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Sam Mayer Ekes Out Texas Victory in Thrilling Photo Finish with Ryan Sieg

Photo by Chris Graythen, Getty Images

In the last two weeks, Sam Mayer has put together a major course correction on his NASCAR Xfinity Series campaign.

After finishing second to Aric Almirola at Martinsville Speedway, the JR Motorsports driver emerged from an intense finish in Saturday’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas Motor Speedway the race-winner, making a last-lap pass on Ryan Sieg and beating the long-time Xfinity driver to the start-finish line by the narrowest of margins.

The margin of victory for Saturday’s 300-mile contest was 0.002 seconds, making it the second-closest finish in the history of the NASCAR Xfinity Series, behind only the 2018 Powershares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway, which had a margin of victory at 0.0004 seconds.

“That’s absolutely unreal,” Mayer said after climbing from his car. “This Carolina Carports Chevrolet was certainly as fast as XFINITY internet, but this team, the amount of adversity we’ve had to fight this entire year so far and to come to a mile-and-a-half that I want to say I’m good at, but it took a lot, it took every ounce of me to do that today.”

Mayer had spent several laps stalking Sieg for the race lead, who on an earlier restart was able to drive around several of the front runners and put his No. 39 SciAps Ford Mustang into the lead, where he continued for much of the race’s closing laps, as the field attempted to make gains behind.

It took every available lap for the JR Motorsports driver to close on Sieg, starting to make the race-winning move in the first set of corners, before having to defend against the RSS Racing driver in turns three and four, as the two drivers were beating and banging down the fronstretch.

Sieg, a veteran of 342 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts, came home in second place, narrowly missing out on his first career victory and the second win for RSS Racing. However, on the plus side, the No. 39 returned to the top five for the first time since October 2022 at Talladega Superspeedway.

“It sucks, you know what I mean, we had a really good car just kind of got tight, and then tried to change my line and do different things and just kind of fell behind,” said Sieg after the race. “Then I saw him coming and I was doing all I could do, then at the end I was trying to run him into the wall, trying to win the race, we were so close.”

After leading 117 of the race’s 200 laps, Justin Allgaier came home in third place, after being shuffled outside the top five on multiple late-race restarts, when strategy calls took the running order and put it in a blender during the race’s final stage.

Finishing third, the JR Motorsports driver ties Kyle Busch for the most top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, a record he will look to independently hold following next weekend’s event at Talladega Superspeedway.

AJ Allmendinger came home in fourth place, rebounding from struggles early in the race that came from missing his pit stall on an early-race stop. Cole Custer, carrying the title sponsor of the event Andy’s Frozen Custard, finished the race inside the top five in fifth.

Austin Hill came home in sixth place, after taking two tires on the final pit stop of the race. Ryan Truex rebounded from significant contact with the outside wall to finish in seventh place, while Sammy Smith, Jesse Love, and Anthony Alfredo rounded out the top-10.

Chandler Smith, who had finished inside the top-10 in each of the opening seven races of 2024, came home in 15th place, ending the streak at seven races to start the season. The poor finish came as a result of damage sustained to his No. 81 Toyota GR Supra with contact from Sheldon Creed, his teammate.

Leaving Texas, Smith continues to hold the lead in NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings, with a 19-point advantage over Cole Custer. Austin Hill is third, with Justin Allgaier fourth and rookie Jesse Love rounding out the top five.

Next for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is a trip to Talladega Superspeedway, a race that much like this afternoon almost did, could provide a surprise winner to shake up the Playoff Grid.

Race Results: NXS Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas Motor Speedway

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