After leading 138 of the scheduled 150 laps and sitting on the pole, Mayer was once again victorious for the second consecutive time this season, earning his first ARCA West Series win at the Bullring. The victory was an emotional win for Mayer and company.
It’s been over eight years ago (2012) since the ARCA Menards Series West (previously NASCAR K&N Pro Series West) last raced at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring. One of the names making early headlines so far in the 2020 season is standout Sam Mayer for GMS Racing. Mayer also competed in the ARCA East race last week at New Symrna and scored the victory. As for the Bullring, he was looking to once again go to victory lane for the second time in a row this season.
Mayer was driving a Spencer Clark tribute car. Clark, who got his start at Las Vega, was killed in an automobile accident in 2006 when he was only 19-years-old.
“Yeah, this is so special,” Mayer said to NBCSN. “I’ve never had a connection to Spencer (Clark) being with the team. I actually feel that connection, so it’s really special to have him on the car and it’s really emotional. Even before the race, we were feeling the emotions of it, now we’re going to feel it after a victory like that. We definitely would have done what Spencer would have done. Go out and wax the field. I can’t thank GMS enough for bringing the best car out here today and we’re going to enjoy this one for sure.”
“I don’t want to pinch myself because I hope I’m not dreaming,” Mayer said after the win. “This is a heck of a way to start a year for sure. New era, new freakin’ everything. Obviously it’s a new me too. Hopefully, we can continue this grind of getting wins left and right and hopefully get into Victory Lane all the time.”
As noted, once the Star Nursery 150 got underway, Mayer’s car was like a rocket leading almost every single lap. However, it wasn’t that easy for him to get the victory. Jesse Love in the No. 19 took the lead for 14 laps before Mayer was able to get it back. It seemed like nothing could stop the Franklin, Wisconsin native, even the few cautions that fell in the quick race.
It seemed as though the cautions were few and far between. The first fell on Lap 25 when the No. 12 of Lawless Alan made slight contact with the No. 16 of Gio Scelzi who went around off Turn 4. Then, 39 laps later, the second caution came out for the No. 7 of Austin Reed as he spun in Turn 2. Reed had some help from Scelzi. On Lap 80, the third yellow of the night came for the No. 17 of Zach Telford. Telford lost his brakes on the frontstretch and came to a stop. Telford would wind up in 16th place.
After these few quick cautions, Mayer continued to set the pace at blistering speeds by lapping up to seventh place at one point. Then one final caution stacked the field up one more time for a restart with eight to go with Mayer as the leader. In the end, it was basically the story of the night for the GMS driver as he picked up his second win of the 2020 season.
Despite the dominating win, a few drivers, including Mayer, had brake rotor problems. But, he says one of the cautions helped him with that issue.
“About halfway through the race, my brakes pretty much went away,” Mayer added to NBCSN. “Thank god that caution came out because I was able to cool them down a little bit again. It was a tough race and this place is a lot harder on the brakes than I thought it was going to be, but that’s what makes a race team and racecar driver, perseverance through some adversity.”
Just four cautions slowed the pace in the 150-lap race and only one lead change occurred.
- Sam Mayer, led 138 laps
- Jesse Love, led 13 laps
- Blaine Perkins
- Gracie Trotter
- Trevor Huddleston
- Lawless Alan
- Jack Wood
- Todd Souza
- Austin Reed, one lap down
- Gio Scelzi, two laps down
- Takuma Koga, three laps down
- Holley Hollan, three laps down
- Bobby Hillis Jr, 13 laps down
- Joey Iest, 45 laps down
- Chirs Lowden, 52 laps down
- Zach Telford, 71 laps down
- Bridget Burgess, 110 laps down
Up Next: The ARCA Menards West Series’ next race is Saturday night, March 28. at Irwindale Speedway.