JR Motorsports Race Report
Saturday, July 29, 2023
Race 20 of 33: Henry 180 at Road America
Track Specs: 4.048-mile road course / 45 laps
Race Winner: Sam Mayer
Mayer’s finish: 1st Point’s position: 6th (-182)
Sam Mayer, driver of the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet, raced his way to his first career NASCAR Xfinity series victory after a hard-fought battle with JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier and Sage Karam in the final laps. Mayer battled brake issues along with the majority of the field in Stage Two, but was able to rebound and fight back to grab the win at his home track and lock himself into the NXS playoffs.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team
“This is such a special win and such a special place to have it be the first win of my career at my home track. The last two laps were wild ones and I am so proud of my team for putting a first-place car together. This is truly unbelievable and a day I will never forget. Now that we got the first one out of the way, I am hungry for more.”
The young driver set himself up to start Saturday’s event in the fifth position after a solid qualifying run Friday afternoon. With a quiet start to Stage One, Mayer bumped up to fourth as the green flag fell and held steady in the top five. A lap-9 caution allowed Mayer the opportunity to pull the No. 1 Chevrolet down pit road for four tires, fuel and a slight adjustment to help free up the car.
As the closing laps of Stage One came about, Mayer started to fall back in the field and he reported to the team “I have no drive off, no turn in the center and I am losing my brakes.” The Franklin, Wis. native was able to hold it together to solidify an eighth-place Stage One finish. Crew chief Mardy Lindley called Mayer to pit road for four tires, fuel and brake adjustments.
The green flag fell for the second stage and Mayer restarted eighth and remained in line as the yellow flag waved during the green-flag shuffle. The driver of the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet reported under caution that he was a lot happier with the car and the brakes felt much better. Mayer raced his way back up to fifth over the closing laps of the stage to take the green-and-white checkered to conclude Stage Two in fifth on lap 34.
Lindley made the call to bring the young driver to pit road under the stage break for four fresh tires, some Sunoco fuel and a small adjustment.
Restarting the final stage in fifth, Mayer battled in the top five throughout the caution-riddled stage. Then, as the field prepared for NASCAR’s version of overtime, Mayer lined up behind teammate Allgaier in the hopes of battling for the win amongst teammates.
Another quick caution period set up the second attempt at overtime and when the green flag was displayed, Mayer went on the attack, as he charged into the race lead and fended off the feverish challenges from behind to take the checkered flag in first and score his first career NXS victory.
With the win, Mayer is now locked into the 2023 NXS Playoffs.