Mayer Quickest in First K&N East Practice, Then, McLaughlin Earns First Career Pole at Memphis

Sam Mayer’s rookie stripes weren’t showing, s he was quickest in practice at Memphis International Raceway for the Memphis 150. Photo – Nigel Kinrade, NKP

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East drivers got an hour and a half for final practice this afternoon at Memphis International Raceway in preparation for the 3rd Annual Memphis 150 Presented by AutoZone. 

The No. 21 Chevy Accessories GMS Racing Chevrolet is driven by Sam Mayer may be second in the points standings but was at the top of the list in practice with a time of 23.851 seconds.  That bumped series points leader Derek Kraus to second with his No. 16 Napa Auto Parts/Curb Records Toyota after leading the way through most of the session. 

“We had a really good car in practice, and I feel like we’re good race run and qualifying run,” Mayer said. “I think we’re going to have a really good starting spot for the race, have a really good car for the race and hopefully be there at the end.”

Third quick was Chase Cabre in the Rev Racing No. 4 UTI-NTI Toyota.  Rounding out the top-five was the No. 54 DGR-Crosley Lynx Capital of Drew Dollar and the No. 18 Chevrolet piloted by Colin Garrett sponsored by Racing for Heroes.  Defending racing winner of Rev Racing Valvoline No. 6 Ruben Garcia Jr., the oldest driver in the field at 23 years of age, clocked in 11th.

Qualifying at 5:15 pm ET as history continues to happen one way or another at Memphis International Raceway.

Mad Max McLaughlin was all smiles following his first career K&N Pro Series pole at Memphis. Photo – Nigel Kinrade, NKP

From practice to qualifying, several of the same drivers were players, just in a different order. Then there were some new but not surprising names to pop up as well.  

Leading the field to green in tonight’s race is the No. 1 of ‘Mad Max’ McLaughlin in the Shigeaki Hattori Enterprises MoHawk Toyota after finishing practice in the eighth position.  The outside pole is held by Colin Garrett in the No. 18 Racing for Heroes Chevrolet. 

“We had a really fast mock run yesterday and knew we had speed,” McLaughlin said of his Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota. “We had another one today and didn’t really have any. We kind of went back to what we ran yesterday and it worked for us. Pushed it pretty hard there, gave it all I had and it worked out for us. Hopefully we’ve got a good race car and we can keep it up front until the end.”

The next row consists of Sam Mayer in the No. 2 and fastest overall in practice and the defending race winner Ruben Garcia Jr. of Rev Racing in the No. 6, moving up from 11th in the earlier practice session.

Tire management and key strategy will be very important in tonight’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race.  Tune in to see who gets it done with the green flag for The Memphis 150 presented by AutoZone scheduled to go green at approximately 6 pm CDT. Also FansChoice.TV will have live coverage of the event.