Andy Mercer Winner of Lonesome Pine Race
Grissom DQ'ed After Post Race Cylinder Head Infraction
Andy Mercer fought a good, hard battle all night long at Lonesome Pine Raceway on 9-3-11. He battled first with John King II and then with Kyle Grissom right down to the line. Kyle Grissom crossed the finish line first with Andy Mercer hot on his trail giving him a good run for the money.
Mercer stated “I am really excited about my first win on the UARA. We had an extremely fast race car. We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time halfway through the race and got some damage. The car was still good enough to win at the end. It was just impossible to see which made it difficult to get back by Grissom. I felt like we overcame a lot of adversity to get this one. I’m just looking forward to the next one now and maybe we will be able to celebrate that one.”
Post race inspections left the official winner a question mark. On Tuesday, September 7th an appeal by Grissom was turned over to the UARA Appeals board for an unbiased decision. After a full day of getting facts, figures and the proper people in place to review the questionable cylinder head, an official decision was reached. The appeals board ruled in favor of the call made by UARA officials that the part in question on the #31 car of Kyle Grissom were deemed to be in violation of the 2011 UARA rule book.
While waiting for inspections to be completed Saturday Mercer’s spotter was saying that Mercer would call him asking him to let him know when he was getting really close to Grissom because with his hood severely bent up from his earlier contact with King he didn’t want to hit Grissom and take him out. His car would run hot when he got too close to Grissom but he showed that he definitely had a quick car. Mercer had made contact with King a little past the halfway point as Mercer was battling King for the lead and King’s motor gave up on him. Mercer was right on him with nowhere to go. It was at this point that Grissom took advantage and the lead.
Young Asheville NC native Kaleb Pressley is another name of note in this event. Kaleb pulled off one of his best UARA finishes in his career and ran one great race. Pressley stayed in contention throughout the race never loosing site of Grissom or Mercer.
Newcomer Ryan Stiltner making his UARA debut ran a great race as well coming home with an 8th place finish. Stiltner ran the race as a rookie debut driver should. He found his line and ran it to his advantage then when the leaders approached he gave them all the room they needed then progressed from there.
The final results of this race will shuffle the points around and the battle is on. Grissom was gaining some points on Poole in the championship chase and now his work will be a little bit harder. With six races remaining in the chase it is still any man’s game.
Official Lonesome Pine Results
1. 10 Andy Mercer
2. 54 Kaleb Pressley
3. 7 Brennan Poole
4. 18 David Roberts
5. 9 George Miedecke
6. 4 Ronnie Bassett Jr
7. 48 Scott Turlington
8. 22 Ryan Stiltner
9. 26 Joey Herques
10. 77 Alex Yontz
11. 8 Dalton Hopkins
12. 87 Jackie Butner
13. 21 John King
14. 40 Brian Blevins
15. 31 Kyle Grissom (DQ)
16. 94 Jeff Woodward (DNQ)
Kyle Grissom (#31) battles Andy Mercer (#10) at Lonesome Pine. Grissom won, but was DQ'ed giving Mercer the win. (Drew Hierwarter Photo)