DOVER, Del. — Friday was his day, and 2019 was his season.
All Sam Mayer had to do to clinch the 2019 K&N Pro Series East championship was take the green flag. But after being quickest in practice and qualifying on the pole, he led all but two laps to close the season with a win on Friday at Dover International Speedway and celebrate in style.
“I can’t thank everyone at GMS enough for all they do for me,” Mayer said. “I mean, they had a rocket ship for me, I can’t thank them enough for that. Drivers Edge Development, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Accessories for being on the car and bringing me out here in the first place, and giving me this opportunity to go win a K&N East championship.It means so much and I’m going to celebrate even more, for sure.”
Mayer is the youngest NASCAR champion at 16 years, 3 months and 8 days, eclipsing mark set in 2016 by current Todd Gilliland (16 years, 5 months). Mayer also bettered the East record that was set in 2017 Harrison Burton (16 years, 11 months, 20 days).
In total, Mayer won four races and finished outside the top 10 only once in 12 races (South Boston Twin No. 2, where he left early due to a prior commitment). His average finish for 2019 wound up being an impressive 3.2.
The championship is also GMS Racing’s first in the series, coming in their first full-time season of competition in the K&N Pro Series.
The DGR-Crosley trio of Tanner Gray, who led two laps, Todd Gilliland and Drew Dollar finished second, third and fourth, respectively, with Chase Cabre rounding out the top five.
Max McLaughlin, Dawsonville, Georgia’s Spencer Davis, Ruben Garcia, Jr., Brandon McReynolds and Justin S. Carroll completed the top 10.
Cabre finished a career-best second in the standings, 38 points behind Mayer. Davis (-42) finished third, with Tanner Gray (-48) and Max McLaughlin (-61) completing the top five.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Dover International Speedway – Dover, DE
General Tire 125 – October 4, 2019
1. Sam Mayer
2. Tanner Gray
3. Todd Gilliland
4. Drew Dollar
5. Chase Cabre
6. Max McLaughlin
7. Spencer Davis
8. Ruben Garcia, Jr.
9. Brandon McReynolds
10. Justin S. Carroll
11. Josh Fanopoulos
12. Bill Hoff
13. Sam Hunt
14. Stefan Parsons