Mercer Makes it Two Wins In A Rowadmin
5th Annual Sweat Hogg Grand Prix
A simply beautiful February afternoon greeted competitors on Saturday, for the 5th Annual Five flags Speedway Sweat Hogg Grand Prix. When the checkered fell over the field after 90 minutes of racing, it was Pensacola’s Stevie Mercer who parked his car in the Michles & Booth Victory Lane. Mercer’s win didn’t come easy however, as he faced stiff competition in the early going, and again near the race end.
Rookie driver Dylan Oestricher led the 27 car field to the first turn, while two time winner Ricky Johnson rocketed his Mississippi based Acura to an early lead. Mercer methodically worked his way into second place in the first 15 minutes, stalking Johnson from about 15 car lengths. Milton driver Brandon Burks filled Mercer’s rear view mirror in third. In the meantime, 27th place starter Brandin Sidner, drove passed nearly everyone to bust his way into the top 5.
Johnson’s joyride would soon come to an end, with a mechanical malfunction that would relegate him to the pits for lengthy repairs. Also falling victim to mechanical woes early were Ryan Maxwell, Brandon Vaughn, and Heath Oestricher, all drivers who were considered contenders for top honors.
The later stages of the event saw Mercer running a steady pace, knowing Burks was lurking not far behind. Dylan Oesticher, who had started the race driving conservatively and faded several positions, found his groove and climbed back into the top 5 in the closing laps.
Burks charge to the lead came up just a bit short, as the 3:45pm checkered flag fell over Stevie Mercer for the 2nd straight year, with Burks, Oestricher, and Brian Lane the top 4, while Johnson blazed his way back to finish 5th. Brandin Sidner finished 6th to be named the events Hard Charger, with Skyler Fleming, Anthony Pierson, Robby Bobby Mclendon, and Dyno Dave Smoot rounding out the top 10.
11. Joe Barwick
12. Camden Sidner
13. Ronald Hardy
14. Justin Babb
15. Steve Sidner
16. Frank Keller
17. Wendell Felanico
18. Brandon Davis
19. Brandon Vickers
20. Terry Keller
21. Charles Young
22. Colby Hughes
23. Heath Oestricher
24. Brandon Vaughn
25. Ryan Maxwell
26. Jamie Young
Next event will be an open practice on Sunday March 8th at noon for all classes.