Atlanta Motor Speedway
Sunday, July 8, 2023
Race 17 of 33: Alsco Uniforms 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.54-mile quad oval / 163 laps
Race Winner: John Hunter Nemecheck
Mayer’s finish: 5th
Point’s position: 7th (-198)
After a strong qualifying run early on Saturday afternoon, Sam Mayer, the driver of the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet took the green flag for tonight’s event from the fifth position. Throughout the night, the young driver raced through heavy damage on the nose that set him back in the pack before charging forward, leading to a thrilling fifth-place finish on the last run to the line. Pushing through a total of eight spots over the final two laps, Mayer now settles in the 7th spot in the NASCAR Xfinity series point standings, 198 markers behind the leader.
After advancing to the final round of qualifying late Saturday afternoon, Mayer set the No. 1 Chevrolet to start the Alsco Uniforms 250 fifth in line. The young driver settled in 12th as the green flag shuffle made its way through the top 10. As the laps rolled by, Mayer reported the car felt really good and that he just needed to make his way through the traffic.
The first caution of the night fell with 13 laps to go in Stage One. Crew chief Mardy Lindley called the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet down pit road for four tires and fuel. Spotter Kevin Hamlin reported “let’s give it all we got for points here” as Mayer restarted in the 15th position and came up just one spot shy of stage points for a Stage One 11th-place finish.
Lindley called the driver to stay out under the stage break which rolled Mayer to start in the runner-up spot with the pit cycle flowing through the field. Another shuffle on the restart pushed Mayer back to the 10th spot where he held strong until a lap-52 caution arose. The Franklin, Wis. native reported “I can’t attack like I could at the end of the first stage, super edgy in the right rear”.
Shortly after the restart, another yellow flag fell and the No. 1 Chevrolet cruised down pit road to take on four fresh tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to try and help that rear stability. Restarting in 27th, Mayer gained 13 spots in the final 10 laps of Stage Two for a 14th-place stage finish. Under the stage break, the young driver came in for a quick top-off of fuel and rolled back out to start the final stage in third.
Just a few short laps after the restart, Mayer was collected in an unfortunate multi-car incident on lap 89 and was forced to pit road for repairs on the front end. The No. 1 Chevrolet came back around to pit for four tires and fuel and was off to catch up on lost time due to damages on the nose of the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet.
The driver of the No. 1 restarted 22nd in line and reported to the team that he felt confident he could come back from this for a good finish. The laps started to wind down and Mayer wasted no time climbing though the field. With 17 laps to go he was up to 15th but it did not stop there. As he continued to shoot through the top 15, a caution came out with three laps to go and Mayer stayed calm in 13th.
Mayer reported to Kevin (Hamlin, spotter) “I want to take the bottom to avoid any mess that may come up” and he did just that. On the restart, the young driver had a great shove on the bottom and raced up into the top five for a thrilling come back and a hard-fought fifth-place finish at Atlanta.
Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team
“I could not be more proud of the work my No. 1 team put in tonight to allow us to come back from all the damage and have a solid fifth-place finish. Super unfortunate to be involved in that mid-race incident but the comeback was super rewarding and I am ready to keep the momentum we have going in New Hampshire next week.”