MDM Motorsports NASCAR K&N Pro Series East racers Anthony Alfredo and Sam Mayer competed in the second of two combination races between the NASCAR K&N Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West this season in the Monaco Gateway Classic presented by the West Coast Car Hall of Fame at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison Il. Alfredo brought home a ninth-place finish while Mayer wound up 11th.
The pair participated in an open practice session on Thursday that turned out to be very beneficial as Friday’s practice was limited due to rain and eventually caused qualifying to be canceled and the starting lineup was set on Friday’s practice speeds.
Anthony Alfredo started ninth in his No. 40 Ceco Building Systems, Oxford Energy, JDRF Toyota in the 9th starting position and ran in the top ten throughout the first stage with an ill-handling car. At the stage break, the team made some adjustments but decided to save the new set of tires for the last stage.
Alfredo started noticing a vibration in the car during stage two that worsened later in the run and left him having issues seeing, but the determined racer managed to stay out until the end of that stage. The team put on four new Goodyears and the car improved enough that Alfredo was able to finish ninth in the highly competitive race. He remains fifth in the K&N Pro Series East championship standings points with only two races remaining in the 2018 schedule at Dover and New Hampshire Motorsports Park.
“It’s a little disappointing,” Alfredo said after the race. “We had a much better car than the result. We were good all weekend right off the truck. My guys gave me a good piece. We'll head back to New Hampshire and try to pick up two more spots than last time there (he finished third).”
Mayer was in the Menards No. 12 Toyota for his fourth start in the K&N Pro Series this year and the second race with MDM Motorsports. He was coming off a fifth-place finish at Watkins Glen International earlier in the month.
The young 15-year-old from Franklin, Wisconsin was thankful that they got some practice in before the rains came because had practice been rained out as well as qualifying the field would have been set by owner points and he would have started last.
Instead, the field was set by fastest practice times and he was able to start from the eighth position. Mayer fell back to thirteenth on the initial start but fought his way back to 11th to end that stage, and despite being shuffled back on a restart he charged back once again to finish the race 11th on the difficult 1.25-mile oval.
“I learned a lot from this race,” the young racer, who won a CARS Tour Late Model race the next night driving for Jr. Motorsports, said after Friday’s run. “Restarts mean so much at this level so that's something I'll be more prepared for next time. But the car had a lot of speed we ran well. We just didn't have the track position to show it off.”
The Monaco Classic from Gateway Motorsports Park will be televised on Thursday, August 30th at 6 pm EST on NBCSN.
The next race for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will be September 22nd at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
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