Sam Mayer (No. 21 Lynn Family Foundation Chevrolet) had made 20 ARCA Menards Series starts prior to this weekend’s Royal Truck & Trailer 200 at Toledo Speedway, but none of them played out quite like Saturday’s race did. Mayer had a career day on his way to his fourth career ARCA Menards Series victory, all of them coming in his last six series starts. The race also counted for points towards the ARCA Menards Series East championship hunt, giving Mayer three wins in the four AMSE races held this season. It was all but a clean sweep for Mayer when it came to ARCA’s special awards.
Mayer jumped to the top of the board in General Tire Pole Qualifying for the first time in his AMS career, besting a previous top qualifying performance of second at Salem last fall. Mayer turned a fast lap of 113.108 mph. Venturini Motorsports standouts Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) and Chandler Smith (No. 20 JBL Audio Toyota) still lead the series with four pole starts apiece in 2020.
Smith was able to slip past Mayer three laps into the Royal Truck & Trailer 200, but Mayer was able to regain the lead before the first caution ever flew and led a total of 165 laps in his dominating victory. As the day’s Valvoline Lap Leader, Mayer doubled his season total to 330 laps led, the third-highest mark in the series. Smith led the other 35 laps and sits just above Mayer in the yearly totals at 332 laps led. Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota) has a healthy gap on the rest of the pack with 659 laps led this season.
Mayer led at the crossed flags for the first time this season, earning his first nod as the Richmond Water Heaters Halfway Leader. Ty Gibbs has controlled that award category for much of the year, leading at halfway an astonishing seven times. His next closest competitor, new overall series points leader Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation Chevrolet) has led at halfway three times.
Mayer was named the Bounty Rookie of the Race among ARCA Menards Series drivers, while Chandler Smith took the honors in the ARCA Menards Series East standings as he was making his AMSE debut. In the yearlong Bounty Rookie of the Year hunt, Hailie Deegan (No. 4 Monster Energy Ford) opened up the biggest lead anyone has had all season over Drew Dollar (No. 15 Sunbelt Rentals Toyota) at 16 points in the rookie standings. Deegan finished sixth, elevating her to 547 rookie points, while Dollar was turned into the styrofoam blocks that line the corners at Toledo and was relegated to a 15th place at the checkered flag, now with 531 rookie points.
The Cometic Crew Chief of the Race was Mardy Lindley, crew chief for race winner Sam Mayer. The Cometic Crew Chief of the Year standings continue to be led by Mark McFarland, crew chief of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota driven by Riley Herbst and Ty Gibbs. Gibbs was at the wheel at Toledo and finished third after qualifying fourth.
Mason Diaz (No. 25E Craftsman Toyota) is a regular competitor in the ARCA Menards Series East, but he was making his ARCA Menards Series debut at Toledo. Diaz finished ninth after qualifying 12th, being named the K&N Filters Hard Charger for his improvement throughout the afternoon.
Both overall ARCA Menards Series championship contenders – Bret Holmes and Michael Self – completed all 200 laps at Toledo and remained close in the title chase as well as the S&S Volvo Laps Completed chase. Holmes leads the overall championship standings by a single point and leads Self by three laps, having completed 1906 laps of a possible 1911 laps while Self has completed 1903 laps.
The next race on the ARCA schedule will be the Bush’s Beans 200 from Bristol Motor Speedway on Thursday, Sept. 17. The race will count for points in both the ARCA Menards Series and the ARCA Menards Series East, as well as the Sioux Chief Showdown. It will be the ninth of ten races on the Sioux Chief Showdown schedule and the last race ahead of the Showdown finale at Memphis on Saturday, September 26. Sam Mayer currently leads the Showdown standings with 319 points while Chandler Smith and Ty Gibbs are tied for second with 314 points, five points back of Mayer. The Bush’s Beans 200 will air live on FS1 following the conclusion of the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday.