Mercer brings it Home Again!

By: Jill Frischmann
Hickory Motor Speedway News
May 23, 2009
Photos by: Legacy Video & Photography

(May 30, 2009 -- Newton, NC) It was a night like no other at the Birthplace of the NASCAR Stars, Hickory Motor Speedway. High School Athletics Fan Night at the Races presented by Pepsi featured appearances by the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series with special appearances from some of the high school football coaches from the Catawba Valley. The Bojangles Late Models hit the track along with Advance Auto Parts Limiteds, the Hickory Street Stocks, the Hickory 4 Cylinder and the Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks and the high school football coaches from around the Catawba Valley during a golf cart race. The excitement didn't stop there, fans had an opportunity to win many great prizes like a digital camera for kids, an mp3 player and one lucky adult went home with a 42 inch flat screen VIZIO television.

The Bojangles Late Models showed fans why they are the premier division at Hickory Motor Speedway during their 50 lap feature event. The #10 of Andy Mercer continued on his winning hot streak as he started the event from his pole position. It didn't take long for the #57 of Grant Wimbish to pull into second place, taking the spot from the #7 of Ashley Huffman. Five laps into the feature Mercer, Wimbish and Huffman had gained a five car lead over the field. The #43 of Jesse LeFevers was on a mission as he moved into the top five from his eighth place starting position only ten laps into the feature. On lap 31 Huffman was done riding around in third and began to battle Wimbish to regain the second place position. As the two came out of turn four, Huffman slid into Wimbish getting him loose to move back into second place. With only five laps remaining Mercer used lap traffic to grow his lead over the field to ensure himself another trip to victory lane. Huffman, Wimbish the #6 of Cole Miktuk and the #88 of Dexter Canipe Jr. rounded out the top five respectively.

The Advance Auto Parts Limiteds were full of gumption as they headed onto the track for their 35 lap event. The field didn't even have an opportunity to make a full lap around the track when the first caution was called as the #54 of J. R. Kessler looped his ride around between turns one and two. On lap two the second caution was waved as the #17 of Kyle Mansch, the #2 of Travis McIntire and the #45 of Kenneth Pardue connected as they headed into turn two. After the caution Mansch was on a mission, moving his way back through the field to the front of the pack.

On lap nine caution number three fell due to debris on the track. The Limiteds made it a few more laps when the #57 of Barry Helms went for a spin on lap 12 causing the fourth caution to fall. Caution number five flew on lap 20 when the #83 of David Hasson spun out heading into turn four. At the restart Mansch was continuing to fight his way back to the front. Mansch went high and he went low trying to overtake Pardue. As the two came down the back stretch Mansch got a push from McIntire sending both cars sailing past Pardue taking over the third and fourth place positions. On lap 25 caution number six was waved when Hasson spun out for a second time. During the restart the #08 of Jay Payne went around for a 360 degree spin coming off of turn four bringing out the seventh caution.

With five laps to go the battle for third became intense as McIntire slid past Mansch. With only one lap remaining Mansch made contact with McIntire as the two headed into turn two bringing out caution number eight. It was set to be a green, white, checker finish with both Mansch and McInitre starting in the back of the field. The ninth and final caution of the event fell on the white flag lap as the #37 of Walter Hoke spun out on the back stretch. The officials went for the green, white checker finish a second time bringing the field around to checkers with the #49 of pole sitter Josh Wright leading the pack. The #33 of Cory Joyce had a solid run coming home second leaving Pardue, the #32 of Justin Sorrow and Payne to complete the top five respectively.

The excitement continued with the Hickory Street Stocks during their 30 lap race. The #10 of Kevin Townsend was quick to move into the lead over the #64 of Marshall Sutton on lap two. Sutton didn't seem to care much for second and regained the lead on lap seven, but his lead didn't last long as Townsend was back in the top spot by lap eight. The first caution of the race was dropped on lap eight when the #69 of Trey Buff spun out on the front stretch. At the mid-point of the race Sutton decided he wasn't going to settle for second and again moved into the top spot.

It didn't seem to be a great night for Buff as he brought out the second and final caution on lap 19 when he spun out on the back stretch. The #4 of Shane McKee found himself in the turn one outside wall, but no caution was called as Sutton has just crossed the finish line to win the race only seconds before McKee wrecked. Townsend the #03 of Kevin Eby, the #32 of Jeremy Harrell and the #7 of Gary Ledbetter made up the top five.

The Hickory 4 Cylinders put on a great show for the fans that came out to enjoy High School Athletic Fan Appreciation Night at the Races during their 25 lap feature event. The #21 of pole sitter Todd Harrington put on a clinic during the event as he held on tight to his pole position, never letting anyone on the track touch him. The #99 of Matt Elledge charged hard through the field during the early laps, but got loose coming out of turn four on lap three and fell back to his fourth place starting position. The first and only caution of the event was brought out on lap six when the #59 of Donn Wardo went around in turn two.

