By: Ashley McCubbin
Last weekend at Pocono Raceway, Sam Mayer made his highly anticipated debut in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
The young prodigy ran up front in the top-10 through the first half, though ultimately faded back to 18th following some damage. Looking back on the day, he says the biggest surprise was how much aerodynamics matter in Xfinity compared to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series.
“That’s obviously the biggest thing going from like trucks and ARCA with lower downforce, high horsepower package is the aerodynamics,” he told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “Overall, I learned pretty how much how to race these races, and no matter if you’re in the middle of the pack, they’re going to race you like crazy. So just keeping your nose clean, too, that’s a big part of it as you don’t want to hurt your aero even on a road course as it will take away from the speed.
“So just being smart and if you pretty much run a day without mistakes, you’ll run top-five, top-10 easily.”
Mayer will be running the rest of the 2021 schedule in anticipation for a full season campaign with JR Motorsports in 2022. Unlike most of the races he will be running, Road America will feature practice this weekend due to being the inaugural appearance for the NASCAR Cup Series there.
“Honestly, with a track like this that I’ve been to already, I would honestly like no practice, no qualifying and start it up and go, because I feel I’d have an advantage over some of the other competitors,” Mayer commented. “But having practice and qualifying will give me a good opportunity to get my car better and learn my car better than I already have. Obviously more track time, more seat time is better for everybody.”
While each week there will be eyes on Mayer to check on the progression, there will be additional fans watching as this is his home track being from Franklin, Wisconsin. Despite that, he says the nerves are not fried yet.
“I’m honestly just more so excited to get going,” he shared. “Like I said, it’s a home race for us and you want to perform really well in front of a lot of fans out here. so I want to perform well in front of them, make a good name for myself, and really, I’m just itching to go race.”