JR Motorsports Race Report
Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022
Race 32 of 33: Dead On Tools 250 at Martinsville Speedway
Track Specs: .526-mile oval / 250 laps
Race Winner: Ty Gibbs
Mayer’s finish: 6th
Points position: 7th (-1,769)
Sam Mayer entered Saturday’s Dead On Tools 250 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines knowing it was likely a must-win scenario for him to advance to the Championship 4 next week at Phoenix Raceway. The 19-year-old driver raced hard all day long, chasing that elusive victory, and came up just a few spots short. Mayer’s sixth-place finish in the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet sees him seventh in series points with one race remaining in the season.
Mayer had work to do at the start of the 250-lap event on the tight .526-mile oval after qualifying in 22nd position, and he started to do it immediately. The young driver needed just 10 laps to advance six positions to 16th and was on the cusp of the top 10 by the time the first caution flag waved at lap 34.
Restarting from 11th, Mayer fell to 14th on the initial rush, leaving him more ground to make up. Once again, the young driver did so. Over the remaining 19 laps of the 60-lap Stage One, Mayer worked his way to the top 10 in just 11 circuits, briefly running eighth before settling into ninth for the remainder of the distance. That earned Mayer two valuable stage points and some momentum for Stage Two.
On the break, Mayer told crew chief Taylor Moyer that his No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet was free off the tight corners during the first stage. Moyer called for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment to help his handling.
Restarting the race from 12th position, Mayer again wasted no time moving forward, needing just five laps to regain the top 10. Along the way, Mayer and another car made contact, doing slight damage to the right front corner.
When the caution waved again at lap 105, Mayer told Moyer that his No. 1 Camaro was very tight despite holding the eighth position. Moyer called him down pit road for four tires, fuel and another adjustment. The stop pushed Mayer down to 16th in the order, and over the remaining laps in Stage Two, Mayer dropped two positions to finish 18th.
Staying on the track at the end of the stage, Mayer cycled up to eighth for the restart that would begin the final segment. Taking off, Mayer radioed that his car was still tight, but he was able to maintain his position in the top 10 by moving up the track into the second lane.
When the caution waved again at lap 161, Mayer called to Moyer to loosen up his handling for the remaining laps. Moyer responded with four tires, fuel and major adjustments to both air pressure and chassis.
Returning to the track in 14th position and lap 169, Mayer was quiet on the radio and worked his way to 11th at lap 190. The caution waved four laps later, and Mayer reported that his handling was better in the center.
After a couple of caution flags, Mayer was seventh with 33 laps remaining in regulation and moved into the top five on a restart at lap 210. The high line was working well for the Accelerate Professional Talent Solution Chevrolet, allowing Mayer to roll past his rival into fourth.
Needing to win to advance to the Championship 4, Mayer kept driving hard and was in the top five at lap 229. Over the remaining laps, Mayer maintained his grip on a top-10 position and was scored eighth for the final restart.
Over the final two laps of the green-white-checkered that ended the race, Mayer fell to ninth on the first lap but clawed his way back to sixth at the checkered flag.
With the finish, Mayer remained seventh in the driver point standings with one race yet to run next week at Phoenix Raceway.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team
“It was an uphill battle all day, definitely a struggle. We fought hard, Taylor and the Accelerate Talent team made great adjustments and we were definitely moving on the top line for most of the day. We just didn’t have the time to get it done and came up a little short. It was a good day for JR Motorsports all around, with three cars advancing to the Championship 4. We’ll go to Phoenix and run hard again next weekend.”