FRASERVILLE, ON – Every driver dreams of running the perfect race. Turning in a performance that – no matter what may have come before it – makes everyone take notice and acknowledge the accomplishment. Some never attain that level of success, but for Bryan Mercer, the perfect race came in the 2011 edition of the NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model Summer Sizzler at Kawartha Speedway. Winning two of the show’s three segments allowed the Port Hope, ON< veteran to enter the history books as the only track regular to earn a ‘Sizzler’ victory. It’s a moment he says he’ll never forget.
“There was just something so right about the car that night,” said Mercer. “The crew and I had put in some extra time to make sure we were ready and from the opening practice rounds, I thought we had a legitimate chance to win. Whatever lane we used, the car responded and did exactly what I hoped it would. I’m sure the racing Gods were smiling on us, but it was an amazing night.”
After a week off, the Fraserville, ON, 3/8-mile oval comes back to life Friday, July 6, and Mercer has the chance to wheel his #81 Sine’s Flooring/Durmach Excellence in Tooling Chevrolet Impala into the track’s record book for a second time. In its current 150-lap format, no driver has earned back-to-back wins in the marquee event and Mercer says just the chance to grab a second checkered flag in the prestigious show would be a dream come true.
There are some adjustments, like changing brake bias, that can be altered from the driver’s seat and the car’s handling characteristics are bound to vary as the fuel load decreases and tires go through different temperature cycles but finding success in a race like this requires a total effort from everyone associated with the car.
“Maybe its something to do with the timing of the race,” said the driver who’ll celebrate his 39th birthday on July 5. “2011 was a memorable season for our team on a number of different fronts and we’ve been able to carry that momentum into the early stages of this year as well. With 150 laps to run, we’ll be looking back at last year’s set-up notes and keeping a close eye on the weather as well. Many of the changes the team makes to the car will be based on how things feel come Friday night, but I think last year’s observations will provide a good starting point.”
After a 3rd place finish Friday, June 15, in the rain delayed season opener, Bryan Mercer logged a runner-up effort the following week. The father of three is currently tied for top spot in the NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model point standings, but looks forward to chance at taking sole ownership of the position following the Friday, July 6, Summer Sizzler.
For 2012, Bryan Mercer’s #81 Kawartha Speedway NAPA Auto Parts ACT Late Model is supported by Sine’s Flooring, Durmach Excellence in Tooling, Creative Edge Graphics, Jim’s Pizza, Appleman Carstar Collision, APX Racewear, B & G Equipment, Cressman Tree Maintenance, DenTec, Glass1Autoglass Mobile Service, LVG Auctions, Northumberland News, Quantrill Chevrolet-Buick-GMC-Cadillac, Reflection Glass and Accessories, UAP NAPA – Port Hope and Clarke Motorsports Communications.
From Jim Clarke – Clarke Motorsports Communications