Ricky Baker won the ARCA Midwest Tour Wayne Carter Classic at Grundy County Speedway Saturday night, winning his hometown race while stirring up a bit of controversy.
With a $1,500 bounty on his head, Ty Majeski came into Saturday night having won the previous five ARCA Midwest Tour races. Following the invert, Majeski was able to race his way to second place and battle with Ricky Baker for the lead. The two worked through the second half of the race with little margin while Majeski continued to hound Baker.
Majeski was eventually able to get to the inside of Baker, but the two made contact into turn one, resulting in Majeski launching over the left rear tire of Baker and eventually spinning. The caution was placed on Majeski by Midwest Tour officials due to the spin. Majeski later retired, citing low oil pressure.
Baker told Speed51.com powered by JEGS that he could only give Majeski so much room to work with.
“I don’t think I’ve driven that hard ever. I knew Ty was going to be good, and honestly I was really upset at Rockford. He ran me over 10 laps into the race and destroyed the whole car,” Baker stated. “Rear end was bent, right front was bent. I just don’t believe in driving like that. I gave him just enough room tonight and I’m pretty good here. I’ve raced a lot of laps here. Other guys I can run side by side for 10-15 laps and not touch. I couldn’t even run two laps in the heat race without him dooring me and trying to put me in the fence.”
When asked about the incident following the race, Majeski deflected to his next event.
“Unfortunately we couldn’t finish the race. We had a lot of damage,” Majeski said. “We’ll get the car fixed up; we’ve got to run Slinger on Tuesday. Really excited for that race. We’ll see what happens.”
Baker was happy for the win, but wished the outcome had been a bit different.
“I wish we could have raced to the end. I think we still could have had him.”
Following the incident, Ricky Baker went on to dominate the rest of the field. He ran away from the field on a late restart to win the 100-lap feature. However, Baker did not claim the $1,500 bounty for beating Majeski due to the No. 91 car falling out of the race with three laps remaining.
Travis Braden, who normally runs in the ARCA/CRA Super Series and JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, also had a strong run at Grundy County Speedway. After qualifying 15th,, the Wheeling, WV driver brought the No. 99 home in third place.
Polesitter Rich Schumann Jr. led the race early, but fell out due to an issue with the car. Austin Nason set quick time in qualifying, but struggled in the feature following a cut tire. The early issue resulted in a 16th-place finish, 13 laps down.
Travis Dassow entered Saturday as a part of a tight points battle from second to fifth place, but will likely fall behind. Dassow’s car suffered from mechanical issues and was unable to race in heats or the feature. He was credited with 24th-place finish in the unofficial results.
For Baker, his win on Saturday night had been on his bucket list. After the race, he talked about how important the win was to him.
“This is huge, I’ve always wanted to win this race. I remember when I was a little kid seeing Joe Shear win it all the time. Lot of big names on that list. I’m just happy to be part of it.”
The ARCA Midwest Tour’s next race is the Dixieland 250 at Wisconsin International Raceway on Tuesday, August 1.
Race fans can watch an on-demand replay of Saturday’s Wayne Carter Classic by clicking here.
-Patrick Hahe, Speed51.com State Editor IN / MI / OH
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
Wayne Carter Classic Unofficial Results
Grundy County Speedway (IL) – July 15, 2017
|2||7S||Paul Shafer Jr.||100|
|5||45||Rich Bickle Jr.||100|
|7||7D||John DeAngelis Jr.||100|
|20||54||Rich Schumann Jr.||44|