Story By: JIM CLARKE / 81 MERCER MOTORSPORTS – PORT HOPE, ONT – With each turn of the steering wheel, the bar gets pushed another notch higher. Future generations of first-year Peterborough Speedway racers will have their performance judged against the accomplishments of Jacob Mercer’s rookie stock car racing season.
Saturday, July 16th – in just his 5th ever start – the 15-year-old scored his first career Late Model main event win.
Making the most of his starting spot on the outside of the front row, the Port Hope, Ontario youngster jumped-out to an early lead with a hungry pack filling his rear-view mirror. With 25 laps to settle the score, Mercer’s run to the checkered flag was far from a walk in the park. He’d need to hit his marks and log the same strong, consistent laps he’s become known for during the early runs of what promises to be a stellar motorsports career.
The 6 or 7 car length advantage the pilot of the potent No. 81 ride had built-up was erased by a lap 8 caution flag for an issue in the 3rd turn. With the calming voice of fill-in spotter and family friend Phil Winter in his ear while the field was realigned, Mercer maintained his composure as he waited for the restart. There was another yellow flag with just 8 laps remaining in the race distance, but nothing was going to come between Jacob Mercer and his history-making first win.
“On the way home from the track I was telling my father that I didn’t think I’d even get a qualifying heat win in my first year, let alone a feature victory,” Jacob Mercer explained. “No matter how the rest of the year goes for our team, I’m very thankful for the opportunity and to continue a family racing tradition that began with my grandfather so many years ago. Just like my Dad did when he won for the first time last year, I dedicate this victory to his memory.”