Hendersonville, N.C. (Nov. 14, 2011) –After claiming two consecutive track championships at Hickory Motor Speedway, Andy Mercer and the Steele Rubber Products Ford team committed to running the entire UARA-STARS schedule in 2011. 16 events later, the driver from Cramerton, N.C. finished the season tenth in series points with one win and one Sunoco Pole.

Mercer said ” It was a fun season got off to a slow start but built momentum as the season went on. We are looking forward to making a run at the championship next year. Would like to thank everyone with the UARA for putting together a great season for us racers.”

“It’s been a successful year, but we certainly were hoping for more this season,” said Mercer late in the year. “We thought we could have challenged for a few more wins, but we had some bad luck earlier in the year. Things really started coming around for us towards the end of the season when we got our new Marlowe car.”

Mercer campaigned a Ford crate motor for the entire UARA schedule this season, including his win at Lonesome Pine Raceway in September and his first career Sunoco Pole at Hickory Motor Speedway in June. Mercer was one of three competitors to visit victory lane with the Ford engine program this year.  Mercer won the G Force South Shift of the Race award two times, Five Star 1st place one time,  Phantom award two times, Circle Wheel award one time,  Tilton award one time, WP Racing Shock award two times, Pro Fabrication award one time and the DJ Safety award one time in his first full season with the UARA.

“I think all we’ve done this year to the motor is change the oil and change the valve springs once,” said Mercer. “It’s been next to bulletproof. It’s got solid power and I don’t understand why more people don’t run this motor. If it weren’t for this Ford motor program, there’s no way we could afford to race as much as we do. It really makes it affordable for the little guy again.”

Mercer earned four top-five and seven top-ten finishes this season en route to his top ten points finish. Mercer’s team also utilized the newest bump stop technology from Phantom Race Products, a joint venture between the Mercers and sponsor Steele Rubber Products.

“Steele has been a great sponsor to work with through the years and we just recently started this bump stop program with them,” said Mercer. “It’s so much more predictable to work with bump stops than coil binding, and it’s a lot easier to do and cheaper, too. We helped them to develop these components and it’s pretty awesome we can go to victory lane on the same parts and pieces anyone else can buy, too.”

Mercer and the No. 10 team, with backing from Steele and Phantom, as well as L.P. Gear and Reliable Fire & Safety, will be campaigning in the UARA-STARS again in 2012. Mercer Racecar Engineering also maintains the No. 48 Ford of Scott Turlington.

Mercer, among others, will be flying the flag for the UARA-STARS at the annual Myrtle Beach 400 this coming weekend at Myrtle Beach Speedway in South Carolina.

For more information the UARA, visit them online at uara-stars.com or call (828) 692-3833. Fans can also follow the series on Twitter (@uarastars) or Facebook (United Auto Racing Association)