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OBSERVATIONS: Bush’s Beans 150 at Bristol Motor Speedway

A little bump and banging, drivers making their way up and down the field, and a bump and run for the win – it sounds like the perfect short track event. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East was able to check each of those boxes on Thursday evening.

Despite having a small field with just 16 entries, the top-five were close throughout the event, with battles for position from the drop of the green flag to the checkered. With everybody fighting for the bottom, passes became tough at times and it showed with contact throughout. 

Throughout the Bush’s Beans 150, certain drivers showed their ability behind the wheel. Spencer Davis dominated a good chunk of the race, while Hailie Deegan displayed her ability to make passes and move forward. The young talent of Ty Gibbs and Tanner Gray was shown with them being able to run solidly in the top-five.

Though just like he was able to in the spring, Sam Mayer was a step above the rest.

After having to go back to the field at the beginning of the race, he methodically made his way forward, making passes as he went to continue gaining ground. He was then able to catch Davis in the closing laps, perfecting the bump and run to get the lead and cruise to the win.

Not only as he proven to be a master at one of NASCAR’s toughest short tracks, his ability behind the wheel has shined at other speedway. He won at Iowa, and now holds a 22-point advantage in the standings.

Driving for GMS Racing and under the Driver’s Edge Development program, the potential for him to move forward in his racing career there as he ran top-10 until contact with the wall in his NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series debut at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Though it’s not all sunshine for the driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet as his day was not all clean at Bristol. He got put to the back on the first lap due to spinning fellow competitor Chase Cabre right off the drop of the green flag. 

While these two haven’t had the smoothest season racing each other in 2019 with contact throughout, it’s not a good appearance to be causing trouble right away. It also looks worse when you show no remorse about the contact. Mayer would admit he “didn’t mean it at all,” but went on to add that Cabre “kind of deserves it.” 

It’s a tough balance because as a young driver, creating enemies with dirty racing as some would call what happen is not the approach you want in attracting sponsors to back your dream. However, rivalries are always great for the sport as they create conversation. Perhaps that can help get the series back to the star power it used to be.



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By Ashley McCubbin

Currently the Executive Editor for Popular Speed, Ashley McCubbin also runs Short Track Musings, while handling media relations for OSCAAR. Currently living in Bradford, Ontario, she spends her weekend at the local short tracks in the area taking photos.