Race 24 of 33: Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway
Track Specs: 1.366-mile oval / 147 laps
Weather: Sunny; 84 degrees
Race Winner: Noah Gragson Mayer’s Finish: 39th
Making his first NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Darlington Raceway, Sam Mayer, driver of the No. 8 QPS Employment Group Chevrolet, started from the 11th position and was racing inside the top 10 before contact with the Turn 2 wall forced Mayer to fall to 24th. After pitting to repair damage, the No. 8 caught fire at the right front corner of the vehicle, forcing Mayer to retire early from Saturday afternoon’s 200-mile event in Darlington. Mayer was credited with a 39th-place finish.
Stage One Finish: 38th
Mayer started the 200-mile race from the 11th position as the starting order was set by NASCAR’s mathematical formula earlier in the week. Once underway, the driver of No. 8 Chevrolet settled into a top-10 running position until contact with the Turn 2 wall dropped Mayer back to the 24th position. The first caution flew on lap 13 which offered the 18-year-old an opportunity to enter pit road in order to take right side tires and to fix damage sustained from the contact with the wall. Restarting from the tail end of the field, Mayer was set on saving his right-side tires until the competition caution on lap 20 flew with Mayer in the 34th position. Pitting for left side tires, fuel and to fix as much damage as possible during the competition caution, Mayer restarted from the rear of the field. Once back underway, Mayer started his ascent up the leaderboard as he raced into the 31st position.
A right-front tire began to fail on lap 44, which forced Mayer to pit just one lap shy of the stage end on lap 45. Bringing the No. 8 QPS Employment Group Chevrolet to pit road, Mayer’s right front caught fire, causing severe damage and ultimately ending the No. 8’s team afternoon shy of the scheduled 147 lap distance.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 8 QPS Employment Group Chevrolet
“I hate this for my entire No. 8 team. They put so much effort into these cars each week and this isn’t what any of us had planned. I wanted to go out there and learn the first few laps but the contact with the wall killed the car and it was downhill from there. I want better for this team and that is what I am going to make sure happens the rest of the year.”