Race Weekend Central

Sam Mayer Continues Hot Streak with 3rd Top-2 Finish in Last 4 Races

SPEEDWAY, Ind. – It’s said that sports are a game of momentum, and right now, Sam Mayer has all the momentum in the world.

A NASCAR Xfinity Series winner at Road America two weeks ago, Mayer has backed his first career win up with a fifth-place finish at Michigan International Speedway and now a runner-up finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

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Ty Gibbs Drives Away to Xfinity Win At Indianapolis

When including a runner-up finish at Pocono Raceway the week prior to Road America, Mayer has three top-two finishes in his last four starts. In his prior 69 starts, Mayer had only finished second twice.

“Yeah, I think we’re just putting races together,” Mayer said. “Like, we’ve had so much speed all year, and we have to put a race together, and we’re finally really doing that and we’re doing it well. Like I said, we have so much momentum going into the next road course and all the ovals after that.”

Despite finishes of first and second in his last two road course races, Mayer stopped short of calling himself the favorite for next weekend’s race at Watkins Glen International.

“I wouldn’t say [I’m the] favorite by any means,” Mayer said. “I mean, we saw what the No. 19 (Ty Gibbs) and the No. 10 (AJ Allmendinger) were able to do today. Like, they were so fast. They were on the same strategy as us. Obviously being able to pass the No. 10 car there at the end was pretty beneficial for us; every little point matters.

“I won’t call myself the favorite; but I definitely have a lot of confidence going into those races.”

Starting 15th in Saturday’s (Aug. 12) Pennzoil 150, it was an early strategy call by crew chief Marty Lindley that put Mayer in position to battle with Gibbs and Allmendinger throughout the evening.

A lightning delay and rain halted the race on lap 7, and Mayer – alongside Allmendinger – elected to put slick tires on before the race resumed. The pair soon found themselves as the front duo after everyone else shelved the rain tires under green, and Mayer was able to retain the track position and contend with the Cup Series duo for the entire race.

“[Pitting early] was really what made our day,” Mayer said. “Mardy on top of the box, he’s smart as heck, but I did not think that was a smart decision. But obviously, it worked out for all of us.”

Now sixth in the regular season championship with four races to go before the playoffs begin, the No. 1 team will put out all the stops in making it to the Championship 4.

“Yeah, I mean, we’re really open to whatever we can do to go to Phoenix and compete for a championship,” Mayer said. “Whatever we have to do to get there, that’s what we’re going to do.

“And we did our best to do that today, and obviously today was a really good day. It wasn’t quite as perfect as I would have wanted, but it was definitely really solid.”

About the author

Stephen Stumpf is the NASCAR Content Director for Frontstretch, and his weekly columns include “Stat Sheet” and “4 Burning Questions.” Stephen also writes commentary, contributes weekly to the “Bringing the Heat” podcast and is frequently at the track for on-site coverage. A native of Texas, Stephen began following NASCAR at age 9 after attending his first race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Follow on Twitter @stephen_stumpf.

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