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Sam Mayer passes Moffitt late to earn first career Gander Trucks win at Bristol

NASCAR logo NASCAR 9/18/2020 Staff Report
a close up of a car: Sam Mayer passes Moffitt late to earn first career Gander Trucks win at Bristol © Sean Gardner Getty Images Sam Mayer passes Moffitt late to earn first career Gander Trucks win at Bristol Sam Mayer put on an impressive performance to earn his first career NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race in Thursday night‘s playoff opener at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The 17-year-old No. 24 GMS Racing driver passed teammate and playoff driver Brett Moffitt with 30 laps remaining in the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics. Moffitt, the 2018 series champion, led 117 of the 200 circuits, holding on to finish in second place. The victory was the seventh of the 2020 season for GMS Racing.

RELATED: Unofficial results

Rookie Tanner Gray finished third, followed by Parker Kligerman in fourth. Trevor Bayne, making his second start in his NASCAR comeback in the No. 45 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet, rounded out the top five.

Mayer is the fourth driver to earn their first victory in the series this season, joined by Sheldon Creed, Zane Smith and NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Brandon Jones. The young driver will also compete in Thursday night‘s ARCA Menards Series race at the .533-mile Tennessee short track. The maiden triumph tops off a big week, signing a part-time contract with JR Motorsports to compete in the Xfinity Series in 2021 after he turns 18 years old on June 26.


Gallery: At-track photos: Bristol Motor Speedway fall 2020 (NASCAR)

“What? Oh my gosh,” Mayer told FS1‘s Alan Cavanna after the race. “Bristol dude. I love this place. This is win No. 3 for me here. I don‘t know what to say.”

Moffit, the new points leader coming out of Bristol, was one of just three playoff drivers who finished in the top 10. ThorSport Racing driver Grant Enfinger rebounded to finish seventh after electrical problems earlier in the race. Moffitt‘s teammate Tyler Ankrum finished eighth.

Moffitt led every lap to earn the Stage 1 victory, while Ankrum led from start to finish to win Stage 2.

Sheldon Creed, the points leader going into Thursday night‘s race, finished 12th after a pit-road speeding penalty on Lap 88 sent him to the back of the field. Regular-season champion Austin Hill was forced to pit during the first caution flag after receiving rear bumper damage on the opening lap.

Next up for the Gander Trucks is the second Round of 10 playoff event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM.

This story will be updated.

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