ELKHART LAKE, Wis. — Wisconsin driver Sam Mayer won on his home-state track for his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory, pulling ahead for good in the next-to-last lap of a wild second overtime session Saturday.
Mayer won by 0.368 seconds over Parker Kligerman on the sprawling 14-turn, 4.084-mile road course. They were followed in order by Austin Hill, Sage Karam and Riley Herbst. Justin Allgaier was 18th after leading most of the way.
The race included eight caution flags, tying a track record. The final restart occurred during a second overtime session and followed a red flag to clean up oil on the track.
Allgaier had taken the lead around the sixth lap of the scheduled 45-lap race and stayed in front through all those restarts. But everything went haywire on the last one.
Karam passed Allgaier from his right, the first of multiple lead change in the second-to-last lap. Kligerman also led at one point before Mayer pulled ahead for good.
Mayer is from Franklin, Wisconsin, about an hour away from Road America. He won in his 72nd Xfinity start.
John Hunter Nemechek, who entered the day as the series’ points leader, got knocked out of the race about two-thirds of the way through after he went off course and damaged the nose of his car.
Hill now leads the standings by 14 points over Nemechek.
AJ Allmendinger took the pole position after setting a track record with his average lap speed of 111.666 mph during Friday’s qualifying. He separated from the pack as soon as the race started, but Allgaier passed him around the sixth lap and stayed in the lead until those frantic final moments.
Allmendinger ended up in ninth.
Until that dramatic finish, it seemed this race would be remembered primarily for all the cautions.
Near the race’s halfway point, an apparent brake failure caused Chandler Smith to go off course and crash into the wall.
With about seven laps left, Alex Labbe had an apparent brake issue that caused him to slam into the wall in Turn 1.
Both Smith and Labbe got out of their cars and were examined and released from the care center.