Hickory, NC(May 3, 2009) — Andy Mercer, the “New King” of Hickory Motor Speedway continued his reign over the 3/8 mile track on Saturday night winning his fourth straight race, but he wasn’t the story of the race.
Mercer started from the pole in his Pistone LTO Chassis and won the race without much of a challenge from second place finishing David Wilson, who won his first career race on Friday night at Tri-County Motor Speedway, the third place finising Jesse LeFevers is the one who has everyone talking. LeFevers, who started the 2009 season with the intentions of winning the championship at both Hickory and Tri-Co. and has already won a race at each, but Saturday during practice his season appeared to be going south.
LeFevers lost control of his car after his wheel broke and slammed the outside wall hard destroying his only car and pretty much ruining any chance the young hot shoe would have to even race in the feature on Saturday night, but thats pretty much where this story begins. LeFevers got together with his chassis builder, Tom Pistone from Performancenter Racing Warehouse and his shock guy, UARA-STARS points leader, Matt McCall and devised a plan to go get one of the TPRD(Tom Pistone Racing Development) rental cars, but the car was nowhere near ready to go to any track.
Pistone, McCall and LeFevers crew left the track and made the twenty minute drive to Performancenter, which is located in Statesville, NC and when they got there they had to weld shock mounts, put a seat in the car as well as changing the oil and many other modifications and with only two hours before the team would have to be back at the track to race. They worked feverishly and got the car ready, the same car that Matt DiBenedetto had drove last season to victory at Bristol, Tri-County and Newport and the same car that Jordan McGregor started shotgun on the field at Bristol in March only to race into a top ten finish.
LeFevers knew the car was good, but he had a lot of obstacles once they got the car ready … he still had to make it back to Hickory in time. They made it back just in time and hit the track for the 50-lap race and even with a built engine(most of the top cars run a crate engine at Hickory) he was strong and drove up through the field and as the race got near the end he was able to finish third and thought he might even have something for the two leaders. LeFevers, his team and the Performancenter gang made an incredible recovery from the late practice crash and kept the young driver in contention for the championship with his third place finish.
Mercer will go down as the winner of the race, but certainly LeFevers and his gang deserve a trophy as well for the effort that they put into his third place finish. Ash Huffman, who qualified second crashed on his second lap of qualifying ending his night prematurely as well and tearing up his car pretty good. He started the feature in a Limited car just to get points for the night. Dexter Canipe, Jr., Brennan Poole, Cole Miktuk, Josh Wimbish, Jordan McGregor, James Goff and Caitlin Shaw rounded out the top ten finishers in a fifteen car field.