Saturday, July 8th, Bryan Mercer had just celebrated his 44th birthday and the Port Hope, Ontario native was posing for photos in victory lane at Peterborough Speedway after winning his first Organics & Glass Late Model feature event of the 2017 season. Just 7 days later, he was faced with the task of coming from deep in the starting field if he hoped to bank a repeat performance.
After running a limited schedule in 2015 and spending all of last year’s campaign on the sidelines, Mercer has brought a renewed sense of confidence to his efforts during the 50th Anniversary Season at the venue known as Canada’s Toughest 3rd of a Mile Paved Oval. He says he’s become more focused on what happens on the track and leaves any problems the team may have experienced behind as soon as the car is loaded into the hauler.
“It can be easy to get discouraged when things don’t go well, but this year has been an entirely different story,” Mercer said. “This car has been about as close to perfect as anything I’ve driven at any time during my career. The crew is giving me the equipment to win and I’m just the guy who is lucky enough to get behind the wheel and take the green flag.”
Even with qualifying heat race finishes of 4th and 3rd, as the previous week’s main event winner, the track rulebook dictated that the driver of the #81 machine would take the green flag from almost the tail-end of the pack. With only 30 laps on the agenda and a highly competitive field chasing the same goal, it was far from a simple plan.
Working through traffic, Mercer – who works as a service advisor at Quantrill Chevrolet-Cadillac GMC in Port Hope – found himself running 3rd, with 7 laps on the scoreboard. When the field came back up to speed following a lap 20 caution, the driver waited for an opening while the lead duo battled side-by-side in front of him, before securing the runner-up spot on the 23rd lap.
“With a win and a number of top 5 finishes to show for our efforts so far, I think we’re in the right place for the rest of the season.”
For the 2017 season, Bryan Mercer’s program is supported by Sine’s Flooring, Durmach Tooling, Beyond Signs & Design, Cressman Tree Service, Glass One Autoglass, Facility Services, National Shunt Services, MASS Environmental, Everwood Property Maintenance, Murray O’Brien – Re/Max, Eric’s Auto Body and Pioneer Gas Bar – Port Hope. Clarke Motorsports Communications provides media and public relations services for the #81 Late Model team.
Bryan Mercer returns to action Saturday, July 22nd at Peterborough Speedway. Follow the team behind the scenes and at the track by liking the Mercer Motorsports page at www.facebook.com.