Mercer Races his way back to Victory Lane
Story by:Jill Frischmann
Hickory Motor Speedway News
(Newton, NC -- May 2, 2009) Fans were on the edge of their seats during S&S Exteriors Night at the Races as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers took to the track for intense racing action at the Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars, Hickory Motor Speedway. The night featured appearances by the Bojangles Late Models, the Advance Auto Parts Limiteds, the Hickory 4 Cylinders, the Hickory Street Stocks and Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks. It was the #10 of Andy Mercer who stole the show during the Bojangles Late Model feature, coming in first for the fourth week in a row.
The racing during the Bojangles Late Models 50 lap feature was filled with excitement from the first lap, as the #51 of Josh Wimbish bobbled coming out of turn four. Wimbish was unable to control his ride after he lost control and went for a spin making contact with the front stretch inside wall, bringing out the first caution. Caution number two flew when the # 36 of Neil Meredith experienced mechanical issues as he came down the front stretch with sparks shooting out of the back of his car on lap four. It was smooth sailing until lap 16 when the #57 of Grant Wimbish and the #92 of Candace Muzny made contact racing side by side as they headed out of turn four. Muzny's ride was a whirlwind heading out of the turn, just as Josh Wimbish came into turn four he slammed on the brakes in order to miss Muzny.
It wasn't the night Muzny was hoping for as she hit the spin cycle for a second time on lap 25, bringing out the fourth and final caution. The #30 of Jesse LeFevers, started the day out with a bang, literally. Due to a crash during practice, LeFevers was forced into a back-up ride for the evening which didn't play out too badly. LeFevers was able to work his way from the back of the pack to the fourth place position by lap 30. LeFevers was on a mission with only ten laps to go as he began to battle the #88 of Dexter Canipe Jr. for third. It didn't take LeFevers long to make his move and complete the pass as he was scored in the third place position by lap 41. Mercer, the pole sitter, was able to keep his car out front and lead every lap of the feature leaving the #25 of David Wilson, LeFevers, Canipe Jr. and the #8 of Brennan Poole to complete the top five.
The Advance Auto Parts Limiteds put on a great show of clean caution free racing during their 35 lap event. It didn't take long for the field to spread out with pole sitter, the #17 of Kyle Mansch, leading the train. Mansch was a dominating force once again, as he created a five car lead over the field by lap five. It was an intense battle for second place between the #07 of Tyler Church and the #2 of Travis McIntire as the two took it three wide with lap traffic heading out of turn four. McIntire got out of the throttle as they headed out of the turn allowing Church to easily maintain his second place starting position. McIntire's loss of momentum allowed him to fall prey to #28 of Chris Chapman as he flew past stealing the third place finishing position, leaving McIntire to settle for fourth. The #49 of Josh Wright rounded out the top five respectively.
The Hickory 4 Cylinders kept the excitement pumping as the #59 of Donn Wardo spun out heading into turn four on the first lap of the 25 lap race. Wardo was able to get his car back under control before the field came back around the track, so no caution was called. It didn't take long for the caution flag to make an appearance, however. On lap nine the #21 of Todd Harrington spun heading out of turn three. The #9 of Randy Canipe did all he could to miss making contact with Harrington, but he didn't have any luck as he clipped the nose of Harrington's car, sending debris flying towards the infield causing the first caution to fly. From the restart it was the #4 of pole sitter Adam Beaver blazing the trail for his fellow competitors, as he took a commanding lead over the field.
With only two laps to go the #16 of Randy Freeze came to a crawl on the track as he began to experience mechanical issues, bringing out the second and final caution. It was a green, white, checkered finish with Beaver in the lead. Beaver was too strong for the field to touch him leaving Canipe, the #18 of Devon Haun, the #48 of Doug Setzer and the #17 of Curtis Pardue to complete the event in second through fifth place.
The action of the evening didn't stop as the Hickory Street Stocks hit the asphalt for a 30 lap feature. The Street Stocks also saw their first caution drop on lap number one as the #32 of Jeremy Harrell spun out as the field headed into turn two. The back of the field did a great job avoiding Harrell's spinning ride without incident. At the restart the #15 of pole sitter Waylon Flynn pulled away from the field leaving the #11 of Donnie Buckner and the #88 of Josh Burchette to duke it out for second. The two raced side by side for several laps trading the position back and forth until lap 15 when Burchette jumped to the inside and completed the pass as they drove out of turn two. The second and final caution fell on lap 21 when the #99 of Jonathan Smith went sliding down the back stretch. With only 7 laps remaining Buckner was black flagged pulling him to the back of the field allowing the #03 of Kevin Eby, the #7 of Gary Ledbetter and the #64 of Marshall Sutton to finish in the top five spots.
The Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks didn't disappoint the fans as they heading out on the track for their 20 lap bumper car feature. The #90 of Ronnie Sims looked for an opportunity to steal the lead early in the race from the #85 of Jeff Weisner. Sims went high and he went low, but he just didn't have enough to make it around Weisner. Early in the event the #88 of Andrew Towery had his nose glued to the tail of the #-1 ride of Ronald Dale McNeill. The two ran this way until lap 7 when they headed down the back stretch and McNeill went spinning, bringing out caution number one. On lap eight, the #82 of Bradley Hasson slammed into the back end of Sims as the field drove out of turn four. Talented driving by Sims allowed him to keep his ride out of trouble, but it did cause him to loose momentum allowing Hasson to move into the second place position.
Sims, looking to take back his position, made his move on lap 11 as he sent Hasson spinning down the back stretch bringing out caution number two. It seemed as though it was going to be smooth sailing for the remainder of the feature, until McNeill spun around on the back stretch with only two laps remaining, bringing out the third and final caution. From the restart Sims looked for his chance to grab the lead. Sims traveled the high side, but Weisner was too much to over take, leaving Sims to settle for a second place finish. Hasson, the #01 of Paul Wyatt and the #9 of Scott Bumgarner completed the top five.
Be sure to join us at the track next Saturday, May 9 th as the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series take to the track for Saturday Night at the Races. The night will feature appearances by the Bojangles Late Models, the Advance Auto Parts Limiteds, the Bad Boy Mower Super Trucks, the Hickory Street Stocks and the Red Barron Race Parts Hobby Stocks. Fans can also register for their chance to win a 42 flat screen television, scheduled to be given away on May 30 th .
Grandstands open at 5:00 PM with qualifying immediately following, an On Track Autograph Session will take place at 6:00 PM, with feature racing action beginning at 7:00 PM. Tickets are only $10 for adults, $7 for Seniors and Teens, $4 for kids 7-12 with 6 and under FREE! Don't miss the great deals for the family; Family Packs ONLY $25 (2 adults and all of their children under 12). For more information visit www.hickorymotorspeedway.com or call 828-464-3655.
Remember, if you're not here you're missing out!
Bojangles Late Models:#10 Andy Mercer 15.198 seconds
Advance Auto Parts Limiteds:#17 Kyle Mansch 15.762 seconds
Hickory 4 Cylinders:#4 Adam Beaver 16.443 seconds
Hickory Street Stocks:#15 Waylon Flynn 16.851 seconds
Tommy Johnson's Motorsports Warehouse Hard Charger Winners:
Bojangles Late Models: #30 Jesse LeFevers
Advanced Auto Parts Limiteds:#14 Brandon Cox
Hickory 4 Cylinders: #48 Doug Setzer
Hickory Street Stocks:#7 Gary Ledbetter
Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks:#82 Bradley Hasson
Unofficial Race Results:
Bojangles Late Models:
Advance Auto Parts Limiteds:
Hickory 4 Cylinders:
Hickory Street Stocks:
Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks: