JR Motorsports announced today that Sam Mayer, alumnus of the organization’s Late Model program and 2019 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion, will reunite with JRM in 2021 to begin the next phase of his racing career. The 17-year-old Mayer has been tabbed to drive a JRM Chevrolet in the second half of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season before taking the reins fulltime in 2022.
A native of Franklin, Wis., Mayer is the son of former IndyCar and road racing star Scott Mayer. Following a successful stint with JRM’s Late Model team in 2018-19, which included a victory in the prestigious Bobby Isaac Memorial, Mayer transitioned to K&N Pro Series competition, winning four races in 2019 en route to a championship that crowned him the youngest champion in any NASCAR series at the age of 16 years, three months and eight days. Mayer leveraged those achievements into 2020 success, tallying eight wins and 15 top-five finishes in 16 starts across ARCA and its East and West divisions.
“When Sam first came to run the late model a couple of years ago, he was adamant he would be racing an Xfinity car for us someday,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, JRM general manager. “I admired his initiative then, and now we’re happy to help make his dream a reality. It will be quite a step up, but it’s one he’s ready to make. He’s shown he has the skills to be successful at a very high level.”
Currently, Mayer leads the ARCA Menards East and ARCA Showdown championship standings. Mayer has also made six starts to date in the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, earning a best finish of fourth at World Wide Technology Raceway earlier this season.
“Having the opportunity to return to JR Motorsports after racing late models with them in 2018 is definitely very special to me,” Mayer said. “Being able to share this news makes me very excited for the coming year. I hope I can learn as much as I can in the second half of next season and to be ready to go race fulltime for the NXS championship in 2022.”
If Mayer’s path seems familiar, that’s because it is. He is the second driver from the JRM Late Model pipeline to return to the organization for NXS competition, joining 2017 NXS champion and current Hendrick Motorsports driver William Byron, who piloted a JRM Late Model in 2014-15. Additionally, Mayer is the first racer to make the move to the NXS as part of Chevrolet’s Drivers Edge Development program. He’ll turn 18 on June 26, 2021.