Coming off last year’s visit to Dover when he celebrated a race victory and a series championship, Sam Mayer had confidence entering the Monster Mile on Friday.
A couple of hours later, Mayer fulfilled those expectations by winning the “General Tire 125” ARCA Menards Series East race for his second straight win at Dover.
“I had a really good feeling walking over the bridge today,” Mayer said. “I like race tracks where you can go hard in the paint.”
Mayer, driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet for GMS Racing, topped veteran David Gilliland by 2.330 seconds at the checkered flag for his second ARCA Menards Series East victory of the season, following a season-opening win at New Smyrna in February.
“We were really, really good all day long,” Mayer said. “The crew brought a great car here. Toward the end I was able to make it work and make it stick and it got us to Victory Lane.
“Now I have a regular Monster Trophy to go with the Golden Monster [from last year].”
Gilliland was second, followed by Mason Diaz in third, Max McLaughlin in fourth and Drew Dollar in fifth.
“It’s been a while since I’ve driven a race,” said Gilliland, who has 333 career NASCAR Cup Series starts. “This is a tough track. I have a lot of respect for this place. We were trying to play smart and be there at the end. We learned a lot and we’ll get better.”
Ty Gibbs, who started from the pole position and led a race-high 105 laps, was looking at a top finish until he suffered a hard crash exiting Turn 2 on Lap 110 while running second. Gibbs finished 12th in the 17-car field.
Mayer, 17, remains the points leader in the ARCA Menards Series East standings with a 13-point advantage over second-place Gibbs.
Dover’s schedule is believed to be the first time in NASCAR history that one track will host six points-paying events across one weekend of racing. It includes the “Drydene Doubleheader Weekend” on Saturday and Sunday, featuring a NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader each day, with all four races on NBCSN.
On Saturday, Aug. 22, the “Drydene 200” NASCAR Xfinity Series race takes the green flag at 12:30 p.m., followed by the “Drydene 311” NASCAR Cup Series race at 4 p.m. On Sunday, Aug. 23, the “Drydene 200” NASCAR Xfinity Series race begins at 1 p.m., followed by the “Drydene 311” NASCAR Cup Series race at 4 p.m.
The NASCAR weekend at Dover International Speedway is taking place without fans due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Follow Speedway news and updates on DoverSpeedway.com and keep track of Dover’s latest announcements via social media at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway, or on Twitter and Instagram at @MonsterMile. For ticket information call (800) 441-RACE.
Dover International Speedway PR