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Sam Mayer: NASCAR/ARCA’s Statistical Anomaly

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE – SEPTEMBER 17: Sam Mayer, driver of the #24 Armour Guard Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 17, 2020 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) defines an “anomaly” as a deviation from the common rule, type, arrangement, or form. When speaking about statistics, an anomaly is described as “a failure” in an experiment, or in cases like these, a result that differs from the expected result. These things make it incredibly obvious that Sam Mayer is NASCAR/ARCA’s “statistical anomaly”.

It’s blatantly obvious that Sam Mayer isn’t “a failure” in an experiment, but his statistics and results have certainly produced a different outcome than what was expected from the Wisconsin-native, at least at the beginning of his career.

Mayer began his tenure in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2018, running six races for Jefferson Pitts Racing and MDM Motorsports. The then 15-year-old finished inside the top-five twice, but these results weren’t indicative of the dominance that was coming the following season.

A contract with GMS Racing and Drivers Edge Development in 2019 was next for Mayer — a move which has since propelled him to a part-time effort in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for 2021 — to run a full season in the East Series, as well as a partial schedule in the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.

Mayer started showing up, winning four races, including a sweep of both of the series’ races at Bristol, along with victories at Iowa and Dover, – tracks visited by the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series — ultimately dominating the championship point standings and becoming the youngest champion in NASCAR history at 16 years, three months and eight days old.

The 17-year-old has truly had a breakout season in 2020, scoring nine victories across the four divisions he has competed in this season with GMS Racing, winning at least one race in each division he has run. Mayer currently leads the ARCA Menards Series East point standings over Ty Gibbs, and can lock up back-to-back championships on the east coast if less than 22 cars enter the series’ finale at Pensacola in October.

Additionally, Mayer currently sits in prime position to take home the first Sioux Chief Showdown Championship, leading the point standings by six points over Ty Gibbs, heading into the series’ finale next weekend at Memphis.

  • It was a total of 49 days between Sam Mayer’s first ARCA Menards Series victory at Toledo Speedway (July 31st) and his fifth career victory at Bristol Motor Speedway (September 17th), the shortest time frame between a driver’s first and fifth victories in the ARCA Menards Series  since Darel Dieringer won his first and fifth races only 38 days apart in 1956.
  • Sam Mayer’s NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series victory Thursday Night at Bristol Motor Speedway was the worst starting spot by a NASCAR Truck Series winner at the .533-mile track. Mayer started his No. 24 Chevrolet Silverado in 17th.
  • Sam Mayer’s victory in the UNOH 200 Presented by Ohio Logistics  marks the fourth NASCAR Truck Series victory for GMS Racing in the last five races at Bristol Motor Speedway, including three consecutive victories.
  • In Sam Mayer’s last 17 ARCA Menards Series East starts, the 17-year-old has an average finish of 2.647. Mayer’s one finish outside the top-ten in that period was an 11th-place finish at South Boston, and Kyle Benjamin was driving the No. 21 for 80% of the race.
  • By winning the UNOH 200 Presented by Ohio Logistics, Sam Mayer becomes the fourth driver born after 01/01/2000 (after Tyler Ankrum, Todd Gilliland and Harrison Burton) to win a race in NASCAR’s National Series, and the third driver to do so in the NASCAR Truck Series.
  • Sam Mayer’s birthday (June 26th, 2003) is the latest date of birth of any STARTER EVER in one of NASCAR’s top-three series.
  • Sam Mayer is currently on track to best Harrison Burton’s record for best average finish in the ARCA Menards Series East (was NASCAR K&N Pro Series East), currently boasting an average finish of 1.20 in the series. Burton’s average finish was 3.124 in 2017.
    • Mayer is guaranteed to set a new series record for the best average finish, if he can finish better than 13th-place at Pensacola.
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