Race 8 of 33: Call 811 Before You Dig 25 at Martinsville Speedway Track Specs: .526-mile oval / 261 laps Race Winner: Brandon Jones Mayer’s finish: 5th Points position: 6th (-107) Sam Mayer was in the thick of the battle in the closing laps of Friday night’s Call 811 Before You Dig 250 for NASCAR Xfinity Series cars at Martinsville Speedway and wound up fifth at the finish after a strong move in Turn 4 on the final lap. As one of the four drivers racing for the $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus, Mayer and his No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team fell just short of winning it for the second straight week by finishing two positions behind eventual winner AJ Allmendinger. The result was Mayer’s third straight top-five finish in the NXS, following a fifth at Circuit of the Americas and a career-best third-place showing last week at Richmond Raceway. Race Rundown
Qualifying 21st for the start of the scheduled 250-lap event, Mayer wasted little time moving forward once the green flag waved. The Wisconsin native drove to the top 15 in just 24 laps on the tight .526-mile oval and was 13th at lap 37, when the caution flag waved. Mayer reported to crew chief Taylor Moyer that his car was a little on the loose side on throttle.
Running to the end of the 60-lap Stage One, Mayer ended up ninth at the green-and-white checkered flag to earn a pair of valuable stage points. After telling Moyer that his car gotten very tight over the final run, neutral in the center and loose off, the crew chief called Mayer to pit road for four tires and fuel. He also reported an issue shifting between second and third gears.
Returning to the track in 17th position, Mayer found his groove and accelerated through the field to the top 10 at lap 90, the halfway point of Stage Two. When the caution waved for a spin at lap 102, Mayer was eighth, telling Moyer the car was getting better but still sensitive.
After climbing to seventh, Moyer elected to pit before the end of the stage at lap 120 for track position, and Mayer took four tires and fuel with instructions to save fuel when possible for the 130-lap final segment.
Restarting on the outside line in ninth, Mayer got bogged down and dropped to 12th before rallying back to the top 10 in time for the caution to wave at lap 155. The handling on Mayer’s No. 1 Chevrolet had gone to the loose side, but the 18-year-old did not want a chassis adjustment that would tighten it up. He came to pit road for four tires and fuel to the end and returned to the race in 14th place.
Despite a flurry of caution flags, Mayer worked his way back into the top 10 with 54 laps remaining in the race and kept moving forward. His Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet was among the fastest cars on the track, and over the next 30 laps he had risen to third in the order.
Mayer was second with just 14 laps remaining following an excellent restart and battled with JRM teammate Noah Gragson until the green-white-checkered restart at lap 250. Coming to the restart zone, Mayer’s Chevrolet jumped out of gear, sending him into the side of Gragson’s No. 9 Chevrolet and triggering a massive pileup that brought out the red flag.
Once the race restarted, Mayer battled in the top tier until the final corner, when he sent his Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet hard into Turn 4 coming to the checkered, splitting the gap between two cars. Mayer kept his foot down and raced to the fifth-place finish.
Mayer’s result kept him sixth in the series point standings after eight races, 107 behind the leader.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team “We knew coming into Martinsville out Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet had a chance to win the race tonight, and we certainly had the opportunity at the end. I was racing for my second $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus and for the chance to race for it again in a couple of weeks, and I went for it on the last lap. It was another good day in the points for Taylor Moyer and the rest of our No. 1 team, and we have a week off to get ready for Talladega. On the first green-white-checkered restart, the car popped out of first gear coming to the green, and that sent me into my teammate. I hate that it happened.”