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Is Sam Mayer Heading to the Cup Series Anytime Soon?

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What’s Happening?

After winning his second race of the Xfinity Series season at Iowa Speedway last weekend, Sam Mayer explained how he feels about not being a top candidate for Cup Series rides. He responded strongly by saying it “Pisses me off” that he’s not getting more Cup Series attention. Will Sam Mayer make it up to the Cup Series sometime soon?

  • Sam Mayer is in his third full-time season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He has caught fire since the second half of 2023, winning six races and qualifying for the Championship 4.
  • Mayer got off to a slow start this season, but he’s won two races and now sits in the top 10 in points. However, he’s not been a serious candidate for any Cup Series seats for 2024.
  • Fans would love to see Mayer get a full-time opportunity in the Cup Series. However, is now really the right time?

When Can He Jump Up to Cup?

Realistically, 2024 is a tough year for Mayer to jump to the Cup Series. Most of the Silly Season movement is in the Ford camp, with Front Row Motorsports having two open seats and SHR shutting down. The JGR No. 19 is a Toyota ride available, but Chase Briscoe looks like the current favorite for the ride.

Mayer is a Chevy driver, and the movement happening in the Chevy camp surrounds Trackhouse. With Michael McDowell joining Spire in 2025 and Zane Smith out of a ride, Trackhouse needs to find a place for all five drivers under contract. There’s just no place for Sam Mayer in the Chevy camp.

Either way, Mayer is only in his third full-time season in the Xfinity Series. While he’s shown a lot of promise within that time, he has also shown some inconsistency. He had seven DNFs in 2023 and four already in 2024, not even halfway through the season. His first three wins of 2023 came on road courses, so coming into the year, the question was whether or not he could consistently win on ovals.

Mayer could easily benefit from another year in the Xfinity Series with some more time to develop. However, he is also within that window of about three to four seasons in the lower series before jumping up to Cup that 8/12 full-time current Cup drivers who debuted this decade had. More about that in the article below.

It’s tough to project what 2025 Silly Season will look like, but contracts will continue to expire, and more opportunities will open up. If Mayer continues to win races, he will certainly garner interest from somewhere.

Other rides might potentially open up in 2024. However, would those be the best opportunities for someone like Mayer to develop?

When is the Right Opportunity?

Denny Hamlin raised an interesting point on a recent episode of Actions Detrimental. When discussing Mayer, Hamlin said it is more about the opportunity Mayer will get at the Cup level instead of just getting to Cup for the sake of it. As Hamlin said, “I am definitely of the opinion winning on Friday or Saturday is better than running 25th on Sunday.”

We turn back to what realistically can open up for Mayer this year. Maybe the second Kaulig Racing car or the second Rick Ware Racing car. Both of these cars currently sit outside the top 30 in owner’s points.

Is it better for Mayer to race in Cup full-time for a smaller team, or to keep winning races in the Xfinity Series? At some point, if Mayer wants to go Cup racing, he has to take what comes his way, but, does he have to do that right now? He is in race-winning equipment in the Xfinity Series, an ideal place to develop and improve.

However, it would be tough to ignore if a Cup Series offer comes down the line, as unrealistic as it may be.

What do you think about all this? Let us know on Discord or X what your take is, and don’t forget you can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube.

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