Race 7 of 33: ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway Track Specs: 0.75-mile D-shaped oval / 250 laps Race Winner: Ty Gibbs Mayer’s finish: 3rd Points position: 6th (-102)
It’s hard to top a career-best day, but Sam Mayer did just that in Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway, capping his third-place finish – the highest for JR Motorsports - with a $100,000 payday by winning Xfinity’s Dash 4 Cash bonus. Mayer, wheeling the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet, outdueled fellow competitors AJ Allmendinger, teammate Noah Gragson and Austin Hill to claim the payout. Mayer and the No. 1 team continued JRM’s dominance in the program, giving the organization its 18th Dash 4 Cash bonus and its fifth consecutive. By way of the win, Mayer will be eligible to compete in round two of Dash 4 Cash next weekend at Martinsville Speedway.
Mayer took the green flag in 11th and immediately found his way inside the top 10. His focus was on managing his equipment and tire wear at the notoriously abrasive Virginia short track, and he settled into ninth while clicking off steady lap times.
The Wisconsin native rounded out Stage One in 10th, commenting he was “super tight rolling [the center of the corner].”
Following the No. 1 team’s first pit stop, Mayer took the Stage Two restart in 11th. With coaching from crew chief Taylor Moyer and spotter Brandon McReynolds, Mayer set out to limit his tire wear to that of his competitors. His initial pace found him maintaining, but toward the end of the second stage, Mayer had kept enough rubber to slide forward four positions and take the stage-ending caution in seventh.
Commenting he “needed more right-front turn,” Mayer ducked onto pit road for the second time for tires, fuel and an adjustment to help loosen up the No. 1 machine.
Emerging in seventh for the final stage, Mayer faded to 10th as the run began, again biding time and pacing himself for tire conservation with consistent reminders from the spotter’s stand.
With around 30 laps remaining, the team turned Mayer loose. While many of his peers had used up their tires early on, Mayer cruised on by. He climbed to fourth with 20 laps remaining and then stole the third spot away from Allmendinger, sailing to the checkered with a third-place finish and the Dash 4 Cash bonus check.
Mayer and the No. 1 team also improved three positions to sixth in the championship standings.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team
“By the end of it, our Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Camaro was so fast. I was able to keep the tires on it through the last run and still have a little left at the end. The team did a great job and the car was really good, and we had a lot of speed. It’s a fantastic feel-good moment for us. My best career finish and 100 grand to go with it, unbelievable! It’s an amazing feeling! This No. 1 team definitely deserves it.”