| Mercer Dominates during Xtreme Trophies Night at the Races
By: Jill Frischmann, Hickory Motor Speedway
June 28, 2008
(Newton, NC) Rain made an appearance and washed the track clean a second week in a row at “The Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars”, Hickory Motor Speedway. Festivities at the speedway were delayed due to rainfall which called for time trials to be cancelled. Divisions were lined up based on season points standings, as stated in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series rule book, for “Xtreme Trophies Night at the Races”. Fans may have had to wait a bit for the action to begin, but once it did they certainly were not disappointed.
It didn't take the #10 of Andy Mercer long to show his dominance during the Bojangles Late Models 100 lap feature, jumping out to the front as soon as the green flag waved. Mercer was able to hold onto his commanding lead for the duration of the feature. It only took seven laps for the first caution to fly as the #51 of Chris Lawson got loose coming out of turn one. Lawson fishtailed down the front stretch eventually propelling him into the outside wall. The #17 of Rob Fuller tried to miss the back end of the sideways Lawson, but was unable to avoid the car clipping the back end of Lawson's ride. The second caution flew on lap 15 when the #89 of David Latour Jr. and the #33 James Goff made contact heading out of turn three, sending Goff into the outside wall and Latour Jr. to the back of the pack for the restart.
The #42 of Todd Goble began to lose momentum on track as the feature neared its mid point. On lap 37 the #25 of Sam Watts dived under Goble for third place bringing Fuller along for the ride. Fuller began his move to the front of the pack. On lap 45 Fuller gets Goble loose coming off of turn three, and Goble loses momentum, allowing Fuller to overtake him on the low side, sliding into the third place position. At the half way mark, Fuller began his battle with the #29 of Andy Loden for second. Fuller captured the position coming off of four on lap 59, but he made contact with Loden on the back stretch falling back into third. Fuller made another move on Loden on lap 72 using the same strategy from a few laps back, allowing him grab the position and pull away from Loden. “Coming from dead last to second tonight, that's a tribute to my team,” Fuller later stated during a post race interview.
With 20 to go, Watts began his battle with Loden for third. After several attempts to take over Loden using the inside line, Watts would have to settle for fourth, with the #70 of Brit Andersen trailing slightly behind in fifth.
Dominance seemed to be the theme of Xtreme Trophies Night at the Races, displayed by the #97 of Keith Bumgarner during the 50 lap special feature for the Advance Auto Parts Super Trucks. Bumgarner was off to a commanding lead the moment the green flag dropped. The #69 of Trevor Hignutt didn't waste time and immediately jumped into the second place position. By lap 10, Bumgarner was moving in on lap traffic, using it to his advantage as his lead over the field increased. By the mid point, the battle to watch was for the third place position as the #59 of Rock Harris and the #94 of Ben Ebeling went head to head, with Harris proving the victor.
The first and only caution of the event flew on lap 41 when the #34 of Ernie Harris found himself in the spin cycle coming out of turn four. With only a few laps remaining, Harris made his move on Hignutt trying to capture a second place finish. The two battled back and forth up to the moment they crossed the finish line, Hignutt in second and Harris in third. “I've got to thank Rock for running me clean,” Hignutt stated during his post race interview. Loden and Ebeling rounded out the top five.
The Hickory Pro 4's brought it all as they took to the track for the 25 lap feature. Eager drivers caused Hickory Motor Speedway officials to call for a “re-do” on the start. The #21 of Todd Harrington jumped out to the lead at the start, but it didn't take long for the #57 of Josh Wimbish to battle back as he moved back into his first place position by lap two. On lap three, the #17 of Curtis Pardue wobbled coming out of turn two, losing momentum allowing the #99 of Matt Elledge, the #09 of Randy Canipe, the #9 of Shane Canipe and the #66 of Scott Wallace all to pass, moving up in track position from third thru sixth. On lap 20, Harrington made another attempt to grab the lead from Wimbish, but Wimbish was too much for Harrington as he grabbed the checkered flag.
The Hickory Street Stocks made the phrase, “Save the Best for Last,” a true statement during the 30 lap feature on “Xtreme Trophies Night at the Races”. The competition proved to be intense as the first caution flew on lap one when the #3 of Bruce Kirkendall and the #1 of Taylor Stricklin made contact coming off of turn one sending both for a spin towards the inside wall. The second caution didn't take long to fall when the #55 of Waylon Flynn spun on the front stretch, heading nose first into the inside wall on lap eight.
From the restart, the #00 of Bill Lett made a run on the #6 of Marshall Sutton capturing the lead. Just as Lett began to pull away from the field the #5 of Mike Newton began to battle Sutton for the second place position. As Newton made the pass on Sutton, he brought along the #03 of Kevin Eby, but Eby wasn't content in third as he sped around Newton grabbing the second place position, leaving Newton in third and Sutton in fourth. With two laps to go the #32 of Jeremy Harrell made contact with Stricklin as they headed into turn one, sending Stricklin hard into the outside wall bringing out the third and final caution. On the restart, Sutton tried the inside one last time, trying to move back into the top three. Sutton would have to settle for fourth with the #71 of Robert DiVanna finishing fifth respectively.
Hickory Motor Speedway will be taking next Saturday, July 5 th off to celebrate the independence of the greatest nation in the world, the United States of America. Be sure to join us the following Saturday, July 12, for “Carolina West Wireless Night at the Races” featuring the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. The night will include appearances by the Bojangles Late Models, the Jewelry Exchange Limited Late Models, the Hickory Street Stocks, the Advance Auto Parts Super Trucks, and the Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks. Grandstands open at 5 PM with qualifying immediately following. An On Track Autograph Session featuring the Street Stocks will take place at 6 PM with feature racing action beginning at 7 PM. Tickets are only $10 for adults, $8 for teens and seniors, $5 for kids 7-12 and kids 6 and under are free. Be sure to bring out the whole family for a night of family fun with exciting high speed racing action, family packs for this special event are only $25 and on sale NOW!
For more information please visit our website at www.hickorymotorspeedway.com or by phone at 828-464-3655. We can't wait to see you at the races!
Hickory Motor Speedway is a .363 mile asphalt track. The track held its first event in June of 1951 posting Gwyn Staley as the event winner. Hickory Motor Speedway has supported series such as the now Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. Currently the Speedway is sanctioned by NASCAR featuring the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. The Speedway also hosts a wide variety of touring series that travel throughout the country.
Hickory Motor Speedway runs Saturday nights, mid-March through October. Grandstands open at 5 PM with racing beginning at 7 PM.
For more information visit www.hickorymotorspeedway.com.
Bojangles Late Model 100
Advance Auto Parts Super Trucks 50
Hickory Pro 4's 25
Hickory Street Stocks 30
WynnCom Pole Award
Qualifying Canceled due to Weather