Saturday, July 22, 2023
Race 19 of 33: Explore The Pocono Mountains 225 at Pocono Raceway
Track Specs: 2.5-mile triangular-oval / 90 laps
Race Winner: Austin Hill
Mayer’s finish: 2nd
Point’s position: 9th (-206)
Sam Mayer, driver of the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet, scored a hard-fought second-place finish at Pocono Raceway after a slight tire rub on the No. 1 that the team battled through for the majority of the night. With the strong result today, Mayer held steady inside the top-10 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings, settling in ninth with seven races remaining in the regular season.
A solid qualifying run set the young driver to start the race in eighth between teammates Brandon Jones and Justin Allgaier. With a slight incident on the opening lap, Mayer cruised away with no damage and carried through the top-10 as the laps rolled by. With 8 laps to go in the stage, Mayer held the seventh position but reported he was feeling a little snug after the hit. Mayer held in that position to catch a seventh-place Stage One finish.
Crew chief Mardy Lindley called the Franklin, Wis. native down pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment. Mayer rolled off to start Stage Two in the 10th position. After battling for position on the green-flag shuffle, the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet captured the eighth spot in line and held tight as the stage came to a close. Mayer finished the second stage in seventh, gaining another four valuable stage points.
Mayer reported under caution “we are still a little edgy but I am super happy with the car”. The young driver came down pit road for four fresh tires and some Sunoco fuel to restart the final stage in 12th.
A caution on the restart sent Mayer to the bottom to avoid an on-track incident that took place in front of the No. 1 Chevrolet. The young driver reported he had smoke coming through the car and felt he had a tire rub on the right rear. Lindley called the No. 1 down pit road for damage repair before the restart. This sent Mayer to the tail end of the field restarting in the 27th position.
It did not take Mayer long to regain speed and position as he flew through the field and the laps dwindled down. With 30 laps to go, the driver of the No. 1 broke the top-10 and two laps later he settled in the sixth position. As more cautions arose on the closing laps, Mayer was saving all the fuel he could as they were cutting it close but chose to stay out and fight till the end.
On the final restart of the night, Mayer chose the top and lined up next to teammate Josh Berry on the front row. After a hard-fought battle on the restart, the driver of the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevy rallied to a runner-up finish at Pocono Raceway.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team
“Super proud of how this No. 1 team handled our day today. We fought through a lot of challenges and managed to pull off a finish just one spot shy of the win. I continue to learn more and more each weekend and I know we can capitalize on everything and capture that top spot soon. Keeping our heads held high and we will see what we can do in Road America next weekend.”