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Sam Mayer Beats Riley Herbst in NASCAR Overtime to Score Xfinity Win at Iowa

Photo Credit: Sean Gardner, Getty Images

After a captivating battle with Riley Herbst during a green-white-checkered run to the conclusion of Saturday’s Hy-Vee PERKS 250 at Iowa Speedway, Sam Mayer is back in Victory Lane for the second time this season.

Driving the No. 1 Roto-Rooter Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports, Mayer put his sixth NASCAR Xfinity Series victory in the record books on Saturday, leading 47 of 250 laps and spending seven of the final nine laps pacing the field.

“Yeah, you know, we struggled [in practice on Friday] and this Roto-Rooter team went to work and obviously we did pretty good overnight, making good decisions,” Mayer said after climbing from his racecar on the frontstretch.

Mayer and veteran crew chief Mardy Lindley struggled throughout Friday’s extended practice session at the 0.875-mile short track, clocking in an extremely disappointing 28th in the session, significantly off the pace of their fellow top-tier drivers and organizations.

With qualifying canceled due to inclement weather, NASCAR’s performance metric ensured that Mayer wouldn’t have to push his tires too hard, starting inside the top five, giving the team some much-needed comfort in a race that featured numerous tire failures.

“We definitely got a bit tight there at the end of the second stage, so I was a little concerned there, but Mardy [Lindley] said the tires looked all good, so we took care of it and we did our job, and now we get to celebrate,” Mayer added.

RESULTS: 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series Hy-Vee PERKS 250 at Iowa Speedway

After claiming the lead of the race late in the going on Saturday, Riley Herbst came up just short of Mayer in NASCAR Overtime, finishing in second place. It matches the best result of the season for the No. 98 Ford Mustang.

Corey Heim, who was quickest in Friday’s 50-minute practice session, brought home a third-place finish for Sam Hunt Racing, matching the organization’s best-ever result in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Sammy Smith recorded a top-five finish at his home racetrack, finishing fourth, while Sheldon Creed finished fifth, after battling for the lead of the race late in the event, before making contact and sliding back a couple of spots on a late restart.

Defending NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Cole Custer came home a solid sixth for Stewart-Haas Racing, while Matt DiBenedetto earned a career-best result in seventh for RSS Racing and Viking Motorsports. Chandler Smith, who led a race-high 131 laps on Saturday was eighth with Ross Chastain and Daniel Dye rounding out the top-10.

The race featured a total of 17 lead-lap finishers, which included the likes of Leland Honeyman, Ryan Ellis, Anthony Alfredo, Joey Gase, and David Starr, all of which brought home solid top-20 runs.

Several incidents happened throughout the afternoon due to tire issues, as multiple drivers like AJ Allmendinger, Jeb Burton, Jesse Love, Justin Allgaier, Austin Hill, and John Hunter Nemechek suffered issues.

Leaving Iowa, the NASCAR Xfinity Series travels to New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where Cole Custer will look to defend his one-point lead in the regular-season point standings over Chandler Smith. Austin Hill, Justin Allgaier, and Jesse Love are the top five.

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