Mercer is Back…in Victory Lane
By: Jill Frischmann
Hickory Motor Speedway
(August 8, 2009 -- Newton, NC) Hot temperatures made for some exciting and intense racing as the drivers of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series hit the track for Woodforest Bank Night at the Races. The night featured appearances by the Advance Auto Parts Limiteds, the Hickory Street Stocks, the Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks and a special 100-lap feature event for the Bojangles Late Models. Drivers of the Bojangles late models thrilled fans during their special 100-lap feature event, hot shoe Andy Mercer even found his way back to victory lane.
The Bojangles Late Models feature event, the Woodforest 100 was action packed from the start. The first caution flew on lap seven when the #6 of Cole Miktuk, the #92 of Candace Muzny and the #17 of Rob Fuller bunched up heading into turn two, sending Muzny spinning around. On lap nine Goff sailed past pole sitter, the #10 of Andy Mercer, using the outside line. It looked liked it was going to be a good night for the #57 of Grant Wimbish as he had moved into the fifth place position by lap 25 from an eleventh place starting spot, but a late race wreck would bring his night to an early end. By lap 43 Mercer had regained his lead and quickly began to pull away from the field. At the half way mark the #01 of David Wilson was in hot pursuit of Wimbish looking to take over the fifth place spot, with Wilson capturing the position on lap 52.
The second caution flew on lap 60 when the #43 of Jesse LeFevers spun around, backing his ride into the outside wall in turn four. From the restart Wilson was on a mission as he sailed to the front of the pack as the field headed out of turn two. Muzny had a point to prove as she was experiencing her best run of the season moving into the top five on lap 68. Caution number three waved on lap 68 when Wimbish got into the #17 of Rob Fuller as they headed out of turn three, sending Fuller for a spin. After a solid run, Goff had pulled in during the caution for his crew to check his ride and discovered he was out of contention due to mechanical issues. From the restart the #81 of Paddy Rodenbeck began to challenge Wilson for second, but on lap 72 the challenge came to an end as Wilson lost a tire as he headed into turn one. Wilson slammed into the outside wall, bringing out the fourth and final caution of the feature. Muzny continued her strong run as she slid passed Rodenbeck as they headed for the front stretch on lap 80, taking over the second place position. Mercer maintained the lead until the end, with Muzny and Rodenbeck following behind. The #88 of Dexter Canipe Jr. and Miktuk completed the top five respectively.
The Advance Auto Parts Limiteds kept things heated up as they hit the track for their 35-lap event. The #17 of pole sitter Kyle Mansch put on a clinic as he sailed around the track leading all 35 laps of the feature. The #33 of Cory Joyce started the excitement early on as he slid through turn four on the first lap; smooth driving by Joyce kept his ride pointed in the right direction as the field cleared the turn. The first and only caution flew on lap 4 when the #14 of Brandon Cox spun around heading out of turn three. It didn't take long for Cox to make his way through the pack as he made his way into seventh by lap 14.
By the half way mark the top five were spread out, leaving the #8 of Mark McIntosh and Cox to battle for sixth. The two traded the spot back and forth until lap 22 when Cox settled into the spot. On lap 24 Joyce began to put the pressure on the #32 of Justin Sorrow as he looked to take over the third place position. Joyce cleared Sorrow on lap 26 and comfortably settled into third. Mansch, the #24 of Taylor Doggett, Joyce, Sorrow and Cox completed the top five.
The Hickory Street Stocks were full of excitement as they headed out on the track for a 30-lap feature event. The #15 of pole sitter Waylon Flynn slowly pulled away from the field while the #1 of Taylor Stricklin and the #03 of Kevin Eby battled for the second place, with Stricklin settling into the spot on lap four. At the mid-point of the feature the #88 of Josh Burchette, the #00 of Donnie Buckner and the #54 of Michael Harris had a tight battle for fifth. On lap 14 Buckner grabbed the position from Burchette and began to pull away. With ten laps to go Stricklin was glued to Flynn's back bumper looking for any opportunity to move out front. The first and only caution came out on the final lap when the #64 of Marshall Sutton lost a tire, spun around and slapped the outside wall in between turns one and two. A green, white checker finish made for intense competition between Flynn and Stricklin. The two ran side by side on the backstretch during the final lap. They continued nose to nose as they came around turn three, but Stricklin shot out of turn four grabbing the checkers leaving Flynn to settle for second. Eby, Buckner and Harris rounded out the top five.
The Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks capped off the night with their eventful 20-lap race. The #90 of Ronnie Sims quickly jumped into the lead moving in front of pole sitter the #88 of Andrew Towery. Towery was quick to battle back regaining his lead on lap three. The first caution fell on lap nine when the #3 of Curtis Pardue went for a spin heading out of turn two. At the restart the #82 of David Hasson missed a shift and fell back in the pack. On lap 13 Pardue pulled off the track bringing his night to an early end. The second and final caution came out on lap 15 when Hasson spun out in turn three. With two laps remaining the #85 of Jeff Weisner hooked up with Sims and shot to the low side to maneuver around Sims to take over the second place position. Towery was able to maintain the top spot as he lead the field to the checkers with Weisner, Sims, the #9 of Scott Bumgarner and Hasson following behind finishing out the top five.
Up Coming Events:
Be sure to join us next Saturday, August 15 th for Sig's Tire Center Fan Appreciation Night. Sig's Tire Center is celebrating its 50 years of service with you, the fan by offering $5 tickets for all adult fans! The night will include appearances by the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series featuring the Bojangles Late Models, the Advance Auto Parts Limiteds, The Bad Boy Mower Super Trucks, the Hickory 4 Cylinders and the Hickory Street Stocks. Grandstands open at 5 PM with qualifying immediately following. An On Track Autograph Session will take place at 6 PM with feature racing action at 7 PM. Two lucky kids will go home with backpacks full of school supplies just in time for the new school year. Hickory Motor Speedway will also have a little yellow school bus on site in support of “Stuff the Bus for Catawba County Schools”. Fans are encouraged to bring school supplies to the races in order to “Stuff the Bus” in support of students in the Catawba Valley.
Remember if you're not here, you're missing out!
Pole Award Winners
Bojangles Late Models: 10 – Andy Mercer – 15.207 seconds
Advance Auto Parts Limiteds:17 – Kyle Mansch – 15.790 seconds
Hickory Street Stocks:15 – Waylon Flynn – 16.906 seconds
Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks:88 – Andrew Towery – 19.103 seconds
Tommy Johnson's Performance Parts Warehouse Hard Charger Winners
Bojangles Late Models:36 – Neil Meredith
Advance Auto Parts Limiteds:14 – Brandon Cox
Hickory Street Stocks: 54 – Michael Harris
Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks: 85 – Jeff Weisner
Hickory Motor Speedway
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
UN-OFFICIAL RACE RESULTS
LATE MODEL STOCKS 1. 10 Andy Mercer 2. 92 Candace Muzny 3. 81 Paddy Rodenbeck. 4. 88 Dexter Canipe Jr. 5. 6 Cole Miktuk 6. 36 Neil Meredith 7. 51 Josh Wimbish 8. 19 Kyle Moon 9. 43 Jesse LeFevers 10. 22 Toby Parese 11. 51 Chris Lawson 12. 01 David Wilson 13. 57 Grant Wimbish 14. 33 James Goff 15. 17 Rob Fuller
STREET STOCKS 1. 15 Waylon Flynn 2. 03 Kevin Eby 3. 00 Donnie Buckner 4. 54 Michael Harris 5. 88 Josh Burchette 6. 32 Jeremy Harrell 7. 4 Shane McKee 8. 64 Marshall Sutton 9. 98 John Ross 10. 9 Jon Austin 11. 1 Taylor Stricklin – DQ (pending results)
LIMITED LATE MODEL 1. 17 Kyle Mansch 2. 24 Taylor Doggett 3. 33 Cory Joyce 4. 32 Justin Sorrow 5. 14 Brandon Cox 6. 7 Jason Crouse 7. 8 Mark McIntosh 8. 37 Walter Hoke 9. 6 Brandon Hudnall 10. 66 Travis Byrd 11 84 Donnie Harmon
HOBBY STOCKS 1. 88 Andrew Towery 2. 85 Jeff Weisner 3. 90 Ronnie Sims 4. 9 Scott Bumgarner 5. 82 David Hasson 6. 3 Curtis Pardue 7. -1 Ronald McNeill