New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Saturday, July 15, 2023
Race 18 of 33: Ambetter Health 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.058-mile oval / 200 laps
Race Winner: John Hunter Nemechek
Mayer’s finish: 18th
Point’s position: 9th (-228)
Sam Mayer, driver of the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet, was relegated to an 18th-place finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after qualifying inside the top 10 on Friday evening and battling for position in the top five until an on-track incident in the closing laps collected the young JR Motorsports driver. Despite the setback, Mayer was able to race back into the top 20 and secure the 18th-place result. Tonight’s effort now has Mayer ninth in the championship point standings with just eight races remaining before the field of 12 is set for the NXS Playoffs.
A solid qualifying run set Mayer 10th in the NXS lineup to start Saturday afternoon’s event at “The Magic Mile”. With an uneventful Stage One, the young driver was quiet on the radio as the laps rolled by. Over halfway through, Mayer reported he was free overall and losing all right rear grip. A caution with four to go in the stage allowed the team to come down pit road for four tires and fuel. The No. 1 Chevrolet came out of Stage One with an 8th-place finish.
Starting Stage Two 10th in line, the Franklin, Wis. native held strong until the second caution of the day came out on lap 67. Mayer was still feeling a bit free all around but he was using it to his advantage and started to work with it. The green-flag shuffle on the restart caused a yellow flag to fall as the field stacked up.
The driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet had small damage to the rear bumper but nothing too concerning to crew chief Mardy Lindley, which allowed him to make the decision to stay out. Shortly after, another caution arose and Lindley called the young driver down pit road for four tires and fuel. Mayer ended Stage Two in 20th.
Mayer lined up 16th for the restart of the final stage as the field took off. A lap-102 caution forced Mayer to the bottom to avoid an on-track incident but there was no damage reported on the No. 1 Chevrolet. The 20-year-old driver continued to climb through the field and battled to get inside the top 10. Under green, Mayer pulled his JRM Camaro down pit road for two tires only and some Sunoco fuel with 50 laps to go in the event.
Mayer continued his fight inside the top five as it started to get messy with a handful of laps remaining. The yellow flags started to fall and the young driver reported he was a little tight in the middle but free on exit. Mayer lined up fifth for the restart and Mardy (Lindley, crew chief) reported “keep heat in the tires all we can bud”.
The No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet raced through the top five and held strong as the laps wound down. Choosing the top following a lap-190 caution period, to restart Mayer was tapped from behind and collected in an unfortunate incident that forced the driver to come down pit road for four tires, fuel and damage repair on the left front.
More overtime and another race-ending caution relegated Mayer to an unfortunate 18th-place finish when the checkered flag flew.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team
“This was the most fun I have had driving “The Magic Mile” and I truly am so disappointed to end our day like we did. I had a great car all day long and I can’t thank this No. 1 team enough for allowing me to have a day like we did today. An unfortunate ending to get collected like that but we will pick our heads up and move on to Pocono.”