Sam Mayer nipped Franklin Futrelle by 0.009s to capture his second career pole in four TA2 races. The 17-year-old driver from Franklin, Wis., who drives for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, turned a lap of 1m23.923s in the No. 8 M1-SLR/Fields Chevrolet Camaro.
“I pulled in early and was sweating, watching the clock tick down,” said Mayer. “The two of us were separated by nine-thousandths of a second, so it was really close. I was really anxious about that.
“It’s awesome to get the pole,” Mayer continued. “This opportunity is awesome at Team SLR. They put together a good piece for us and hopefully I will go out tomorrow, lead every lap, and take the win.”
Mayer won the pole and finished second in only his second TA2 start at Daytona in 2019. Two years later, he won the TA2 class in last weekend’s debut of the Trans Am Pro-Am Challenge at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Futrelle, who turned heads at Road Atlanta a year ago by qualifying third in his TA2 debut, came oh-so-close to the pole with a lap of 1m23.932s in the No. 58 Innoviv Ford Mustang.
“I am pretty happy with how we are doing. The B2 Motorsports guys prepared a good Ford Mustang this weekend,” Futrelle said. “It’s hard to be upset about second when the times were that close over a 2.54-mile track. The biggest difference between this weekend to when we were here in November is that we switched to a whole new shock package with JRI Shocks and have a new engine program with KTech. Those two things are probably good for at least a second on our time.”
Defending series champion and two-time 2020 Road Atlanta winner Mike Skeen was third in the No. 1 Liqui-Moly/Turn 14 Distribution Camaro. He was followed by 2021 Sebring winner Thomas Merrill in the No. 81 HP Tuners Mustang; Scott Lagasse Jr. in the No. 92 SLR-Fields Ford Mustang; and Rafa Matos in the No. 88 3-Dimensional Services Mustang.
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