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Sam Mayer Captures Victory at Iowa

Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer celebrates his Hy-Vee Perks 250 victory at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Photo: Patrick Vallely | The Podium Finish)

NEWTON, Iowa — Sam Mayer capitalized in a NASCAR Overtime restart to capture the Hy-Vee Perks 250 victory over Riley Herbst at Iowa Speedway.

Starting from the fifth position, the Franklin, Wisconsin, native kept himself in the fight in Saturday’s race at the 0.875-mile track. However, in the early going, Chandler Smith, who started sixth, established himself as the early race favorite.

In the early going, Justin Allgaier, the fourth place starter, scooted past Austin Hill, leading the opening 14 laps. Smith got past Allgaier on Lap 15 before John Hunter Nemechek took the lead in the midst of pit stop cycles. Jeremy Clements led for seven laps before Smith led the way from Laps 49 to 156, sweeping the stages.

Meanwhile, Mayer lurked behind Smith, biding his time by finishing third in Stage 1 and second in Stage 2.

Problems befell race contenders like AJ Allmendinger in his Turn 4 accident on Lap 35, Kyle Weatherman, Blaine Perkins and Shane van Gisbergen‘s backstretch mess on Lap 88 and Jesse Love’s Turn 4 accident on Lap 151.

Perhaps the most frightening incident of Saturday’s race came on Lap 203 as Allgaier crashed hard into the Turn 4 wall when his left front tire cutdown. Allgaier clambered out of his wrecked machine, continuing his feast or famine season.

From Lap 169 onward, it became an intense battle for the win between Mayer and Herbst. Both raced each other relatively cleanly but with aggressive undertones.

Nemechek’s accident in Turn 4 on Lap 246 prompted the race’s only Overtime restart between Mayer and Herbst. On this occasion, Mayer would not be denied.

Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer and Riley Herbst prepare for the decisive Overtime restart in Saturday’s Hy-Vee Perks 250 at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Photo: Patrick Vallely | The Podium Finish)

By 0.146 seconds, Mayer captured his second win of the season, besting Herbst and evidently feeling strong for another 100 laps.

“We struggled and this Roto-Rooter team went to work,” Mayer said to Kim Coon of NASCAR on NBC. “Obviously, we did pretty good (Friday night), making good decisions on this racecar.

“Huge thanks to everyone at the HMS (Hendrick Motorsports) engine shop, JRM, Rigid, Roto-Rooter, everybody on board this weekend. Man, I’m out of breath cause I was just huffing in a bunch of smoke. I feel really good. I could do another 100 laps, for sure, with a racecar like this, it’d be a lot of fun.”

Despite capturing a runner-up, Herbst felt that Mayer did not race him cleanly for the finish.

“I have mixed frustrations, for sure,” Herbst said. “I’m happy to be back on an oval. I mean, the last two weeks on a road course was utterly embarrassing. It was an unacceptable performance from my end and everybody on the 98, so I’m happy to be back on an oval. I felt like we had an up and down day. I mean, it was a clean restart. It was fun.

“I like racing Sam, but Stage 1 or 2 he just absolutely brooms me. We were racing clean for fourth and takes us back to 10th and then doors me down the back straightaway before the green-white-checker. It’s just frustrating the way he wants to do that, but, all in all, it was fun. I’m happy to be back on ovals. The speed is back in the 98.”

Corey Heim rounded out the podium finishers, an impressive feat for the young racer who has made his presence known as a formidable NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series competitor for TRICON Garage.

“It’s just so slick,” Heim said. “Yeah, everyone anticipated this place to have a lot of grip and to race close without any issue, but, it did have a lot of grip but was super edgy and easy to slip a tire. Really surprised the leaders didn’t run into each other at the end.

“That was kind of what I was waiting on. I could’ve, in hindsight, been more aggressive to push the issue, but thought they were going to take care of that themselves. Sure enough, that didn’t happen.”

The key to Mayer’s victory was keeping up with the racetrack and tire management. When Mayer’s crew chief Mardy Lindley gave him the green light, the rest was left in the Wisconsinite’s hands to get the job done and that he did.

Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer did the Superman salute to the Iowa Speedway faithful following his win in the Hy-Vee Perks 250 in Newton, Iowa, on Saturday, June 15, 2024. (Photo: Patrick Vallely | The Podium Finish)

“Yea, we definitely got a little bit tight there at the end at the second stage,” Mayer said. “So, I was a little concerned there. Mardy said the tires all looked good, so we took care of it and we did our job. And now we get to celebrate.”

