JR Motorsports Race Report
Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022
Race 24 of 33: Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway
Track Specs: 1.366-mile oval / 147 laps
Race Winner: Noah Gragson
Mayer’s finish: 11th
Points position: 9th (-316)
Sam Mayer drove to an 11th-place finish with the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet in Saturday’s VFW Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway, a race that was halted for better than two hours due to rain. With the finish, Mayer and the No. 1 team remain 109 points to the good in their quest to qualify for the NXS Playoffs with two races left in the regular season.
With a 12th-place qualifying spot, Mayer made his third start at the track “too tough to tame.”
After only a score of laps, he slid to 17th and, like many of his competitors, diagnosed a severe loose condition on his No. 1 Chevrolet. Mayer held on to finish out Stage One in 17th.
The team called Mayer to pit road with a number of options to tighten up his handling. Mayer took on four tires, fuel and adjustments under the stage-ending caution and lined up 15th for the onset of Stage Two.
With more security in the Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevy, Mayer jumped to 11th under green, then slipped to 14th just before heavy rain fell over the track, red-flagging the event for two-and-a-half hours.
Once the track was dry and the field went back to racing, Mayer again worked his way up several spots and claimed 11th for the conclusion of Stage Two.
Mayer commented that they had made progress on the car’s handling but still needed something more. He came to the attention of the crew for fresh rubber, fuel and additional adjustments. He lined up in 10th for the final stage.
Several Darlington stripes later, Mayer had found his groove but not before drifting to 15th. The team had one more chance to adjust on their handling with the race’s last caution flag falling on lap 128. Mayer brought the car to the pits for tires, fuel and one last adjustment for the run to the finish.
He restarted 14th and improved three spots over the final 14 laps to score an 11th-place finish.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team
“Darlington is such a tough track. There’s no two ways about it. We struggled early on but I felt we were getting pretty good just before the rain delay. That really changed the track for the second half of the race. We did all we could to keep up with it, and, at the end, we were as high in the running order as we’d been all day. So we’ll take that and move on to next week.”