Race 5 of 33: Nalley Cars 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile quad-oval / 163 laps
Race Winner: Ty Gibbs
Mayer’s finish: 21st
Points position: 13th (-103)
Another promising start was clouded by misfortune for Sam Mayer in Saturday’s Nalley Cars 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, resulting in a 21st-place finish for the Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions team. Mayer and the No. 1 team came with speed, showcasing maneuverability that had him slicing through the field and securing a fourth-place finish in Stage One. But a cut tire on lap 104 sent Mayer to pit road, and after a second mishap, eventually trapped him two laps down. However, the team stayed the course. By the time the checkered flag waved, they had earned both those laps back and crossed the stripe in 21st.
After qualifying was cancelled and the field set according to the NASCAR rulebook, Mayer fired off 15th for the start. With a recent repave at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the field immediately settled into two-wide pack racing and passing came at a premium. Mayer managed to climb to seventh by lap 20.
Commenting he had a car with “decent handling,” Mayer showed a lot of strength around the bottom of the track. With some big runs, he worked his way up to fourth for the conclusion of Stage One.
Under the stage-ending caution, Mayer came to pit road for four tires but with a number of competitors staying out or taking two tires, the No. 1 lined up for the Stage Two restart in 14th.
Mayer radioed the crew that he had so much maneuverability, he felt like could take the Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions just about anywhere on the track. Without much help in the bottom lane, Mayer made little progress and ended a chaotic Stage Two in 13th.
Back up to speed for the final stage, Mayer worked as high as eighth. However, on lap 104, a cut rear tire forced the No. 1 to pit road. Though they emerged 33rd, one lap down, more tire problems plagued the team and left Mayer a long hill to climb.
The team kept its composure and went to work. Through the tumultuous closing laps, Mayer positioned himself for the free pass on two separate occasions. By the time the checkered flag fell, the No. 1 team was back on the lead lap in 21st.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team “All we can do is keep our heads up, and we have every reason to. We’ve had a lot of bad luck this year, but looking back over these five races, we’ve consistently shown up with fast racecars and ran up front. We just haven’t had the finishes to cap it off. I think once we can finally get past this and put a whole race together, we’re going to be right where we need to be. We’ve got the speed, just need some luck.”