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Mayer dominates in K&N race at BMS

Kevin Mays • Apr 6, 2019 at 5:46 PM

BRISTOL—It was a weekend of domination for Sam Mayer at Bristol Motor Speedway.

The 15-year-old from Franklin, Wis., had the fastest times in both practice sessions for the NASCAR K&N Series East on Friday.

Mayer had a series record-setting qualifying time Friday to take the pole for the start of Saturday’s Zombie Auto 150.

The teenager then led 147 laps Saturday of the K&N race to take the win at the half-mile oval that will host the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 on Sunday.

Mayer can drive unsupervised only on race tracks across the country because he’s not only enough to get a driver’s license.

“I have my learner’s permit,” Mayer said.

Saturday’s K&N race was slowed by two cautions and two session breaks, but nothing could slow down Mayer, who distanced himself from the field early in each of the three sessions.

“Thunder Valley, man, it’s one of the coolest places on the planet,” the young driver said.

LOGANO IS FASTEST IN FINAL PRACTICE

Joey Logano registered the fastest practice lap in the final NASCAR Cup Series practice Saturday morning at BMS.

Logano powered his Ford around the half-mile track with a time 14.894 seconds at 128.83 miles per hour.

“It seems like it’s got some good short-run speed. That’s where the big number shows up,” Logano said. “I haven’t looked at the lap tracker to see where it falls off to, but just being around the cars that I was around, it seemed like I can move around and keep decent pace. I think that’s what Bristol is all about these days. It’s being able to have a car that’s versatile to where you can run up top when you have to, run the bottom when you have to and run everywhere in between when you’re in traffic.”

Logano will start seventh behind pole sitter Chase Elliott, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin and Aric Almirola in the first three rows of Sunday’s Food City 500 at Bristol.

Clint Bowyer will start beside of Logano, while Paul Menard and Jimmie Johnson will start on the fifth row, rounding out the top 10 starters.

STILL GOING STRONG

There are veteran drivers and then there are veteran drivers.

Morgan Shepherd, at age 77, finished 35th Saturday in the Alsco 300 at BMS.

The NASCAR Xfinity race was the fifth race of this season for Shepherd in the series.

The driver of the Visone RV/Driving with Jesus car is in his 36th Xfinity season.

He has 15 series wins.

Shepherd also four NASCAR Cup races. He logged 517 races in NASCAR’s top circuit starting in 1970.

His final Cup race was in 2014 at the age of 72.

KINGSPORT SPEEDWAY AT BMS

Kingsport Speedway made an appearance at BMS Saturday.

The track had several cars from its weekly divisions parked outside the track for fans to look at before and after the racing events.

The NASCAR weekly series short track also was a sponsor on the car of regional driver Chad Finchum, of Knoxville, in Saturday’s Xfinity series Alsco 300.

Saturday was not the first time Kingsport Speedway sponsored a car in one of NASCAR’s main events.

In 1980, Kingsport Speedway was the primary sponsor on the NASCAR Cup car driven by Mike Potter, of Johnson City, for one race at Michigan International Speedway.

It was one of Potter’s best races in his career in NASCAR’s top series. He started 32nd and finished 18th in the race.

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