Race 15 of 33: Tennessee Lottery 250 at Nashville Superspeedway
Track Specs: 1.33-mile concrete oval / 188 laps
Race Winner: Justin Allgaier
Mayer’s finish: 5th
Points position: 6th (-135)
Sam Mayer rallied from late pit-road speeding penalty and a damaged race car - while battling through extreme heat without a functioning cooling unit - to score a fifth-place finish in Saturday’s Tennessee Lottery 250 at Nashville Superspeedway. The stout showing with the No. 1 Huck’s Market Chevrolet was the team’s eighth top-five effort in the last 10 races and moves Mayer up one position to sixth in the championship points battle.
Mayer’s lined up in 21st for the start of the 250-miler. Mayer immediately wheeled his way to 12th by the halfway point of Stage One, commenting he had a little brake fade in the No. 1 Huck’s Market machine.
By the conclusion of Stage One, Mayer climbed to ninth and radioed the crew that the car felt a little tight but pretty good overall. Mayer also relayed to the team that his cooling unit had started blowing hot air.
After pitting for four tires, fuel and adjustments on his Chevrolet, Mayer took the track in seventh for the Stage Two restart. Mayer made quick work of the competition and jumped four spots, settling into third. He spent the remainder of the stage working various lines around the track and posting some of the fastest laps of the stage.
Closing out Stage Two in third, Mayer again came to the attention of the Huck’s Market crew in the pits. But a speeding penalty sent him back to 24th for the ensuing restart. It took time and patience but Mayer was able to break back inside the top 10 by lap 113 and cycle near the top five when cars on different strategies had to pit.
On lap 148, Mayer was running sixth directly behind the No. 54 of Ty Gibbs when Gibbs’ car broke loose. Mayer couldn’t avoid contact with the spinning No. 54 and the No. 1 Huck’s entry took damage in the incident. Still, the No. 1 machine was still able to maintain a pace strong enough in the closing laps to take the checkered flag in fifth.
Sam Mayer Huck’s Market Chevrolet team “This was one of the tougher races I’ve been in because of the heat. But it was still fun. I was able to move around and try some different lines with our Huck’s Market Chevy. That’s one of the cool things about this track, it lets you experiment with the air a bit. I really wanted a top five and that’s all I was thinking about there at the end. It’s good to be able to keep this momentum going.”