Mercer Inches His Way to Victory Lane

By: Jill Frischmann

Photos by: Legacy Video & Photography

Hickory Motor Speedway

(August 15, 2009 -- Newton, NC) It was a crazy night as Hickory Motor Speedway fans flocked to the track for some fast paced racing action as Sig's Tire Centers presented Fan Appreciation Night featuring $5 tickets and a whole lot of fun for everyone in attendance. The Catawba Science Center was also on hand with creepy, crawly and slithering critters on the paddock area drawing the attention of the fans that walked by. The racing action included appearances by the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series featuring the Bojangles Late Models, the Advance Auto Parts Limited, the Bad Boy Mower Super Trucks, the Hickory 4 Cylinders and the Hickory Street Stocks. Fans were also part of the racing action as they competed in the Sig's Tire Center “Tire War” by rolling tires down the front stretch with selected drivers from the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series field.

The Bojangles Late Model 50 lap feature event was filled with nail biting excitement, as the field experience it's first caution on lap the first lap when the #57 of Grant Wimbish and the #36 of Neil Meredith made contact coming out of turn three sending both cars spinning around. The action was smooth and clean with drivers like the #88 of Dexter Canipe Jr. moving into the lead by lap five and the #33 of James Goff working his way to the front of pack making clean passes as he worked his way up front. With five laps to go the #7 of Ashley Huffman put himself in position to inch ahead and overtake the #6 of Cole Miktuk moving into the fourth spot, Huffman made the pass and grabbed the position on lap 47.

On the final lap the #51 of Josh Wimbish brought out second and final caution of the feature when he spun out in turn four. The last laps came down to a green, white, checker finish that was full of excitement as Canipe Jr. and the #10 of pole sitter Andy Mercer ran nose to nose until they came to turn four on the final lap when Canipe Jr. bobbled heading out of the corner allowing Mercer to inch ahead grabbing the checkers. Canipe Jr., Goff, Huffman and the #43 of Jesse LeFevers wrapped up the top five.

The Advance Auto Parts Limiteds kept up the excitement as the #5 of Dexter Canipe Jr. worked his way through the field looking for a win during the 35-lap event. On lap 20 the #33 of Cory Joyce tagged the #6 of Brandon Hudnall, sending Hudnall for a spin in turn four causing the first caution of the event to wave. On the restart Canipe Jr. took the lead while Joyce worked his way into the top five after being sent to the back of the pack for being involved in the earlier caution. With ten laps to go Joyce positioned himself under the #24 of Taylor Doggett as he looked to move into the third place position, grabbing the spot on lap 29. The second and final caution flew as the #25 of Nick Proffitt spun out on the backstretch on lap 31. The final lap was intense as the #17 of pole sitter Kyle Mansch got under Canipe Jr. looking to move back into the lead. The two ran door to door as they came around turn four with Canipe Jr. wheeling it into victory lane leaving Mansch to settle for second. Joyce, Doggett and the #32 of Justin Sorrow made up the top five respectively.

The Bad Boy Mower Super Trucks field was certainly filled with a bunch of “bad boys” as they headed on to the track for their 35 lap, caution filled feature event. The first caution came out on the first lap as the #11 of pole sitter Thomas Beane spun out on the backstretch, the #25 of Mark Johnson also spun around as the field came down the back stretch trying to avoid the spinning ride of Beane. Caution number two fell on lap two when the #4 of Ernie Harris spun around heading into turn two after being tapped by the #5 of Johnny James. The third caution quickly followed on lap three as the #29 of Ricky Dennie spun out in turn one after making contact with the #0 of Jody Church.

The field made a few clean laps until the fourth caution waived on lap five as James, the #15 of Jenn Crossman, the #33 of Jeremy Birch and the #10 of Barry Williams bunched up heading into turn one. Birch whipped around collecting Williams sending both trucks hard into the outside wall. The remaining laps were clean and smooth as the #6 of Brandon Setzer led the field across the finish line leaving the #44 of Ron Hall, Beane, Johnson and Harris to complete the top five respectively.

The action continued as the Hickory 4 Cylinders hit the track for a 25 lap event, with the first caution falling on lap two as the #16 of Michael Tucker bumped the #21 of Todd Harrington as the field headed into turn three. Tucker slapped the outside wall as Harrington slammed into Tucker's stopped ride sending Tucker airborne landing on the hood of Harrington. The second and final caution flew during the restart as the #59 of Donn Wardo spun out in turn four. The rest of the race ran without a hitch with Harrington even making it back out on the track to take the checkers with the rest of the field. The #4 of pole sitter Adam Beaver led the field to victory with the #18 of Devon Haun, the #09 of Randy Canipe, the #17 of Curtis Pardue and Harrington in tow to make up the top five.

