Race 9 of 33: Ag-Pro 300 at Talladega Superspeedway Track Specs: 2.66-mile tri-oval / 113 laps Race Winner: Noah Gragson Mayer’s finish: 28th Points position: 8th (-129)
Making only his second NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Talladega Superspeedway in Saturday’s Ag-Pro 300, Sam Mayer and the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions team ran their race with patience and poise, leading laps and snagging stage points. In the closing stages Mayer was within striking distance of his first NXS victory, pushing teammate Justin Allgaier to the front when contact from behind sent the No. 1 car spinning hard into the inside retaining wall. Mayer was relegated to a 28th-place finish as a result.
Mayer fired off for the start of the 113-lap race in 14th. During the opening laps a “super loose condition” had Mayer content to simply fall in line in the draft and await the opening round of pit stops.
A caution on lap 11 brought the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments to aid the handling for Mayer. With added stability to make moves, Mayer climbed into the top 10 following the adjustment and concluded Stage One in 10th.
Mayer made a charge during Stage Two that saw him climb to the front, lead twice for two laps and keep control of the bottom lane. He finished Stage Two in second.
After pitting for right-side tires under the stage ending caution, Mayer took the green flag for the final stage by maintaining the second spot. But early on he was shuffled out of position and dropped to 17th.
Catching the ebb and flow of the draft, Mayer cycled from running in the top 20 to the top 10. But around the 100-lap mark he found his way to fourth.
With crew chief Taylor Moyer preaching patience to the young driver, Mayer took the lap-110 restart behind teammate Justin Allgaier. The pair took the green in the top lane with Mayer giving a strong push to the No. 7. But when the No. 16 of AJ Allmendinger caught the bumper of Mayer, he gave several aggressive shots to the rear of the No. 1 which ultimately sent Mayer spinning out of control across the field.
The spin sent Mayer hard into the inside retaining wall and dealt the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions team a 28th-place finish.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team
“This place can be so frustrating. I learned so much out there today. It just really sucks to have kept ourselves clean the whole race, led laps and ran up front only to get wrecked at the end. It’s just a product of this kind of racing, and when you’re on this side of it, it’s not a whole lot of fun.”