Sam Mayer is a perfect example of the old adage that “age is just a number.”
For Mayer, it’s a pretty small number … 15, but he’s quick to point out he’s almost 16. But that youthfulness hasn’t slowed the teenager one iota in 2019.
He comes into Saturday night’s whosyourdriver.org NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Twin 100s at South Boston Speedway leading that series’ points standings with a victory and a fourth in two starts. And that win wasn’t just a win, it was a rout, at of all places, Bristol Motor Speedway. He won the pole with a track-record and then proceeded to lead every lap for his first K&N victory.
“This year is definitely one of a kind so far, one of the best,” said the Franklin, Wisconsin native. “We’re off to a great start. And I’m not going to lie, that Bristol race was pretty awesome.”
He’s looking for some more of that awesomeness Saturday on the track where he finished eighth in a CARS Tour race last fall. He figures that experience will be invaluable Saturday.
“South Boston is newly-paved, a really fast track. I’m excited to go there in the K&N car. With the horsepower and the size of the car, it’s going to be a fun race,” said Mayer, son of Sam Mayer, a former Indy car and Grand Am driver. “For the series I’ve driven, South Boston is an open track…the corners are wide open, and you can run pretty high up, especially late in the race.
“From my race at South Boston last year I know you really have to just go. It’s a really fast track without much tire fall off. You just go 100 percent the whole time, from start to finish.”
It is going to be a busy season for the young Mayer. In addition to the full NASCAR K&N Pro Series East schedule, he’s running seven ARCA races, three NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series races, two Late Model races and one Trans Am race. All total, he’ll compete in about 30 races in 2019.
He’s competing for GMS Racing in all of the events, with the exception of the two Late Model races, which he will run for Junior Motorsports.
“The team over at GMS and my crew chief Marty Lindley are doing a great job for me and I want to do a great job for them,” said Mayer. Lindley has a solid connection to South Boston Speedway. His father, the late Butch Lindley, won a Busch Series race at South Boston in the summer of 1982.
Mayer, a sophomore in high school, is young even for the youth-centric K&N Series. But he says he hasn’t caught much grief yet for being the youngest kid on the block in all the series he runs.
“Everyone is so friendly. Everybody is good to be around. Everyone gets along well,” said Mayer.
Grandstand gates will open at 4:30 p.m. Saturday with qualifying scheduled for 5 p.m. An autograph session for drivers from all divisions will be held on the track at 6 p.m. with the first K&N 100-lapper taking the green flag at 7 p.m.
Tickets are just $10 in advance and $15 day of the race with children 12-and-under admitted free with a paid adult. Advance tickets may be purchased by calling 877.440.1540 or by stopping by the South Boston Speedway office 9 to 5, Monday through Friday.
Also, Friday’s test session, which runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., is open to the public at no charge.
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