Down to the wire in Texas

Sam Mayer, driver of the #1 Carolina Carports Chevrolet, crosses the finish line ahead of Ryan Sieg, driver of the #39 Sci Aps Ford, to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 13, 2024 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Sam Mayer wins by an inch over Ryan Sieg

FORT WORTH, TX – For Sam Mayer, you couldn’t ask for a better day.

For Ryan Sieg, however, it’s an entirely different story.

Mayer and Sieg waged a door-to-door battle down the final straightaway with Mayer coming out the winner – by about an inch – in Saturday’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway.

The pace car pulls off to signal the start of Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway. Photo by David Barks.

Mayer, 20, is celebrating his first win of the season and the first win for JR Motorsports in 2024, the fifth of his career, and the $100-tohousand check that comes with winning this year’s first Dash 4 Cash race.

For Sieg, the 342nd time wasn’t the charm. The 39-year-old who drives for his family-owned team remains winless in 342 career starts – losing by 0.002 seconds in the second-closest finish in Xfinity racing history.

The duo battled down the final backstretch with Mayer winning by less than a nose in the eighth race of the Xfinity season.

Sieg had a slim lead with 11 laps to go on the race’s final restart, after the seventh and final caution of the afternoon.

Mayer kept chipping away, about one-tenth of a second a lap.

He finally caught Sieg coming out of the final turn on the final lap and the two raced side-by-side, banging doors down the stretch, right to the finish line.

A photo finish confirmed Mayer as the winner by the tiniest of margins.

“This is absolutely unreal,” said Mayer. “It took every ounce of me to do that today.”

“We had a really good car,” said Sieg. “I was doing all I could. I just got tight, so tried to change my lines, do everything. I saw him coming and I did all I could do and at the end. I was just trying to run him up into the wall to try to win the race. We were so close. I thought we had it today.

“I’ve been second before. Too many times. But this is a good thing, means we’re running where we need to be in the top five. Just got to keep fighting, we’re right there, just got to keep it up. We’ll have it in Victory Lane here shortly.”

For most of the afternoon, Justin Allgaier had the car to beat.

Allgaier led 117 of the 200 laps over the speedway’s 1.5-mile oval, winning both Stages 1 and 2.

Kyle Weatherman (91) spins and runs into Hailie Deegan (15) causing the seventh caution in Saturday’s Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway. Photo by David Barks.

The sixth caution was his undoing when, with 25 laps left, the leaders went to pit road to get fresh tires for the stretch run.

His pit stop pushed Allgaier back to eighth place, a position from which he couldn’t recover.

Mayer and Sieg had great pit stops.

Mayer grabbed a brief lead over Sieg with 20 laps remaining but Sieg surged past with 15 to go, holding on through the final restart until the final inch of the race.

“Ryan is the last person you want to be in a close race like that<’ said Mayer. “I have so much respect for the whole Sieg organization and Ryan himself. It was a blast getting a race with them. This track became really racy, out of nowhere in Stage 3, and he was fast, like really fast. So it was really tough racing and racing hard because I’m like, with seven ago, I’m sitting there in second, and I’m like, man, I do not know if I can close this gap up and I’m like, I am gonna let the 39 (Sieg) win this race. Like he deserved it because his car was really, really good today. And he did everything he executed everything perfect. And I was like, man, I’m I’m gonna let this guy win this race. And then all of a sudden the gap closed. Like nothing so I was like, I almost was in give up mode and I should just go for the Dash 4 Cash and keep the 7 (Allgaier) behind me, but I think the cards all kind of fell in one in the right spot and obviously the 39 was slipping a little bit.”

Allgaier finished third, followed by AJ Allmendinger, Cole Custer, Austin Hill, Ryan Truex, Sammy Smith, Jesse Love, and Anthony Alfredo.

The top four – Mayer, Sieg, Allgaier, and Allmendinger – all qualified for the next Dash 4 Cash at next weekend’s Xfinity race at Talladega Motor Speedway.

Custer had his name changed for the day to Cole Custard with his car sporting the Andy’s Frozen Custard paint scheme.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Andy’s Frozen Custard 300

Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, Texas

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Statistics supplied by NASCAR

1. Sam Mayer, Chevrolet, 200.

2. Ryan Sieg, Ford, 200.

3. Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 200.

4. AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 200.

5. Cole Custer, Ford, 200.

6. Austin Hill, Chevrolet, 200.

7.  Ryan Truex, Toyota, 200.

8.  Sammy Smith, Chevrolet, 200.

9.  Jesse Love #, Chevrolet, 200.

10.  Anthony Alfredo, Chevrolet, 200.

11.  Taylor Gray(i), Toyota, 200.

12 Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 200.

13. Brandon Jones, Chevrolet, 200.

14. Kyle Sieg, Ford, 200.

15. Chandler Smith, Toyota, 200.

16. Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 200.

17. Corey Heim(i), Toyota, 200.

18. Shane Van Gisbergen #, Chevrolet, 200.

19. Sheldon Creed, Toyota, 200.

20. Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 200.

21. Brennan Poole, Chevrolet, 200.

22. Parker Retzlaff, Chevrolet, 200.

23. Hailie Deegan #, Ford, 200.

24. Daniel Dye(i), Chevrolet, 200.

25. Parker Kligerman, Chevrolet, 200.

26. Ryan Ellis, Chevrolet, 199.

27. Riley Herbst, Ford, 199.

28. David Starr, Ford, 198.

29. Josh Bilicki, Chevrolet, 198.

30. Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 198.

31. Leland Honeyman #, Chevrolet, 198.

32. Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 197.

33. Patrick Emerling, Chevrolet, 197.

34. Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 197.

35. Blaine Perkins, Ford, 197.

36. Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, Accident, 191.

37. Dawson Cram #, Chevrolet, 191.

38. Chad Finchum, Ford, Suspension, 127.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  125.977 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 22 Mins, 53 Secs.

Margin of Victory:  0.002 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  7 for 35 laps.

Lead Changes:  16 among 10 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   J. Love # 1;C. Smith 2-27;J. Allgaier 28-48;B. Jones 49;J. Allgaier 50-80;C. Custer 81;J. Allgaier 82-142;S. Mayer 143;S. Creed 144-145;A. Hill 146-170;J. Allgaier 171-174;S. Mayer 175;P. Kligerman 176-179;B. Jones 180;S. Mayer 181-182;R. Sieg 183-199;S. Mayer 200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Justin Allgaier 4 times for 117 laps; Chandler Smith 1 time for 26 laps; Austin Hill 1 time for 25 laps; Ryan Sieg 1 time for 17 laps; Sam Mayer 4 times for 5 laps; Parker Kligerman 1 time for 4 laps; Sheldon Creed 1 time for 2 laps; Brandon Jones 2 times for 2 laps; Cole Custer 1 time for 1 lap; Jesse Love # 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 7,81,98,9,00,20,21,39,16,48

Stage #2 Top Ten: 7,00,98,9,39,8,21,2,16,1

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