Mayer 18th in Xfinity Series Debut at Pocono
Updated: Jul 7
Sunday, June 27, 2021
Pocono Green 225 at Pocono Raceway
2.5-mile triangle / 90 laps
Weather: Partly Cloudy; 84 degrees
No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet Finish: 18th
Sam Mayer, driver No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet
“We had a really good run going until I slid through the box on our green flag stop, so the finish doesn’t show how strong of a Tire Pros Chevrolet we had today. Taylor (Moyer, crew chief) made the right calls throughout the race and I thought we had a car capable of running in the top three. I’ll learn from my mistake and come back stronger next week when we go to my home track of Road America.” Recap:
Making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut, Sam Mayer, driver of the No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet, drove from his 20th-place starting position to inside of the top 10 in the early stages of Sunday afternoon’s Pocono Green 225 NXS event at Pocono Raceway before a pit road mishap during green flag pit stops knocked the 18-year-old rookie outside of the top 30 midway through the final stage. Undeterred by the loss of track position, Mayer powered back over the final laps to race into the top 20 and take the checkered flag in the 18th position.
Stage One Finish: 13th
Mayer lined up for the first race of his NXS career in the 20th position after the field was set through NASCAR’s mathematical formula. From the drop of the green flag Mayer charged forward, needing just six laps to race into the top 10 for the first time on the day. The first yellow flew on lap 10 as Mayer ran in the 10th position. Pitting for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, the driver of the Tire Pros Chevrolet exited the pits in 26th due to varying pit strategies. Restarting from the bottom of row 11 the rookie driver for JR Motorsports started his ascent forward, improving 13 positions to cross under the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 20 in the 13th position.
Stage Two Finish: 17th
During the stage-ending caution, Moyer made the call to keep the driver of the Tire Pros Chevrolet on the track as they had just pit three laps prior to the end of Stage One, moving the 18-year-old up to the third position for the start of Stage Two. Once back under way, Mayer jumped to the high side of Turn 1 before contact with another driver forced another yellow that eventually turned into a red flag. Suffering minimal damage as a result of the contact, Mayer lined back up for the following restart in the fifth position. Choosing to restart on the bottom of the 2.5-mile triangle shaped track, Mayer fell to the ninth position and remained there until a lap-34 yellow brought the Tire Pros Chevrolet to pit road. Pitting for four tires, fuel and to fix a little damage on the right front, the JRM driver restarted from the inside of row 13. Mayer charged forward for the Green-White-Checkered finish, taking the green-and-white checkered to end Stage Two in the 17th position
Prior to the start of the third and final stage, Moyer made the call to keep the Tire Pros Chevrolet on track as they had pit shortly before the end of Stage Two. Choosing to restart from the outside of row seven, Mayer raced into the 10th position before a lap-45 yellow bunched the field back together. Restarting from the bottom of row four, Mayer gained two positions immediately following the restart, putting him in eighth. The lone round of green flag pit stops saw Mayer bring the Tire Pros Chevrolet to pit road on lap 60 from the third position. An issue while entering his pit stall forced Mayer to put the No. 8 Camaro in to reverse, affecting the Tire Pros team overall time on pit road. Exiting the pits in the 33rd position, Mayer looked to again march forward as the Franklin, Wisconsin native gained 15 positions over the final 20 laps to cross the finish line in the 18th position.