BRISTOL, Tenn. — Round No. 2 of the K&N Pro Series East season belonged to Sam Mayer in every sense of the word.
The 15-year-old was quickest in both practice sessions, set the new track record by qualifying on the pole and won the Zombie Auto 150, leading all 150 laps en route to his first career K&N Pro Series victory.
“The race played out completely different than the way I thought,” Mayer said. “I thought it was going to be pretty solid on the top. But the top wasn’t there at all, it was pretty much all on the bottom. It was really good on the bottom, but once you got out of the groove to pass lapped cars you really had to feather the throttle and be easy into the corner.”
K&N Pro Series East regulars Chase Cabre and Brandon McReynolds came home second and third. Cabre finished 3.634 seconds behind Mayer’s No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet and McReynolds scored his second straight third-place finish.
Drew Dollar and Spencer Davis rounded out the top five finishers with Colin Garrett, Mason Diaz, Raphael Lessard (first series start) and Tanner Gray completing the top 10.
On the first lap, multiple drivers were involved in a crash on the frontstretch including Ruben Garcia Jr., Natalie Decker, Riley Herbst and Gray. Garcia, Herbst and Decker were forced behind the wall and finished 17th, 18th and 19th, respectively.
It was the eighth career start for the 15-year-old from Franklin, Wisc. He’s collected four top fives, with his previous best finish of fourth coming in the season finale last year at Dover International Speedway and then matched in this year’s opener at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway.
Mayer leads Kraus by three points and McReynolds by six in the driver standings. The first K&N Pro Series East regular after Mayer is Garrett in fourth, 11 points back.
The Zombie Auto 150 is scheduled to be broadcasted on NBCSN Thursday, April 11 at 4 p.m.
The next K&N Pro Series East events will take place on Saturday, May 4, at South Boston Speedway with twin 100-lap championship points races.
Over the past twenty years, Mike has become a notable figure in the NASCAR community. As a Spotter, he spent 11 seasons with Matt Kenseth in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series for a total of 36 combined series wins including two Daytona 500’s. The duo garnered Rookie of the Year honors and a Championship in 2003. With Kenseth leaving Roush Fenway at the end of 2012, Mike chose to stay and work with Sprint Cup rookie, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Their history dates back to 2010 with the ROTY award and then back-to-back Championships in the Nationwide Series in 2011 and 2012. As the 2013 Chase began, Calinoff announced that he would not return to Roush Fenway.
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