The #4 of Adam Beaver and the #16 of Randy Freeze battled door to door for the second place position on lap six and seven, but it was Beaver who prevailed and grabbed the spot on lap seven. The #18 of Devon Haun didn't miss his opportunity to hook up with Beaver as he made his pass on Freeze, allowing Haun to sail past Freeze and taking over third leaving Freeze to settle for a fourth place finish. Elledge came home fifth.

The Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks didn't disappoint fans during the race night sponsored by Pepsi as they made their way around the track for a 20 lap race. The #90 of Ronnie Sims was on a mission as he quickly worked his way into the third place position before the field completed the first lap. On lap two the #82 of Bradley Hasson had moved into the top spot and on lap three Sims took over second. Sims continued to move ahead grabbing first place by lap five, until he received the black flag sending him to the back of the pack, leaving the #85 of Steve Teague to take over the lead.

On lap 11 the first and only caution of the event was waved due to debris on the track. From the restart Sims was back on track moving his way through the field, with his sights set back on the top spot. Unfortunately, time ran out for Sims and he would have to settle for a fourth place finish. Teague, the #12 of Jeremy Whitman and the #9 of Scott Bumgarner made up the top three.

Be sure to join us next Saturday, June 6 th for Steele Rubber Products Night at the Races. The night will include the fast paced racing action of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series featuring the Bojangles Late Models, the Advance Auto Parts Limiteds, the Bad Boy Mowers Super Trucks, the Hickory Street Stocks, the Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks and the Ford Focus Midgets. Tickets for the event are $10 for adults, $7 for teens and seniors, $4 for kids 7-12 with children 6 and under FREE! Family Passes are available and include 2 adult tickets and all of their children (under 12) for only $25. Grandstands open at 5pm with qualifying immediately following. An On Track Autograph Session will begin at 6pm with the feature racing action taking place at 7pm.

For more information about the event please visit or call

828­­-464-3655. Remember if you're not here you're missing out!

Pole Award Winners

Bojangles Late Models: 10 Andy Mercer 15.135 seconds

Advance Auto Parts Limiteds: 49 Josh Wright 15.941 seconds

Hickory Street Stocks: 10 Kevin Townsend 17.055 seconds

Hickory 4 Cylinders: 21 Todd Harrington 16.504 seconds


Tommy Johnson's Performance Parts Warehouse Hard Charger Winners

Bojangles Late Models: 33 James Goff

Advance Auto Parts Limiteds:45 Kenneth Pardue

Hickory Street Stocks: 03 Kevin Eby

Hickory 4 Cylinders: 9 Tim Canipe

Red Baron Race Parts Hobby Stocks:90 Ronnie Sims


1.           10               Andy Mercer
2.             7               Ashley Huffman
3.           57               Grant Wimbish
4.            6                Cole Miktuk
5.           88               Dexter Canipe Jr.
6.           33               James Goff
7.           25               David Wilson
8.           43               Jesse LeFevers
9.           41               Brian Curry
10.        92               Candace Muzny
11.        36               Neil Meredith
12.        12               Caitlin Shaw
13.        28               Chris Chapman
14.        21               Josh Wimbish
1.           49               Josh Wright
2.           33               Cory Joyce
3.           45               Kenneth Pardue
4.           32               Justin Sorrow
5.           08               Jay Payne
6.           84               Donnie Harmon
7.           24               Taylor Doggett
8.           83               David Hasson
9.  2        Travis McIntire
10. 37       Walter Hoke
11. 17       Kyle Mansch
12. 57       Barry Helms
13. 14       Brandon Cox
14. 6        Brandon Hudnall
15. 54       JR Kessler
16. 03       Russell Stilwell
       1.           64           Marshall Sutton
       2.           10           Kevin Townsend
       3.           03           Kevin Eby
       4.           32          Jeremy Harrell
       5.             7          Gary Ledbetter
       6.             5          Mike Newton
       7.           15          Waylon Flynn
       8.           54          Michael Harris
       9.           88          Josh Burchette
      10.        71          Robert DiVanna
      11.          4          Shane McKee
      12.        99          Jonathan Smith
      13.        69          Trey Buff

14.          9          Jon Austin
1. 21    Todd Harrington
2.  4    Adam Beaver
3. 18    Devon Haun                                     
4. 16    Randy Freeze
5. 99    Matt Elledge
6. 09    Randy Canipe
7.  9    Tim Canipe
8. 07    Matt Laws
9. 48    Doug Setzer
10. 17    Curtis Pardue
11. 98    Rob Lewis
12. 59    Donn Wardo
13.  1    Randy Berry
14. 28    Kyle Pierce
1. 85 Steve Teague
2. 12 Jeremy Whitman
3.  9 Scott Bumgarner
4. 90 Ronnie Sims
5. 82 Bradley Hasson
6.  1 James Flynn
7. -1 Ronald McNeil
 8.    3   Tim Reece

                                                                                                                          Close Window