Race 10 of 33: A-Game 200 at Dover Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1-mile concrete oval / 200 laps
Race Winner: Josh Berry
Mayer’s finish: 5th
Points position: 7th (-130)
With one the fastest racecars in Saturday’s A-Game 200 at Dover Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Sam Mayer started on the front row, won Stage One and was a clear threat for the race victory. But those hopes derailed after a pair of pit road mishaps plagued the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions team, and they were forced to drive from the rear of the field on two separate occasions. Both times Mayer and the team were up to the task. When the checkered flag fell, they had rebounded for a stout fifth-place finish, rounding out a JRM four-car sweep of the top five and claiming their fourth top-five effort in the last five races.
Mayer fired off from the second position, a NXS career best start for the 18-year-old. Settling in to the second spot early in the run, Mayer wrestled the led away from Brandon Jones on lap 31 and set sail, leading the ensuing 18 laps to claim the Stage One victory.
The No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions team came to pit road under the stage-ending caution for four tires, fuel and an adjustment to help with a tight condition. But a loose left-rear tire, which ultimately came off under pace laps, brought the team back to pit road for another stop. As a result, they lost valuable track position and Mayer took the Stage Two restart in 27th.
With a lot of ground to make up, Mayer maintained his grit and gained 15 positions over the over the 50 laps allotted to finish the second stage in 12th.
Battling a tight and loose condition, Mayer came to the attention of the pit crew for his second stop. This time, however, a pit road speeding penalty would send him to the rear of the field, and he’d restart 22ndfor the final stage.
With patience and a one-car-at-a-time mentality, Mayer methodically marched forward. By lap 123 he was back inside the top 10. When the race’s final caution emerged, he was scored in seventh.
Pitting with the field under the yellow flag, Mayer took tires and an adjustment that gave him what he needed in the No. 1 Chevy. Once back to green-flag racing, he continued the trend upward and picked up two spots in the closing laps to score a fifth-place finish.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team
“Coming through the field twice, I feel like we passed a ton of cars today. It’s frustrating though, since we know we shouldn’t have been back there. We have a lot of nit-picky details to work on. That’s what it ultimately comes down to. We’re really good, and we have a lot of speed, we just need to put it all together. I know we would have been a top-three car today.”