Race 14 of 33: Pacific Office Automation 147 at Portland International Raceway
Track Specs: 1.97-mile road course / 75 laps
Race Winner: AJ Allmendinger
Mayer’s finish: 38th Point’s position: 7th (-149)
Sam Mayer’s day started near the front at Portland International Raceway, but ended near the back after an on-track incident just 12 laps into the rain-plagued inaugural Pacific Office Automation 147 on the 1.97-mile road course in the Pacific Northwest. The early finish ended Mayer’s streak of consecutive top-five finishes at four races and also cost him one position in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings.
The 18-year-old Wisconsin native had a good qualifying effort, which put the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet fourth on the grid for the start of the 75-lap race on the 1.97-mile Portland course.
On the initial start, Mayer was turned from behind as the field crowded into the Turn 1 chicane, losing 16 positions before a lap had been completed.
Over the next four laps, Mayer recovered nicely and had his No. 1 Chevrolet back up to 15th, dealing with a steady rain and the resulting lack of grip. Keeping up the pressure, Mayer was 13th two laps later as the rain started to come down harder.
Heading into Turn 11 on lap 12, several cars ahead of Mayer scrambled to keep on the pavement after two cars went spinning, checking up quickly. Through the rain, Mayer came up on them in a hurry and slammed into one of the slower cars, doing significant damage to the front end of the Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet.
On pit road, the No. 1 pit crew took a good look at the damage, but Mayer reported there was no oil pressure in the engine and his race was finished in 38th position. Over his last nine starts, Mayer has recorded seven top-five finishes with just two outside the top 10.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Talent Group Chevrolet team
“Someone checked up in front of me and I ran into the back of them. Our Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet was obviously really fast. I got spun on the initial start and that messed up our race, but that’s part of it. I got used to the race track pretty quick, but you can’t really pass anywhere. We’ll get back to it at Nashville in two weeks and hopefully have a better day.”