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Sam Mayer Surges for Photo Finish Victory at Texas

Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer celebrating in Victory Lane after winning at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo: Cody Porter | The Podium Finish)

FORT WORTH, Texas — Sam Mayer has experienced almost everything possible in the first seven races of the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. Everything from getting involved in wrecks on track and pit road to losing a heartbreaker at Martinsville just a week ago.

During Saturday’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, Mayer experienced the only thing he and the No. 1 team haven’t yet, a trip to Victory Lane.

“That’s absolutely unreal,” Mayer said on the frontstretch during his interview. “This team, the amount of adversity we’ve had to fight this entire year so far and to come to a mile-and-a-half that I want to say I’m good at, but it took a lot.”

Mayer’s car came to life during the final stage on the lead and climbed into the top five. With just 20 laps to go, Mayer took the lead away from JR Motorsports teammate, Brandon Jones, right before the start/finish line.

The lead didn’t last long as Ryan Sieg, the 36-year-old veteran of the series, still seeking his first career victory stormed past Mayer to take the lead away in Turns 1 and 2.

On Lap 184, a caution came out after Sheldon Creed went into the grass and ran into the side of Kyle Weatherman. This put Weatherman into the wall, leaving nowhere for Hailie Deegan to go, running into Weatherman.

Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer doing a burnout on the frontstretch after winning at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo: Cody Porter | The Podium Finish)

This gave Mayer another shot at the win.

The final restart of the race came with just 11 laps remaining and Sieg got a great start and pulled away from the field. Mayer cleared Riley Herbst for second place in Turn 4 with 10 laps to go and was over seven-tenths behind Sieg.

Mayer began chipping away at Sieg’s lead. When the leaders took the white flag, Mayer was only a little over two-tenths behind Sieg.

Going into Turn 1, Mayer closed the gap significantly and were side-by-side on the back straightaway. Mayer drove it in deep, clearing Sieg for the lead into Turn 3, but Mayer drove it in too deep. As Mayer went up the track, Sieg pulled a crossover and got to the inside of Mayer.

The two were once again side by side coming out of Turn 4 and heading towards the checkered flag. After making slight contact, Mayer began barely inching ahead. So Sieg ran Mayer into the wall trying to slow his momentum down.

Mayer did not lose any momentum and the two crossed the line in photo-finish fashion, and Mayer edged out Sieg by 0.002 of a second.

This ended up being the closest finish in the history of the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Texas Motor Speedway.

Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer (1) and Ryan Sieg (39) crossing the start/finish side-by-side for the win in Saturday’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas. (Photo: Cody Porter | The Podium Finish)

“It took every ounce of me for me to do that today,” Mayer said.

While Mayer came out on top, Seig missed out on the first career win in heartbreaking fashion.

“Just tough,” Sieg said after the race. “I was doing all that I could do. I wish we were on the other side of that 0.002. It is what it is.”

Although Sieg and the entire RSS Racing group will look at the positives of being in that position, in start 342, it was looking like today would be the day.

“I feel like there is more to come,” said Sieg. “We just have to put a full race together. Ugh, we were so close. That just sucks.”

The race in large part today was dominated by another veteran of the series, Justin Allgaier. The 37-year-old led a race-high 117 laps and swept both of the stages.

Allgaier was looking like a lock to claim the win when with just 28 laps to go, the veteran racer got tight while lapping Leland Honeyman and ran into the No. 42. The contact caused Honeyman to slide into the outside Turn 2 wall.

The caution led to pit stops that shuffled up the running order for the following restart and on that restart, Allgaier lost the track position and was only able to get back up to the third position.

Defending series champion Cole Custer came home in fifth place, and although it was a quiet one, it was a great points day.

“We had a solid day,” Custer said. “Obviously, we wanted to win for Andy’s Frozen Custard and get that custard cone in victory lane. It was a hard-fought day for sure.”

Ryan Sieg

Ryan Sieg on pit road after finishing second by .002 second at Texas Motor Speedway. (Photo: Cody Porter | The Podium Finish)

Custer earned 15 stage points today to go along with the top-five run, resulting in a total of 47 points.

“We are doing great just trying to maximize the days and keep ourselves in the points. We want to win. We want to try to go out there and win, so we just have to find that little bit more, but we are working on it.”

