It was months in the making and Sunday was finally the day for Ty Majeski, the number-one pick in the 2016 Speed51.com Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes, to have his opportunity in the ARCA Racing Series.
He showed he belonged in the #17 Ford prepared by Roulo Bros. Racing by coming home with a fourth-place finish at Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wisconsin.
The Seymour, Wisconsin driver was the fastest in both practice sessions on Saturday, but qualified seventh for the 200-lap event.
“We made a small adjustment before qualifying and went the wrong way,” Majeski told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We ended up not qualifying the way we hoped and ended up P7. I wasn’t too worried because I felt we had something to work with for the race.”
Majeski had one of the longest lines during the autograph session and received the largest cheer during driver introduction.
At the drop of the green flag, he quickly made his way into the top five. He was battling with fellow NASCAR Next driver Nicole Behar for third on lap 37, when the two made contact in turns three and four. Both were able to recover and keep going.
Following the contact, Majeski was running a solid third in the first half of the race.
A caution flew on lap 107 allowing the Roush Fenway development driver to make his first of two pit stops in the event.
He would continue to run third after the green flag flew on the restart.
On lap 120, Majeski would get by Kyle Weatherman and move up to second, bringing the crowd to their feet at Madison. He got close to challenge Williams for the lead, but lap traffic halted that effort.
The final caution would come out with 21 laps to go. Majeski would roll down pit road for his final stop of the day. With only a handful of cars on the lead lap, the crew took a little extra time to make an adjustment to the car.
But the fans were watching Majeski like a hawk and were jumping on their feet and cheering for him to beat current leader Josh Williams out of the pits.
After the adjustment were made, he would restart fourth and would stay in that position all the way to the checkered flag.
“I made a mistake by giving the wrong feedback, and told them to loosen it up for that last green flag run,” Majeski admitted. “I was thinking if I could get that thing to turn, I could get past the guys and win the race. Unfortunately, it was too big of a swing but I will get better at giving feedback and will remember that for next time. Hopefully, we take it to victory lane.”
Overall, both Majeski and the team were satisfied with the top-five finish.
“We had a good solid run. We kept the fenders on for the most part all day,” Majeski explained. “The Roulo Brothers gave me a great piece. I felt like I had the best short run car in the second half, but were getting tight on the long run.”
Gary Roulo, co-car owner, was pleased with the entire weekend.
“It was a positive weekend for us in running with Ty for the first time,” Roulo exclaimed. “To come out and be the fastest in practice and run real strong in the race, Ty learned a lot. How to work through traffic, how these cars handle over a long run and how the tracks change throughout the race. All in all, it was solid with a top-four finish.
“Ty is a tremendous talent, and there is a lot to learn at every level that you go up through. Lot to learn here and he learned a lot this weekend. We are all good.”
For Majeski, who is an engineering student at nearby University of Wisconsin, this was another day in the classroom.
“The biggest thing I learned today was how to race a big, heavy car. Manage brakes, which is something we don’t have to do a lot on the Late Model, and we had to do that today. I felt like I did a pretty good job at that. I had every bit of race car I needed for the end.”
Both Majeski and the Roulo Bros. are planning on competing in future ARCA Racing Series events later this season and hope to announce their next event soon.
-By Kevin Ramsell, Speed51.com Midwest Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com