CRA: Nashville race notes 2006-03-18

Eddie Mercer Wins The All American 150 CRA Super Series Season Opener Nashville, TN (March 18, 2006) -- Veteran Pensacola, Florida late model driver Eddie Mercer has won many races at many tracks in his career including the 2005 Snowball...

Eddie Mercer Wins The All American 150 CRA Super Series Season Opener

Nashville, TN (March 18, 2006) -- Veteran Pensacola, Florida late model driver Eddie Mercer has won many races at many tracks in his career including the 2005 Snowball Derby. He can now add the Music City Motorplex located at the Fairgrounds in Nashville, Tennessee to his list of tracks with a win. The win was also his first ever CRA Super Series Presented By Spray Power points victory.

Mercer was the MPM Racecars/Hamner Racing Engines/Appleton Rack & Pinions Fast Qualifier in a very strong field of cars, out qualifying Chuck Barnes Jr. (by less than .030 seconds), Jack Landis and Andy Ponstein to start on the pole. From the pole Mercer led the first 19 laps until a yellow flag came out and he elected, as did most of the lead lap cars, to make his mandatory pit stop. Tim Schendel stayed out and led the next 47 laps while Mercer worked his way back through the field to retake the led when Schendel made his pit stop on lap 68. Mercer went on to claim the victory in the 2006 CRA Super Series Presented By Spray Power Season Opener.

"I've never won here before, started on the pole several times, on the All American 400, but something always happened and I didn't win. I've been after one of these guitars for a long time. If they had tried to give me a trophy up there, I would have been upset." Mercer said with a laugh.

Boris Jurkovic ran a strong second battling Eddie Hoffman for the second position before finishing just two tenths of a second ahead of him. This was a familiar battle for the two Illiana Motor Speedway and CRA competitors, who have raced against each other for a long time. Jurkovic finished a strong second to Jason Hogan in the 2005 All American 400 at Music City.

"I want to move up one position the next time I'm here." Jurkovic commented with a smile. "Hoffman and I have had a few battles in the past, it was fun. But we could only keep up with Mercer for the first few laps after a yellow flag, he was on it tonight."

Following Hoffman was Chuck Barnes, Jr. with Andy Ponstein finishing fifth in a strong showing. Scott Carlson ran sixth, Charlie Bradberry, seventh, Josh Vadnais ran eighth and received the Sweet Manufacturing "Sweet Move of the Race Award". Jack Landis ran with the leaders for much of the race and finished ninth with Adam Royle moving up 16 positions and rounding out the Top Ten.

61 cars entered the All American 150 with 53 qualifying. The fastest 24 were locked into the field through qualifying, with the next six from the last chance races, the next four as 2005 CRA Super Series Owners Point Provisionals and the last two via the Track Promoter's Option. There were 2 lead changes and 7 yellow flags for 36 laps, and one red flag. The race was marred by an accident on the first lap that ended the day for several strong cars including 2005 CRA Champion Jeff Lane, Eddie Van Meter, Chris Gabehart, JR Roahrig, Jason Shively and Jay Middleton.

Dennis Schoenfeld and Adam Royle won the 15 lap Last Chance Races with Zach Taylor winning the Clash 15 for the non-qualifying cars for the All American 150.

Not only did Mercer get the win, he also gets a guaranteed starting position in the prestigious All American 300 at the Music City Motorplex on November 4th and 5th. By finishing second and third, Jurkovic and Hoffman also have guaranteed starting positions for that all-star late model event that will be sanctioned again by the CRA Super Series Presented By Spray Power.

Hoffman and Royle won the Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Awards. Steve Moenck was the ISKY Racing Cams/Lane Automotive Hard Charger and Racing Electronics Most Improved Position Award winner. Mercer was the RaceTrailerSales.com Halfway Award Leader. The CD-2 Rookie Of The Race Award went to Michael Gaier for the highest finishing registered rookie. Gaier finished one position ahead of fellow rookie Sondi Eden. Eden the 2004 USAC Regional Champion and Roush Racing Development Driver was competing in her first late model race and finished 19th.

The Marvel Mystery Oil Mechanic of the Race Award went to Mercer, with the San Antonio Speedway Crew Chief of the Race Award going to Adam Royle's crew chief Jarry Royle. The Leaf Products Tough Luck Award went to Zach Taylor, and the EMF That's Racing Award went to Chris Gabehart.

The next CRA Super Series Presented By Spray Power event is Saturday, April 15th at Anderson Speedway in Anderson, Indiana. For more information visit the CRA Website at www.craracing.net.

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Series Stock car
Drivers Andy Ponstein , Charlie Bradberry , Jeff Lane , Tim Schendel , Eddie Mercer