GMS Racing is setting the highest standard possible.
One year in K&N Pro Series competition, one championship won.
With 16-year-old Sam Mayer behind the wheel, the No. 21 Chevy Accessories team visited Victory Lane r times and only finished outside the top five once — in a rain-interrupted race which Mayer missed the conclusion of due to a prior commitment.
Mike Beam, who was a crew chief at the Cup Series level for over 630 races, is now team president at GMS, and reflected on what has been a dream season for the organizations foray into their first full-time season in the K&N Pro Series East.
"We are very proud of what our K&N East team and Sam have accomplished this season," Beam said. "To get four wins and finish in the top five in all but one race is pretty remarkable for our first year in the series."
Though Mayer has been impressive, crew chief Mardy Lindley has been the man atop the pit box for the youngster all season long, and has been the driving force behind GMS’ success.
"Mardy has put together a great team and we’ve thrown a lot at them this year with K&N, ARCA and a few truck races and they never backed down from the challenge," he said. "Mardy and his guys bring competitive cars to the track every week. Chevrolet and our Drivers Edge Development program have also been very supportive of Sam, and helping him exceed expectations."
Racing-Reference: Mardy Lindley Career Crew Chief Statistics
Though the team visited Victory Lane in only the second race of the season, the growth exhibited by Mayer was evident for Beam. Along with his K&N Pro East success, Mayer has competed in seven ARCA Menards Series races, finishing inside the top five in six of his seven starts.
Racing-Reference: Sam Mayer 2019 ARCA Menard’s Series Statistics
"It’s been awesome to see Sam grow as a driver throughout the season," he said. "To become the youngest NASCAR champion in any series is a huge accomplishment, especially for someone who just turned 16 a few months ago. Sam has great potential and I hope this will be the first of many championships for him."
Mayer became the youngest NASCAR regional series champion at 16 years, 3 months and 8 days, beating Todd Gilliland’s record by about two months.
In 2020, Mayer is planning to run a full season in the series, rebranded as ARCA Menard’s East, as well as other select races in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series and ARCA Menard’s Series with GMS Racing.
The quest to repeat begins now.