Sam Mayer Gets Career-Best Xfinity Result, Dash 4 Cash Bonus


RICHMOND, Va. — Saturday (April 2) at Richmond Raceway didn’t just end with Sam Mayer scoring his career-best Xfinity Series finish in the ToyotaCare 250. He also walked away with $100,000, represented by a check oversized that was presented to him and the No 1 JR Motorsports team after the race.

Mayer’s previous 24 starts, on a partial schedule in 2021 and the start of a full-time roster in 22, had yielded two top-five finishes: one per season. He now has two in the current campaign and Richmond was the site of a career-best third-place effort.

“We had a lot of speed last year when we came to Richmond in the fall,” Mayer said after the checkered flag. “We just didn’t get the finish we wanted because the tire strategy was very different in the fall because it was warmer and there were more warnings, people were nervous. because of the upcoming playoffs.”

The #1 car methodically worked its way through the field as the afternoon progressed, finishing 10th in stage one and seventh in stage two. Mayer finished 12th at Richmond last fall, competing in a single game in BJ McLeod’s No. 99 while regular team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove the No. 8.

“[That] race went a lot differently than today, obviously,” he said. “I don’t think we had just one warning or anything like that all day, so I mean obviously the racing, people’s mentalities were very different. So that led to more green flag races , and that’s exactly where our Accelerate Camaro kind of paid off and that long-range speed was unbeatable.

“If we could have to [Nos.] 54 and 18 in the last few rounds, I think we would have had a chance to go out there and beat them to get the whole win,” he added. “But obviously this Dash 4 Cash thing is really, really awesome. Bringing home $100,000 for the organization, keeping the streak alive for them, earning it, that’s really cool. And to be a part of that and to have my name on that list is also very special.

But what does an 18-year-old do with such a large check?

“I’ve been asked that four or five times,” Mayer said. “Honestly, I’ll just put it in my bank account because my fool can’t touch it or bad things will happen.”

Mayer’s car seemed to come to him more on long runs than short runs, and he was in a prime position to capitalize if leaders Ty Gibbs and John Hunter Nemechek came to blows.

“At the start I overtook him and lost a few places, made a mistake on pit road,” Mayer said. “Almost all of my mistakes were made on the first leg and then from there it got a lot better and it made the car better. I was able to get some good feedback on the clean air.

“So it means a lot to have that, to have the team behind me and to have the grid, to stick with me after making a few mistakes early on. And obviously I learned my lesson going there- down and kick my ass at the end.

Mayer’s first top five in Xfinity competition came in Martinsville, where NASCAR’s secondary division will travel next week.

“I feel, obviously, really confident about it. And on top of that, the team won there with Josh Berry last year, so they had tons of experience there and had a really good experience there. So […] they know how to do it and make it work. I’m excited to go out there and race for another win.

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