Points leader Chandler Smith also led laps today, leading 26 during Stage 1. Smith’s chances of winning got ruined during the second stage when on Lap 86, Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sheldon Creed got loose and shot up the track, making hard contact with Smith.

The contact resulted in a decent amount of damage, but Smith battled back to earn a 15th-place finish. This did end Smith’s streak of finishing inside of the top 10 for every race to start the season at seven races.

Saturday’s race also set the Dash 4 Cash contenders for next week’s race at Talladega. Mayer will look to repeat and will take on Sieg, Allgaier and AJ Allmendinger for the win and $100,000 bonus prize.

Stage 1 Top 10 Finishers
  1. Justin Allgaier
  2. Chandler Smith
  3. Riley Herbst
  4. Brandon Jones
  5. Cole Custer
  6. Ryan Truex
  7. Austin Hill
  8. Ryan Sieg
  9. AJ Allmendinger
  10. Parker Kligerman
Stage 2 Top 10 Finishers
  1. Justin Allgaier
  2. Cole Custer
  3. Riley Herbst
  4. Brandon Jones
  5. Ryan Sieg
  6. Sammy Smith
  7. Austin Hill
  8. Jesse Love
  9. AJ Allmendinger
  10. Sam Mayer
Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas Motor Speedway Race Results
Finish Start Car No. Driver Sponsor/Make Status
1 10 1 Sam Mayer Carolina Carports Chevrolet Running
2 14 39 Ryan Sieg Sci Apps Ford Running
3 6 7 Justin Allgaier BRANDT/TradeMark Nitrogen Chevrolet Running
4 8 16 AJ Allmendinger Celsius Chevrolet Running
5 2 00 Cole Custer Andy’s Frozen Custard Ford Running
6 13 21 Austin Hill Global Industries/Bennett Chevrolet Running
7 7 20 Ryan Truex The Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota Running
8 9 8 Sammy Smith Pilot Flying J Coffee Chevrolet Running
9 1 2 Jesse Love (R) Whelen Chevrolet Running
10 12 5 Anthony Alfredo Botticelli Family Owned Chevrolet Running
11 3 19 Taylor Gray (i) Operation 300 Toyota Running
12 22 11 Josh Williams Alloy Employer Services Chevrolet Running
13 11 9 Brandon Jones Menards/Atlas Roofing Chevrolet Running
14 23 28 Ryan Sieg RSS Racing Ford Running
15 4 81 Chandler Smith QuickTie Toyota Running
16 18 51 Jeremy Clements First Pacific Funding Chevrolet Running
17 17 26 Corey Heim (i) Toyota Genuine Parts Toyota Running
18 33 97 Shane van Gisbergen (i) Worldwide Express Chevrolet Running
19 15 18 Sheldon Creed Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Toyota Running
20 27 38 Matt DiBenedetto Viking Motorsports Ford Running
21 25 44 Brennan Poole Prime Bites Brownie Chevrolet Running
22 29 31 Parker Retzlaff FUNKAWAY Chevrolet Running
23 20 15 Hailie Deegan (R) AirBox Ford Running
24 24 10 Daniel Dye (i) bproauto parts Chevrolet Running
25 16 48 Parker Rezlaff Spiked Lite Coolers Chevrolet Running
26 36 43 Ryan Ellis Eclipse Claims Consulting Chevrolet Running
27 5 98 Riley Herbst Monster Energy Ford Running
28 38 14 David Starr SHAR Ford Running
29 28 92 Josh Bilicki Milestone Chevrolet Running
30 37 35 Joey Gase Donate Life TX Chevrolet Running
31 31 42 Leland Honeyman (R) Distributor Wire & Cable Co Chevrolet Running
32 21 27 Jeb Burton State Water Heaters Chevrolet Running
33 30 07 Patrick Emerling Sesh Products Chevrolet Running
34 32 6 Garrett Smithley Trophy Tractor Inc. Chevrolet Running
35 26 29 Blaine Perkins Ford Running
36 19 91 Kyle Weatherman Tweaker Energy/DriveSmart Chevrolet Accident
37 34 4 Dawson Cram (R) Chevrolet Running
38 35 66 Chad Finchum HART HVAC & Electric Ford Suspension


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