Saturday’s CARS Response Energy Late Model Stock Tour event at Wake County Speedway produced a huge first-time win for a rookie driver.
Sam Mayer held off JRM teammate Josh Berry and Lee Pulliam to score his first career CARS Response Energy Tour victory.
Mayer said this win was a huge relief and lifted weight off his shoulders. After several top five finishes in 2018, Mayer was finally able to celebrate a win.
Mayer started 10th in the 20-car field at the “bullring” Mayer had fallen back to 11th where he was forced to work his way through the field before taking the lead on lap 75 of the feature.
Mayer had gapped 2nd place runner Josh Berry, until the caution flew with two laps to go for a single car spin in turn 4. This allowed Josh Berry, who started last, among others such as Pulliam and Layne Riggs one last shot to get by Sam Mayer.
“I used up my tires a little early, I think,” Mayer said about the restart. “I had to start in fourth gear just to avoid spinning my tires on those restarts. I was still able to get a good jump, because the gearing is so small at this small track. We were able to go and get clear.
“Pulliam gave me a shot and said ‘I gave you all I got, man.’ It was a great feeling going into three being clear. Coming to the checkered flag is a great feeling, putting my hand up in the car.”
Along with running the full season in the CARS Tour, Mayer has recorded starts in the ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series along with numerous Super Late Model starts.
“Everything this year has been learning. I’ve been going to new tracks like here every single weekend. It’s just all about learning and getting ready for next year and the rest of my career.”
The CARS Response Energy Tour will host two more races this season. The series returns to action in two weeks at Orange County Speedway. The season finale will take place November 3 at South Boston Speedway (VA).