Sam Mayer’s Darlington Top-Five Finish a ‘Solid Day’

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

DARLINGTON, S.C. – A top-five finish during NASCAR’s Throwback Weekend was the latest in a momentum shift for JR Motorsports’ Sam Mayer.

The top-five run in the Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200 was the fourth top-five finish in the last five NASCAR Xfinity Series races for Mayer. Outside of the chaos at Talladega Superspeedway, the turnaround in results have largely ended a ‘feast or famine’ season for the third-year Xfinity driver.

On the final restart of the race, Mayer lined up alongside his teammate, and eventual race winner Justin Allgaier. A good launch by Allgaier left the 20-year-old a couple car lengths behind. A challenge from Austin Hill allowed the No. 7 Brandt Chevrolet Camaro SS to pull away. Mayer’s No. 1 RTIC Outdoors Chevrolet slipped back once Hill got to his right rear quarter panel. Mayer held on to take the checkered flag in fourth.

“Overall, our RTIC Outdoors and Cooler Chevrolet was really solid,” Mayer explained. “Obviously JRM brought five really good race cars this weekend. Unfortunate that we couldn’t get the dub, but that last restart was a lot of fun. That was the hardest we went all day. It was a good day, but we were obviously a little bit short.”

Though Allgaier and Mayer had largely the same cars, two things hindered the Franklin, WI native. His relative inexperience at Darlington Raceway with no practice or qualifying this weekend due to weather, and a stability issue that saw his car swing back and forth from loose to tight.

“All day (Allgaier) had a little more turn than us and stability in the rear,” Mayer said. “I was just talking to my guys, we were back and forth on balance between being tight and being loose. So, we had a car that that was capable, we just needed to be a little bit better and a little better in the details.” 

Despite dealing with the issues in stability, Mayer capitalized on his sixth place starting spot. He earned a third-place finish in Stage 1 and finished fourth in Stage 2. That netted the up-and-coming an additional 15 points.

The fourth-place finish was Mayer’s fourth top-five and fifth top-10 of the season. It was also his 29th top-five and 49th top-10 finish of his career.

Mayer’s win at Texas Motor Speedway earlier this season locked him into the Xfinity Series playoffs. The top-five moved him back into the top-12 in points, 166 behind leader Hill.

Next for Mayer is the BetMGM 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In two starts at the 1.5-mile track he has one top-five finish and one pole position, both in 2022.

The BetMGM 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is scheduled for Saturday, May 25 at 1:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. The race will also be broadcast on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *