The 18-year-old from Franklin, driving with a tinge of a headache after a crash in the NASCAR Xfinity race, drove away from pole-sitter Mike Skeen at Road America for his first national victory in the Trans Am TA2 series.
“Junking an Xfinity car and hopping in a Trans Am car and completely turning things around is a good feeling,” Mayer said.
“Man, I hope this proved something in front of these Cup guys and the Xfinity guys and all the NASCAR officials that I can do it and my name belongs here.”
Earlier Mayer made his second start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in the Henry 180. He got caught in a chain reaction crash in Turn 12 barely a quarter of the way through the race and finished 35th.
Turn 12, known as Canada Corner, is a hard right under heavy braking. The typical accident there involves a driver getting punted and sent across the track into the gravel trap or the tire barrier behind it. But Mayer got hit from behind in the braking zone and turned into the inside wall. The front end of his JR Motorsports Chevrolet was destroyed and Mayer needed a moment before opening the window net to indicate he was OK.
“It was definitely the hardest hit I’ve taken so far,” said Mayer, a champion in the NASCAR East regional series and a winner in the Camping World Truck Series, who became eligible for Xfinty on his 18th birthday last week.
As for residual effects: “My head hurts a little bit, not going to lie, but I feel great, obviously good enough to win by 5 seconds in front of everyone. After this we’re going to do some go-karting and hang out.”
A year ago at Road America, Mayer was involved in a bad crash in the Kink, Turn 11, in the TA2 race, and he suffered a fractured wrist and had to bail out of his burning car.