Story By: JIM CLARKE / JACOB MERCER RACING – PORT HOPE, ONT – Local racers changing divisions as they move through the different stages of their career is far from an uncommon occurrence. In some instances there is a steep learning curve as they move from one ride to another, but that seems to be far from the case with Port Hope, Ontario’s Jacob Mercer.
After going through a few seasons developing his skills in the asphalt karting ranks, the 15-year-old made the transition to the family-owned No. 81 Late Model equipment and Is spending the 2022 schedule making the conversion to the larger, heavier and faster stock cars. Following a path built by his grandfather Ron Mercer and continued by his father Bryan, the 3rd generation racer seems to be headed in the right direction.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m nervous about the car, but I respect the difference between it and the kart that I was used to,” said Jacob Mercer. “There are so many supportive and encouraging people – starting with my father, my mother and grandmother – associated with this team. I’m learning a little more every time I go on the track and that is making me a better racer.”
Saturday, June 25th the Peterborough Speedway Late Model division ran a pair of qualifying heats, with Mercer finishing 6th and 7th respectively. In the 25 lap feature event, he started near the tail-end of the field and was running around 6th in a race that looked like it would go from green flag to checkered without a yellow. A caution with only a lap to go sent the 1st and 2nd place cars to the rear of the field and Mercer crossed the line with his second consecutive 4th place finish.
“I guess I was in the right place at the right time,” admitted the youngster. “Sometimes things work out like that. I’ll take it and move on to the next race on the schedule.”
Jacob Mercer’s No. 81 Peterborough Speedway Late Model is proudly supported by Sine’s Flooring, Durmach Precision Tooling, Facility Services, Courtice Septic, Kawartha Metals, Office Line, Cressman Tree Maintenance, Beyond Signs & Design, Mediavandals, Lynch, Rutherford, Tozer Certified Accountants, Richter Law, Press Any Key Computer Solutions, Quantrill Chev Buick GMC Cadillac, Ross Funeral Home, M&M Food Market – Port Hope, Doner Custom Carpentry, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Cliffshore Excavating and Clarke Motorsports Communications.
Jacob Mercer’s next event on the 2022 Peterborough Speedway schedule is a Double Toonie Fan Appreciation Night – Saturday, July 2nd – with an on-track driver autograph session during intermission.