BY TADD HAISLOP WWW.ARCARACING.COM NOVEMBER 12, 2020
They say once is chance, twice is a coincidence and three times is a theme.
Sam Mayer winning championships under the NASCAR banner is officially a theme.
The 17-year-old from Franklin, Wisconsin, competed for two ARCA Menards championships in 2020 after winning last year’s East title and becoming the youngest national or touring series champion in NASCAR history. He took them both, first clinching the Sioux Chief Showdown championship in September and then sealing his second consecutive East title a couple weeks later.
Which means Mayer has won all three championships for which he has contended full-time at this level of stock car racing.
“That’s a crazy stat,” said Mayer after he won the ARCA Menards Series East season finale at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. “Because we’ve only run for three championships, and we got them all. That’s pretty crazy that GMS (Racing) is just that good that they can kind of carry me almost getting all of these championships. Because I wouldn’t be anywhere without them and the driver development program at Team Chevy. Can’t thank them enough for the opportunities I’ve had to come out and run for these championships in the first place.
“Getting two championships in one year, I never thought I would have done that, especially going into New Smyrna this year. I expected to win at least one of them, but both of them, and locking them up pretty much going into the last race, is just huge for me.”
Indeed, Mayer only needed to roll off the grid at 5 Flags to clinch the East title. His dominance of the series in 2020 was borderline comical.
The ARCA Menards Series East season was reduced to six races because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayer won five of them. He finished second to Ty Gibbs at Toledo Speedway in the only East race he did not win.
Mayer also led the series in top-five finishes (six), top-10 finishes (six) laps completed (1,110) and laps led (381). His pair of General Tire Pole Awards also led the series.
– ARCA Menards Series (@ARCA_Racing) October 11, 2020
As good was Mayer was in the East Series, his Sioux Chief Showdown title could be considered even more impressive considering the 10-race series within the ARCA Menards schedule is designed to bring the best of the ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East and West together.
Mayer wrapped up the Sioux Chief Showdown championship over Gibbs with his second-place finish (behind Gibbs, ironically) at Memphis International Raceway on Sept. 27.
“We didn’t win the battle,” said Mayer after the Memphis race. “But we won the damn war.”
Mayer led the Sioux Chief Showdown in wins (four) and top-five finishes (nine).
And, just for kicks even though he had already clinched two championships in the span of a couple weeks, Mayer won the East Season finale in dramatic fashion to serve as the cherry on top of a nearly perfect year.