Mayer salvages finish after tough day at Road America
JR Motorsports Race Report
Saturday, July 2, 2022
Race 16 of 33: Henry 180 at Road America
Track Specs: 4.048-mile road course/ 45 laps
Race Winner: Ty Gibbs
Mayer’s finish: 20th
Points position: 7th (-147)
Sam Mayer’s return to his home state of Wisconsin netted a 20th-place finish in Saturday’s Henry 180 at Road America for the NASCAR Xfinity Series machines. Mayer took a fifth-place starting spot and settled in among the top 10 until making heavy contact with the wall on lap 16. The No. 1 Jockey / Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions team spent the rest of the event surviving several cautions and getting back on the lead lap with a damaged racecar to earn the result.
Mayer’s qualifying effort landed him fifth on the starting grid, the 19-year-old’s fourth-best effort of the season. Mayer methodically settled into eighth in Stage One, giving way to several aggressive competitors in an effort to keep his car clean and conserve tire wear.
He ended Stage One in seventh and radioed the team that the balance of the No. 1 Jockey/Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet was “pretty good,” but that he needed “more grip in the right rear.” Mayer pitted under the stage-ending caution and gained an additional spot on pit road.
Despite jumping ahead a position, with several cars electing to stay out under the caution, the No. 1 restarted 16th for Stage Two. With fresh tires it took Mayer only four laps to climb back inside the top 10 to sixth.
On lap 15 with Mayer charging hard into Turn 5, a notoriously difficult downhill high-speed braking zone, the No. 1 caught the curbing which snapped the car into the outside retaining wall. With significant right-front damage, Mayer came to pit road for repairs. He fell a lap down in the process and finished out Stage Two in 34th.
With the final stage underway, a massive wreck off of Turn 4 – one Mayer had to avoid – handed the team the free pass and they were back on the lead lap.
Over the next 20 laps, Mayer raced his way forward from the 28th spot, narrowly avoiding a spin from the No. 35 car on lap 36. The No. 1 was scored in 12th for the race’s final restart with two laps remaining. But a tire issue coming to the checkered flag dropped Mayer eight positions to 20th.
Sam Mayer Jockey/Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team “It was an up-and-down day for us. We really wanted to give Jockey a good showing here. It’s their home track and it’s mine as well, so we set our expectations pretty high. Things started off pretty good. We just got damage early on and spent most of the race trying to rebound from that. We certainly had the car to finish in the top 10 but we just don’t have the results to show for it today. I’ve got to thank everyone on our Jockey/Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions team. They worked their tails off all race long to keep us in it.”