The ARCA Midwest Tour is set to embark on Grundy County Speedway (IL) this Saturday for the ninth time in series history. Ty Majeski is the defending winner of the event, but a trio of drivers look to pull the upset and put a little extra green in their pockets, all while chasing down Majeski for a possible championship.
Austin Nason, Travis Dassow and Paul Shafer Jr sit second through fourth respectively in Midwest Tour standings. While all have less Midwest Tour experience than Majeski, that won’t stop them from trying to break into victory lane for the first time this year.
“Heading into Grundy we are starting to get into a little bit of rhythm,” Dassow told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “With running fourth at Gateway and sixth at Rockford, we’ve had some decent runs this season but just haven’t broke through for solid podium or win this season yet.”
“Going into Grundy we’re just hoping for the best,” Shafer stated. “We had a decent car there last year and were able to lead a few laps and wound up fourth. We also had a good car there at their weekly show a few weeks ago.”
“I feel like we’re getting there,” Nason said. “We’ve had a fast car, just haven’t had any luck. Patience and being there at the end will be the key.”
Majeski currently holds the Midwest Tour point lead with six races remaining in the season. However, the following five positions are separated by a mere 18 points while they all try and chase down one of the hottest drivers in short track racing.
All three drivers own at least one top-five finish this year and at least three top-ten finishes. Nason has come the closest to taking the checkered flag with a second-place run last race at Rockford Speedway.
“Ty has been on a roll and until he has some bad races or misses a couple I’m not worried about points,” Dassow said. “There’s a great battle between second to about seventh, we just got to go out and start performing and the points will take care of themselves.”
“I honestly haven’t really looked at the points, I go into every race thinking ‘this is the day we’re going to beat Ty Majeski’,” Shafer said. “That’s what we’re all thinking and it’s tough to do. To beat Ty we have to make sure our car is turning good center off and we have to make sure the car is good on long runs. That’s usually where Ty is better.”
The ante was upped for this weekend’s Wayne Carter Classic when the Midwest Tour put out a bounty on the Seymour, WI driver. If any driver can beat Majeski, with him still running on the lead lap, he/she will take home a cool $1,500.
“The bounty shakes things up a bit or at the very least gets us all thinking about a better payday,” Shafer said. “At Grundy the key is rolling the center. It’s a pretty average race track. Hopefully everything turns out alright and who knows if we’re lucky we can take home an extra thousand bucks.”
“They definitely have their program figured out,” Nason stated. “We hope to have a good car and be there at the end.”
Other drivers who could play spoiler this weekend include Dan Fredrickson and Edie Hoffman. Both have won this event before with Hoffman remaining the only two time winner.
Teams will have one hour of practice on Saturday, July 15 before qualifying at 5:00pm CST and racing at 7:00pm CST.
The ARCA Midwest Tour Wayne Carter Classic will be broadcast live on Summer Thunder TV. Race fans can watch the race by becoming a premium subscriber to the Speed51 Network. Click here for more information and to sign up today.
-By Jana Wimmer, Speed51.com Midwest Editor – Twitter: @JWimm22
-Photo credit: Speed51.com