Stage 1 Top 10 Results
  1. Chandler Smith
  2. Sheldon Creed
  3. Sam Mayer
  4. Justin Allgaier
  5. Sammy Smith
  6. Cole Custer
  7. Brett Moffitt (i)
  8. Corey Heim (i)
  9. John Hunter Nemecheck (i)
  10. Jesse Love (R)
Stage 2 Top 10 Results
  1. Chandler Smith
  2. Sam Mayer
  3. Ross Chastain (i)
  4. Corey Heim (i)
  5. Sammy Smith
  6. Sheldon Creed
  7. Justin Allgaier
  8. Riley Herbst
  9. Cole Custer
  10. Austin Hill
Hy-Vee Perks 250 at Iowa Speedway Race Results
Finish Start Car No. Driver Sponsor/Make Status
1 5 1 Sam Mayer Roto-Rooter Chevrolet Running
2 12 98 Riley Herbst Monster Energy Ford Running
3 22 26 Corey Heim (i) yahoo! Toyota Running
4 17 8 Sammy Smith TMC Transportation Chevrolet Running
5 3 18 Sheldon Creed Friends of Jacyln Foundation Toyota Running
6 7 00 Cole Custer Haas Automation Ford Running
7 24 38 Matt DiBenedetto Rema Ford Running
8 6 81 Chandler Smith Mobil 1 Toyota Running
9 28 92 Ross Chastain (i) Rich Mar Florist Chevrolet Running
10 37 10 Daniel Dye (i) Race to Stop Suicide Chevrolet Running
11 10 48 Parker Kligerman Spiked Lite Coolers Chevrolet Running
12 15 39 Ryan Sieg Sci Aps Ford Running
13 25 42 Leland Honeyman (R) RANDCO Industries Chevrolet Running
14 20 43 Ryan Ellis Shine Water Chevrolet Running
15 19 5 Anthony Alfredo Ferguson Chevrolet Running
16 36 35 Joey Gase Iowa Donor Network Chevrolet Running
17 31 14 David Starr Chevrolet Running
18 29 19 Brett Moffitt (i) Destiny Homes Toyota Running
19 21 28 Kyle Sieg RSS Racing Ford Running
20 27 11 Josh Williams Alloy Employer Services Chevrolet Running
21 16 51 Jeremy Clements Whitetail Smokeless Chevrolet Running
22 34 4 Dawson Cram (R) Chevrolet Running
23 32 07 Patrick Emerling Hoker Trucking LLC Chevrolet Running
24 30 27 Jeb Burton State Water Heaters Chevrolet Running
25 33 15 Hailie Deegan (R) AirBox Ford Running
26 35 6 Garrett Smithley Chevrolet Running
27 8 20 John Hunter Nemechek (i) Daisy Brands Toyota Accident
28 14 44 Brennan Poole Macc Door Systems Chevrolet Oil Line
29 1 21 Austin Hill Bennett Transportation Chevrolet Accident
30 4 7 Justin Allgaier BRAND/Precision Build Chevrolet Accident
31 9 2 Jesse Love (R) Whelen Chevrolet Accident
32 13 31 Parker Retzlaff FVP Verified. Proven. Chevrolet Electrical
33 23 91 Kyle Weatherman Chevrolet Accident
34 2 97 Shane van Gisbergen (R) Kubota Chevrolet Accident
35 18 29 Blaine Perkins Ford Accident
36 26 9 Brandon Jones Menards/Pelonis Chevrolet Engine
37 11 16 AJ Allmendinger Cirkul Chevrolet Accident
38 38 53 Glen Reen Chevrolet Carburetor

Rob Tiongson is a sports writer and editor originally from the Boston area and resides in the Austin, Texas, area. Tiongson has covered motorsports series like NASCAR and INDYCAR since 2008 and NHRA since 2013. Most recently, Tiongson is covering professional basketball, mainly the WNBA, and women's college basketball. While writing and editing for The Podium Finish, Tiongson currently seeks for a long-term sportswriting and sports content creating career. Tiongson enjoys editing and writing articles and features, as well as photography. Moreover, he enjoys time with his family and friends, traveling, cooking, working out and being a fun uncle or "funcle" to his nephew, niece and cat. Tiongson is an alum of Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and St. Bonaventure University's renowned Jandoli School of Communication with a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism.

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