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Sam Mayer Secures ARCA Menards West Series Victory At Sonoma

SONOMA, CA. – For the first time since Bristol Motor Speedway back in September 2020, Sam Mayer held off late race charger Tyler Reif to win the ARCA Menards West Series race at Sonoma Raceway after numerous cautions flags littered throughout the 64-lap race.

Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer Wins ARCA Menards West Series Race At Sonoma (Photo: Aaron Brink | The Podium Finish)

Mayer started on the pole in the No. 23 SPS/GMS Fabrication/Spencer Clark Chevrolet following a lap time of 1:17 seconds and 92.873 mph. While the Wisconsin native might’ve started on the pole, the race was no easy task for the 21-year-old as he also had some close calls with traffic. Early on in the race, Mayer had a big slip up in Turn 4A, which allowed Joe Gibbs Racing driver, William Sawalich to take the lead briefly. Shortly after Sawalich grabbed the lead, the first caution flag flew at Lap 6 for a suspension on the racing surface.

The caution saw the drivers get bunched for the restart with Mayer and Sawalich on the front row. Following the restart, Sawalich led through the next 20 laps until a Lap 23 caution came out for the No. 71 of Nick Joanides who went off course in Turn 10 into the tire barrier’s. Meanwhile, during the yellow flag period, race leaders like Mayer, Sawalich, Noah Gragson brought their cars down to pit road to make adjustments. Not too long following the Lap 27 restart, a tire came off the left-rear of the No. 15 Venturini Motorsports Toyota from Brent Crews, which prompted yet another caution.

Eventually, a critical moment came during mid-race at Lap 34, where race leader Gragson slid up the track in Turn 7 and thus allowed Mayer to retake the lead. Two more cautions would fly late in the race, one at Lap 39 and the other at Lap 63 when Mayer came close to taking the white flag. This meant an overtime restart and the Wisconsin native had to be on top of his game and hold off contenders like last year’s ARCA West champ, Sean Hingorani, Sawalich and Tyler Reif to win the race.

Despite a late rally from Reif, Mayer won his second career ARCA West Series victory by 0.930 seconds. The West Series win also marked his first since the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mayer led three times for 37 laps en route to the victory. Reif, Hingorani, Sawalich, Jack Wood rounded out the top five finishers.

Up Next: The ARCA Menards West Series will take the next several weeks before returning on July 4 at Irwindale Speedway.

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