JR Motorsports Race Report
Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022
Race 29 of 33: Drive for the Cure 250 at Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
Track Specs: 2.28-mile Road Course / 67 laps
Race Winner: AJ Allmendinger
Mayer’s finish: 11th
Points position: 8th (-51)
The No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions team executed their playoff plan to perfection in Saturday’s Drive for the Cure 250 at the treacherous Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. In the end Sam Mayer’s 11th-place finish was more than enough to lock him into the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. Mayer accomplished the task with patience, stockpiling stage points and keeping his nose clean throughout the event, which places him as the eighth seed for the next round of three races. Likewise, the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions team advances in the owner’s championship as the seventh seed in the Round of 8.
Mayer took his sixth-place starting spot and worked straight into the top five in the early going. Battling a loose condition, he held a spot in the top 10 throughout the stage.
When some of the leaders peeled off to pit road just before the conclusion of Stage One, Mayer climbed as high as third where he ended the opening stage.
Commenting the Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevy needed more drive and tightened up, Mayer came to pit road for fresh tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. He lined up in 16th for the ensuing restart for Stage Two.
Mayer methodically climbed ahead to 10th by the halfway point in Stage Two, posting some of the best lap times on the track. Again, in the latter laps of the stage, several competitors elected to pit early. This resulted in Mayer advancing to third and closing out the stage as the highest-running JRM Chevrolet.
Still dealing with a “free off” condition, Mayer came to the attention of the No. 1 crew for four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment.
Mayer took the green flag for the final stage in 12th, fluctuating between the top 10 and the top 12 as the laps wound down. With feedback from crew chief Taylor Moyer, Mayer kept a clear head and focused on the team’s goal for the day: to survive and make it through to the Round of 8.
The field went through a pair of dramatic green-white-checkered restarts with Mayer in a difficult position as the middle car between two competitors, one of which was on the outside of the playoffs looking in, and who would be racing in desperation mode over the final two laps.
Despite the pressure, Mayer was able to hold on to his 11th-place spot and take the checkered flag.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team
“Going into the Round of 12, the mindset was ‘just get through this round.’ We knew were good enough to get through. Today, after the first couple stages, I felt really good about our chances because I knew we were going to be in a good spot. Once we fought through the first two stages, I felt really good about getting through the round. All those cautions at the end, man, they had me shivering in my boots. The No. 11 was behind me and the No. 19 was right in front of me, so I was right in the middle of a sandwich. I was like ‘man, this ain’t good.’ I was three-wide at the top going into Turn 1 like three of four times there at the end. I was driving for my life at that point.”