The Hickory Street Stocks got the action started early as the #1 of Taylor Stricklin quickly moved up into the top five by lap five from his last place starting position during the 30 lap event. The first caution flew on lap eight as the #89 of Chris Lafferty spun around as he headed out of turn four. The second caution quickly followed as the #88 of Josh Burchette and the #03 Kevin Eby made contact as they headed out of turn three on the restart, sending Eby for a spin. As the field came around the track the #4 of Shane McKee connected with the spun out Eby, calling for officials to bring out the red flag for clean up. At the restart Sricklin was in prime position as he sailed passed the #15 of Waylon Flynn taking over the lead. A third caution came out on lap 18 when Flynn experienced cosmetic issues with the driver side sheet metal on his hot rod.

Caution number four was soon to follow as Flynn and the #9 of Jon Austin connected in turn two sending Flynn spinning around and putting Austin out of the race. The fifth and final caution waved at the restart as double wrecks occurred. The #99 of Jonathan Smith bobbled coming out of turn two and fish tailed down the backstretch, as he entered turn three he collected Flynn and the #32 of Jeremy Harrell. Meanwhile Stricklin and Burchette made contact heading into turn three sending Burchette hard into the outside wall. It was smooth sailing during the last three laps as the #83 of Marshall Sutton led the field to the checkers with the #40 of David Smith, Flynn, Smith and Harrell following behind to complete the top five.

Up Coming Events:

Hickory Motor Speedway will be taking a week off, but be sure to join us Saturday, August 29 th as the PASS Super Late Models take on the World's Most Famous Short Track. For more information regarding this event please visit

Remember if you're not here, you're missing out!

Pole Award Winners

Bojangles Late Models: 10 – Andy Mercer – 15.285 seconds

Advance Auto Parts Limiteds: 17 – Kyle Mansch – 15.782 seconds

Bad Boy Mower Super Trucks: 11 – Thomas Beane – 16.092 seconds

Hickory 4 Cylinders: 4 – Adam Beaver – 16.425 seconds

Hickory Street Stocks: 15 – Waylon Flynn – 16.887 seconds

Tommy Johnson's Performance Parts Warehouse Hard Charger Winners

Bojangles Late Models: 33 – James Goff

Advance Auto Parts Limiteds: 5 – Dexter Canipe Jr.

Bad Boy Mower Super Trucks: 33 – Jeremy Birch

Hickory 4 Cylinders: 09 – Randy Canipe

Hickory Street Stocks:83 – Marshall Sutton


Hickory Motor Speedway

NASCAR Whelen All-American Series



LATE MODEL STOCKS 1. 10 Andy Mercer 2. 88 Dexter Canipe Jr. 3. 33 James Goff 4. 7 Ashley Huffman. 5. 43 Jesse LeFevers 6. 92 Candace Muzny 7. 6 Cole Miktuk 8. 36 Neil Meredith 9. 57 Grant Wimbish 10. 51 Josh Wimbish 11. 50 Justin Ashley 12. 95 Michael Buckner

STREET STOCKS 1. 83 Marshall Sutton 2. 40 David Smith 3. 15 Waylon Flynn 4. 99 Jonathan Smith 5. 32 Jeremy Harrell 6. 23 Daryl Wright 7. 1 Taylor Stricklin 8. 88 Josh Burchette 9. 9 Jon Austin 10. 54 Michael Harris 11. 66 Scott Wallace 12. 03 Kevin Eby 13. 4 Shane McKee 14. 89 Chris Lafferty

LIMITED LATE MODEL 1. 5 Dexter Canipe Jr. 2. 17 Kyle Mansch 3. 33 Cory Joyce 4. 24 Taylor Doggett 5. 32 Justin Sorrow 6. 14 Brandon Cox 7. 66 Travis Byrd 8. 25 Nick Proffitt 9. 03 Russell Stillwell 10. 6 Brandon Hudnall 11 38 Ron Manley

TRUCKS 1. 6 Brandon Setzer 2. 44 Ron Hall 3. 11 Thomas Beane 4. 25 Mark Johnson 5. 4 Ernie Harris 6. 15 Jenn Crossman 7. 33 Jeremy Birch 8. 10 Barry Williams 9. 5 Johnny James 10. 29 Ricky Dennie 11. 0 Jody Church

4 CYLINDERS 1. 4 Adam Beaver 2. 18 Devon Haun 3. 09 Randy Canipe 4. 17 Curtis Pardue 5. 21 Todd Harrington 6. 07 Matt Laws 7. 51 Randy Berry 8. 59 Donn Wardo 9. 98 Rob Lewis 10. 28 Kyle Pierce 11. 16 Michael Buckner



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