One week before what is scheduled to be his inaugural start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ty Majeski set the record for all time wins in the ARCA Midwest Tour, by earning his 17th series victory at Gateway Motorsports Park (IL) on Saturday. The win, of which was his fourth in five races, puts him in route to what may be a fourth consecutive series championship.
The win, the record, and the possibility for another championship, all help to cement his legacy in Super Late Model racing folk lore as he rises up the ranks.
“We are running it like we are (running for the series championship) this year. Obviously if I get more races scheduled with Xfinity, and or ARCA, we might not be able to run it, but right now we’re planning on running the whole thing,” Majeski told Speed51.com Powered by JEGS in a pre-race interview.
In winning the 40 lap, 50-mile Super Late Model feature, Majeski, who set fast time in time trials, had to overcome a 15-car inversion that would put him in harms way come a lap-two incident in turn one also involving Jim Sauter Jr. and Jusin Mondeik.
Mondeik would suffer the most damage in the incident after rolling the car over the nose of Sauter’s car as they went up the banking. All drivers would escape without injury, though Majeski would have to come down pit road and put on a used right rear tire after Sauter’s left front fender cut down his right rear tire, sending him spinning.
Travis Dassow led the field to green on the lap-three restart with Majeski in tow mired back in 17th. Though it would be Portage, Indiana’s Paul Shafer Jr. who, in a show of strength, would pass Dassow the next time by the flag stand and dominate most of the race.
Shafer didn’t look to be challenged until Ty Majeski passed Dan Fredrickson for second on lap 23. Majeski would then reel him in until the competition caution was thrown on lap 32, where he discovered he was having a worsening vapor locking issue and Shafer started having minor engine issues of his own.
After several restart attempts, the two finally got going with an equal distance between them and the field and started the dog fight that would end with Shafer hitting the wall off of turn two with four laps to go, allowing Majeski to make the pass for the win.
“The car was getting tighter and tighter the longer we raced it. Finally, I got really tight up off of turn two and just got the wall a little bit. That’s when Ty got us and I just never came back,” Paul Shafer Jr. said after the race.
In his post race press conference, Majeski had sympathy for the young Indiana racer, “He had the race won. I wasn’t going to get him, but he got tight out of turn two, and just scrubbed the wall a little bit, I got a run, was able to pass him, and eventually hold him off.”
Dan Fredrickson, who until Saturday sat atop the all time wins list with Majeski, passed Shafer Jr. in the waning laps for second.
“I should have let Ty go sooner, he was behind me for six or eight laps, to see where he was getting me so much, he showed me something in turns one and two that helped a lot,” Fredrickson said. “I picked up a lot of speed, just an insane amount of speed, like four or five tenths, and of course it was too late. I got by Paul Shafer (Jr.) in one corner after I had figured that out, but Ty was in front of me and the race was over.”
Next on the schedule for The ARCA Midwest Tour is the All-Star 100 at Rockford Speedway in Loves Park, Illinois on Saturday, July 1st.
For an on-demand replay of Saturday’s Trackside Now coverage, click here.
Illinois Lottery 40 Official Results
Gateway Motorsports Park – ( Madison, IL )
June 17, 2017
|3||7s||Paul Shafer, Jr|
|9||45||Rich Bickle, Jr|
|16||7||John DeAngelis, Jr|
|21||20||Jim Sauter, Jr|
-By Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent – Twitter: @AJorgensen24
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com photo