JR Motor Sports Race Report: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Saturday, March 18, 2023
Race 5 of 33: RAPTOR King of Tough 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Track Specs: 1.54- mile quad oval / 163 laps Race Winner: Austin Hill Mayer’s finish: 9th Point’s position: 6th (-92)
Sam Mayer, driver of the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet, scored a solid top- 10 finish in Saturday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series main event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After a night full of yellow flags, the Franklin Wis. native remained patient and drove to another consistent finish, taking the checkered flag in ninth and finding himself 6th in the points standings.
After Friday’s qualifying event was washed out by the wet Georgia weather, the No. 1 Chevrolet was set to start this weekend’s race in the 10th position.
Just after the green flag dropped, a yellow fell shortly after on the second lap for the first caution of the day. Within that first lap, Mayer gained two spots to put himself 8th in line before the caution came out. The young driver reported he was feeling very light and super free in the right rear as crew chief Mardy Lindley chose to stay out.
The No. 1 Camaro restarted 8th in line as more cautions fell shortly after, stretching Stage One out. On the third caution of the cold evening, Lindley called Mayer down pit road for four tires and fuel, sending him out in 21st for the ensuing restart 21st with nine laps to go in the stage. Debris on the frontstretch called for another caution to fall, leading the young driver to finish Stage One in the 17th position.
The No. 1 team chose to stay out under the stage break which allowed Mayer to move into the top five for the start Stage Two. After a loss of momentum, the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevy fell back and settled into 13th by lap 51.
The yellow flag fell once again and Mayer was called down pit road for four tires, fuel and to give a quick check to the right-front nose of the No. 1 after some slight contact was made with the No. 11. Mayer also received a trackbar adjustment on the stop.
The young driver was battling back and forth trying to find the right line as riding the top found him super free and he stuck to the bottom for the remainder of Stage Two, coming in with a 12th-place stage finish.
Lindley called the young driver to pit road under the stage-ending caution for gas only and a trackbar adjustment to give him more security on entry. Mayer started the third and final stage fifth in line.
In the final stage, things started to settled down as the pack rolled into single file for the majority of the stage. With 47 to go, the yellow flag fell as Mayer reported “this car is perfect” to the No. 1 team. Mayer took his last set of four Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel that led him to restart 14th.
After a long hard-fought battle, Mayer shuffled in the top-15 for the last few laps of the night, racing back into to the top 10 and up to ninth during a mad-dash to the checkered flag.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Talent Group Chevrolet Team “I had a lot of fun tonight in the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevy. Considering how the day went, we knew the last few laps were going to be crazy and they were just that. On that last lap I just knew I had to be where the sparks were not and I am super happy to go home with a top-10 finish today. Excited to get back to a road course next week with COTA and hope to continue what we having going.”