Mayer nets another top-5 finish in first trip to Homestead
JR Motorsports Race Report
Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022
Race 31 of 33: Contender Boats 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile oval / 200 laps
Race Winner: Noah Gragson
Mayer’s finish: 5th
Points position: 7th (-28 from cutline)
It may have been his first Xfinity Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway but Sam Mayer’s preparation was evident with a fifth-place finish at the tough 1.5-mile facility in Saturday’s Contender Boats 300. The effort was a solid end to the day, giving Mayer his 11th top five of the season and moving him eight points closer to the top-four cutline from a week ago. Mayer is 28 points from the cutoff with only Martinsville Speedway remaining before the Championship 4 contenders are locked in. The No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions team is also 28 points out of the top four in the owner standings.
Mayer took his first start at Homestead from the sixth spot, the second-best qualifying effort of all four JRM team cars. Mayer found good pace early in the Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet, but a slight bobble had him chasing the car up the track and he fell to 13thon lap 9.
Mayer settled back in and soon found himself rhythmically running the wall and surged forward to ninth by lap 29. It looked impressive, too, with lap times that were some of the best on the track toward the end of the stage. With a late caution, he rode out Stage One in eighth.
The No. 1 team performed a seamless pit stop for four tires, fuel and adjustments, and Mayer earned a spot on pit road and lined up sixth for Stage Two. Continuing to work the high line, Mayer climbed to fifth and then settled into eighth, but found his way back to fifth before the stage-ending caution on lap 90.
Reporting that he was “pretty happy” with the handling on the No. 1 Chevy, while also saying his brakes were getting soft, Mayer pitted for four tires and fuel. He fired off in fifth for the final stage.
Back to green-flag racing, Mayer made an immediate move to the top line. Jockeying for position with several competitors, Mayer lost track position and dropped to ninth. He eventually found his rhythm and clung to a spot in the top 10.
When green-flag pit stops started around lap 135, the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet cycled up to fifth before coming to pit road on lap 142. Mayer came off pit road in eighth.
Mayer stayed smooth and focused but dealt with a tight condition and was scored in eighth when a caution came out with 11 laps to go. As one of five teams with a set of fresh tires remaining in the pits, the No. 1 group pitted with the leaders, which set Mayer up to restart sixth. He was able to snag an additional position before the checkered flag fell to come home fifth.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team
“We started off the day really well with our Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet. Once I got into a rhythm running the wall, I felt like we were pretty solid with laps times during the opening stage, and the handling got even better during Stage Two with the adjustments we made. Toward the end the car went too tight and it was a struggle in the closing laps. We’ve got one race left to get ourselves into the Championship 4, so Martinsville is going to be a huge race for us next weekend.”