start from his outside pole position with Leppo following closely in second.
Some of the top 410 sprint car drivers in the world were weaving in and out of lapped traffic by lap 7.
Greg Hodnett, who set fast time in time trials, moved into fifth on lap 7, getting by Rahmer who had run in the top-five for six circuits. Hodnett and Rahmer then swapped the position back and forth for several laps.
By lap 11, Leppo moved in on Cannon for the lead and was as close as .770 seconds at the line before Cannon stretched the lead over the next 13 laps.
Dewease moved into third on lap 13 and took over the runner-up spot when Leppo pulled in at the fuel stop with a blown engine. Rahmer then closed in on Smith for fourth on lap 21 and would move to third at the fuel stop.
Matt Cochran of Williamsport won the caution-filled 25-lap feature. Heats for the 27 late models were won by Pancho Lawler and Andy Haus. The consolation was won by Glenn Elliott.