On Friday night in Newton, Iowa Speedway fans saw yet another dominant performance this year, this time from Sam Mayer in the Casey’s General Store 150.
The first of two NASCAR K&N Pro Series combination races of the season didn’t lack any drama, as Mayer’s victory means a new points leader on the East Coast side of the tour.
“Getting this win here is just a start to what me and GMS can do,” Mayer said. “I feel like we’re going to have a lot more this year, and hopefully we can go five in a row [after this].”
K&N: Sam Mayer overtakes points lead, wins at Iowa
Finishing behind Mayer just under a second behind him was Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs.
The 16-year old battled through the pack throughout the race after starting in dead last (20th) after failing post-qualifying inspection.
Between his pair of K&N races and eight ARCA Menards Series races this season, Gibbs has finished second eight times, and he’s not one for moral victories.
“I’m just frustrated I finished second,” Gibbs said. “It sucks. It’s good, but it’s not good in my place. I could’ve won eight times this year, but I finished second.”
Early on in the race, Derek Kraus, who came in as the points leader on both tours, spun and collected moderate back-end damage, putting him a lap down.
It very well could have been the end of his night, but Kraus was lucky enough for the car to remain drivable.
“I don’t know [what happened],” Kraus said. “He got loose underneath me, got into my left rear tire and we went around and hit the wall. There was definitely panic after that. I thought our night was next to done and then we really would have been deep in the championship.”
Kraus’ team would re-group and make their way back up the field to ninth with just over 30 laps to go.
Thanks to a pair of late cautions, though, Kraus was able to make his way back up the field on restarts and end the night with a fourth-place result.
“Restarts [were] huge,” Kraus said. “You had to be super aggressive on the restarts because as soon as you got spread out the air was just so big.”
Mayer takes the lead over Kraus in the points standings, and although it’s a slim one, it still felt good for the GMS Racing product.
“That’s an amazing feeling,” Mayer said. “Me and my crew chief are just going to be working even harder than we [already] are and get as much of a points gap as possible. If anything unfortunate does happen it won’t effect us at all.”
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series tours will return to their normal shows on each coast, with the East tour heading to Watkins Glen a week from Friday (Aug. 2) and the West tour taking a couple of weeks off before heading to Evergreen on August 17.
|NASCAR K&N Pro East Series Standings|