Sam Mayer Pulls Off ROVAL Win To Advance To Round Of 8 In NASCAR Playoffsby Hunter Thomas October 7, 2023 1 comment
CONCORD, N.C. – In a must-win situation to advance to the Round of 8 of the NASCAR Playoffs, Sam Mayer pulled off the victory as he dominated the Drive For The Cure 250 presented by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL on Saturday.
Mayer entered the cutoff race 34 points below the eighth and final transfer position. Following a string of three consecutive DNFs, Mayer and his JR Motorsports team were in a terrible hole heading into the ROVAL, but they rallied and capitalized on the opportunity when it counted.
“Bonus points feel great, winning feels great,” said Mayer, driver of the No. 1 Accelerate Pros Talent Chevrolet. “Winning solves everything. That’s the name of the game. Getting another shot at it, I think, this is our second chance moment. I think we can make something out of it.”
On Saturday, Mayer started on the pole and led a race high of 50 laps. On the final restart of the day, Mayer chased down Cole Custer, put the bumper to him and sailed to victory. The win marks his third of the season.
“Yeah, I knew we had time,” Mayer said. “Our car was so fast. It really felt unbeatable, just like Xfinity 10G. What a day. The good Lord, He works in mysterious ways. He put us down, but He also taught me a lesson and brought me back up, and we kicked their tails today, and it just feels so great.”
Custer held on to finish second in the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 00 Haas Automation Ford. The runner-up effort is Custer’s third consecutive top-five finish.
Josh Berry finished fourth, followed by Kaz Grala, Parker Kligerman, Daniel Hemric, John Hunter Nemechek, Austin Hill and Sheldon Creed rounding out the top-10.
Justin Allgaier won Stage 1, and Nemechek won Stage 2.
There were four cautions throughout the 67-lap race, but only one was for a multi-car accident. On a late restart on Lap 61, Jeb Burton made contact with Allgaier while battling for the lead, and the two drivers went hard into the barrier in the first turn. The accident ended the day for Allgaier who was having a strong effort.
Advancing to the Round 8 of the NASCAR Playoffs are John Hunter Nemechek, Austin Hill, Justin Allgaier, Sam Myer, Cole Custer, Chandler Smith, Sheldon Creed and Sammy Smith.
Daniel Hemric was eliminated by mere inches after finishing seventh in a three-wide photo finish. Parker Kligerman, Josh Berry and Jeb Burton were also eliminated as well.
The opening race of the Round of 8 will be held at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 21. Live coverage will broadcast on USA at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com