Race Weekend Central

Sam Mayer Steals Xfinity Pole at the Charlotte ROVAL

Sam Mayer snatched the pole from JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier near the end of a wacky qualifying session at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s ROVAL Saturday morning (Oct. 7). Mayer turned a lap of 101.798 mph to knock Allgaier off the top. Mayer enters the ROVAL in a must-win situation.

The qualifying session took a unique turn after Group A finished their time. Boris Said, trying to make the race with Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 17 car, appeared to have fluid coming out from under the car. This resulted in a lengthy cleanup around the entire race track.

Due to the amount of time it took to clean the fluid, NASCAR made the decision to cancel the second round of qualifying.

JRM secured the top three positions with Josh Berry slotting in just behind Mayer and Allgaier. Daniel Hemric and Sheldon Creed round out the top-five.

Not only did the JRM cars show speed, but Chevrolets also took eight of the top 10 starting positions. Parker Kligerman qualified sixth, and Cole Custer is the first Ford in seventh.

Austin Hill will start eighth, and Riley Herbst is the first non-playoff driver in ninth. Alex Labbe for DGM Racing qualified 10th.

Of the playoff drivers, Chandler Smith and Jeb Burton qualified 17th and 19th, just barely missing out of the top five in Group A. 

Notably absent from the top of the leaderboard were the Joe Gibbs Racing cars. Sammy Smith qualified 22nd, and John Hunter Nemechek did not attempt a qualifying lap after the team discovered a significant oil leak in practice. The No. 20 will start from the back.

Luckily for the Joe Gibbs Racing team, the No. 20 crew was able to fix the leak within 45 minutes. No damage appears to have been done to the engine.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 250 Starting Lineup

With 42 cars entering the race, four cars did not make the cut. Andy Lally, Preston Pardus, Boris Said, and Devin Jones did not qualify.

The Drive for the Cure 250 presented by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina at the Charlotte ROVAL will start at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.

About the author


I began sports writing in 2023 with The Liberty Champion, where I officially covered my first NASCAR race at Richmond in the spring. While there, I met some of the guys from Frontstretch, and I joined the video editing team after I graduated from Liberty University with degrees in Strategic Communications and Sports Journalism. I currently work full-time as a Multi-Media Journalist with LEX 18 News in Lexington, Kentucky and contribute to Frontstretch with writing and video editing. I'm also behind-the-scenes or on camera for the Happy Hour Podcast, live every Tuesday night at 7:30!

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Alex Curits

Ridiculous to let Said in the race. With his countless NASCAR victories the cameras will most likely just follow him as he puts lap after lap after lap on the field as he always does. Watching Boris run laps 30-40 seconds faster than everyone will get boring.

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