MDM Motorsports sent three racers to compete in the Great Outdoors RV Superstore 100 for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East last weekend that was being held on the high-speed road course at Watkins Glen International Speedway in Watkins Glen, N.Y. 15-year-old Sam Mayer, competing in his first ever stock car road race, finished fifth. 2017 series champion Harrison Burton wound up ninth, and Anthony Alfredo crossed the line in 16th place.
Mayer’s past road course experience in other divisions played a large role in his level of confidence going into the race. But his previous experience racing in the rain in other divisions may have played an even larger role, as this race started with teams on rain tires on a wet track.
The good-natured young racer started 20th by points because qualifying was rained out. By the halfway break, despite track conditions, he’d passed his way to tenth place. With just eight laps to go, he was third with his Menards Toyota No. 41, but lost a few spots on a late race restart and fought his way back to fifth.
Mayer was happy after the race but felt like there was more to be had. “Man, that was fun!” he said with a grin. “But I really think we should have been in victory lane. My guys gave me a fast car, and we were really coming on strong there at the end. I’m looking forward to the next time out with this group at Gateway.”
Burton, started in 16th with the Ruud, Dex Images, Mobil 1 Toyota No. 12. Much like Mayer, he was fast early in the race, charging his way to sixth by the race’s halfway mark. He bobbled on the restart following the break and fell to ninth but kept digging and worked his way back inside the top five.
Passing for fourth, he was hit from behind and spun. The determined youngster never quit racing and rebounded to a ninth-place finish.
“It was a strange weekend,” he said afterward. “We practiced in the rain, started on rain tires then switched to slicks. I thought we had a top-five car for most of the race, but we just ended up on the wrong end of a racing deal. We’ll move on to the next one and try to get a win.”
Alfredo’s battle was uphill all the way with his Ceco Building Systems, Oxford Energy, JDRF supported MDM Motorsports Toyota No. 40. Starting fifth, he fell back early in the event, battling hard before falling in line 18th at halfway. The team did their best to find speed, and Alfredo ended up with a 16th place finish.
“This was a tough one for us,” the driver recalled after the race. “We just didn’t have the speed that we needed. I think that we learned a lot throughout the race, and we got better, but it was just too late by then. I’m excited to get to Gateway and get after our second win of the season.”
The next race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will be the Gateway Classic presented by the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame, to be held at Gateway Motorsports Park on Friday, August 24th.
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