Sam Mayer has been named to JR Motorsports’ championship-winning Late Model program for 2018. The 14-year-old native of Franklin, Wis. will take the seat of the team’s second entry for the season, hoping to continue the run of success the team has had over the past several years.
Mayer, son of former IndyCar and road racing star Scott Mayer, will join 2017 CARS Late Model Stock Car Series champion Josh Berry as a teammate for 2018. The younger Mayer, who began racing go-karts at the age of 4, ended his first Late Model campaign in 2017 on the strength of three victories and 13 top-10 finishes. Mayer ended the season with a fifth-place run in the prestigious Myrtle Beach 400, a race that Berry won to cap his season.
“We’re very happy to have a young driver of Sam’s caliber join us here at JR Motorsports,” said L.W. Miller, director of motorsports at JRM. “He’s accomplished a lot in his career already, including against the top Late Model talent in the Southeast, and he definitely has all the qualities we look for on the track and off it.”
The breakout 2017 season for Mayer also included a full slate of US Legend Car Series events, and the young driver won the US Legend Car Winter Heat Championship, the Summer Shootout and US Legend Car Asphalt Nationals.
“It will be a really exciting experience, to know that I’m with a top NASCAR team and a top Late Model team,” Mayer said. “I hope to be really competitive and have lots of fun while doing it. I’m confident with the way the team is going to treat me and the car, and excited about seeing what we can do together and what we can accomplish.”
JR Motorsports is coming off a two-year stretch in which its Late Models have won 26 races in 97 starts. Berry has claimed 21 race victories in that span, while drivers Anthony Alfredo, Christian Eckes and Scott Bishop combined to add five wins to the total.
Now in its 17th year of competition, the JRM Late Model program has scored 40 victories in the last three seasons and track championships in 2012 and 2014. Berry also won the CARS Late Model Stock Car owner championship in 2016 and the driver title in 2017.