One month and some change are all that stand between Sam Mayer and making NASCAR history.
That is the age difference between Mayer, a K&N Pro Series East driver this season, and Todd Gilliland around this time in 2016 when he won the K&N Pro Series West championship.
Mayer – at 16 years, three months and eight days – will be just under two months younger than Gilliland (16 years and five months) when he rolls off the grid for Friday’s K&N East season finale at Dover International Speedway (can be viewed live at 5 p.m. ET on FansChoice.tv. It will air tape delayed at 6 p.m. ET Oct. 11 on NBCSN).
When that happens, Mayer — who was born June 26, 2003 and still doesn’t have a driver’s license – will be the youngest champion in NASCAR history.
The GMS Racing driver enters the 12th and final race with three wins. He’s finished in the top five in all but one race this year.
Those wins came in two races at Bristol and at Iowa Speedway. He has a 30-point advantage over second-place driver Chase Cabre.
“Having the opportunity to go out and potentially be the youngest driver to ever win a NASCAR championship is absolutely amazing,” Mayer said in a media release. “I can’t thank GMS Racing, Chevrolet and Drivers Edge Development enough for everything they have done this year to get me and my team where we are right now. I’m really excited to go back to Dover and have a shot to win, and to take home a championship.”
A native of the Milwaukee suburb of Franklin, Wisconsin, Mayer also has one start and one top five in the K&N West this year, a fourth-place finish at Gateway in August.
Mayer also made his Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut this season at Bristol Motor Speedway in August, where he finished 21st after being eliminated in a crash.