Franklin's Mayer riding momentum on 'roller coaster of a season'

From nearly taking the checkered flag to sparks flying hanging upside down, the start to 2023 was a bit hectic for Sam Mayer.

"Rolling over on your lid at Daytona, you really can't control that," said Mayer. "But you can control getting as many points as you can, and capitalizing on other people's accidents."

What should have been a top five finished turned into 27th place in the opening race of the Xfinity Series season.

But Mayer did not let that keep him down.

"We came back the next week, and we finished second at Auto Club [Speedway], and that kind of kicked us into high gear, and we were really good for a little bit," Mayer said. "And then we kind of fell off, and then we kind of came back and had a really good run. And now we're on a stretch where we're finishing really well."

There have been a few hiccups on the track, but the Franklin native is now focused on a second straight run to the playoffs.

One of the races still in his path is Road America.

"Road America is one that is super high on my list especially for the road courses," said Mayer. "It's got everything a race car driver wants and a race fan wants. So it's definitely super high on my list and definitely a lot of other people's lists."

It's road courses like the one in Elkhart Lake that get Mayer up in the morning.

RELATED: Check out the new and improved FOX Sports app

"It's what I grew up doing," Mayer said. "It's really a big part of me, because I've done it for half of my lifetime. But now doing it in a full body stock car is also super cool, because I can use a lot of the stuff that I learned back then and apply it."

And he has learned a lot.

Mayer says he was thrown to the wolves in his first year on the circuit, but now he's prepared for whatever bumps he may take.

"I'm a much better race car driver than I was last year, and it's it shows in the races that we fight," said Mayer. "There's races last year that I did really well. But there's races last year that Sam didn't do well, but this year Sam would have capitalized on a lot of different situations and done a lot better."

While Mayer continues to fight for his first Xfinity Series win, his ultimate goal remains the same.

"I hope in the next couple of years to be a Cup Series driver," Mayer said. "Like any young person, I'm ready to go. I'm ready to rip. I want to get after it. I want to show what I can do and take advantage of opportunities."

Mayer currently sits in 11th place with the top 12 advancing to the playoffs.

He finished seventh in 2022.

The Henry 180 will take place at Road America on July 29.