Everyone remembers their favorite fairy tales when they were younger. The best ones, it seemed, were the ones that were the most improbable but still somehow managed to have that magical ending in which the hero or heroine somehow triumphed against all odds.
After a 2018 season fraught full of struggle and disappointment, it’s perhaps a story against all odds that Ty Majeski (No. 22 Crestliner Boats Ford) had an opportunity to race in the ARCA Menards Series in 2019. A partial season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series last season resulted in four crash-related DNF’s, involvement in several more on-track incidents, just four laps led, and a 24.7 average finish.
Despite coming into the year with four ARCA Midwest Tour championships and countless late model wins all across the country, Majeski’s confidence was shaken. The 23-year-old from Seymour, Wisconsin might well have ended up like so many other short track stars who had a rough first season on the big-league stage: back racing short tracks and quickly forgotten.
But Majeski got to the top of the short track world on sheer determination and talent. He wasn’t going to give up his dreams without a fight.
Like so many of those childhood fairy tales, a chance for redemption presented itself early in 2019. A six-race deal with Chad Bryant Racing would give Majeski another chance to race on superspeedways and would augment his already-busy short track calendar.
Majeski quickly capitalized, starting on the front row in his first ARCA Menards Series start of the season at Talladega and coming home, quietly and unspectacularly, in fourth position. Unlike a difficult 2018 season, the car went on the trailer in one piece and the slightest bit of momentum carried him on to his next appearance at Charlotte. There, he started eighth and quickly showed he had the second-best car on the track behind Michael Self, who thoroughly dominated the field all night long. But Self made an uncharacteristic slip with less than 20 laps to go, opening the door for Majeski to slip through and take his first series victory.
Majeski followed his first career win with his second in very short order, this time at Pocono when his Chad Bryant Racing team got him off pit road in front of race-long leader Riley Herbst. With track position and clean air, Majeski drove away to his second straight win.
The only thing keeping Majeski from three consecutive series wins was about a quarter of a gallon of fuel as he ran dry coming out of turn four on the final lap at Michigan, allowing Self to squeak by to take the victory. But Majeski rebounded nicely in his fifth start of the season at Chicagoland Speedway, driving away to a half-lap lead seemingly at will, and even with six cautions, driving to a 9.1 second victory over Harrison Burton.
Majeski’s superspeedway success has positioned Chad Bryant Racing to claim the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge title in the season finale at Kansas Speedway on Friday evening. Teaming with Connor Hall, who drove for the team at Daytona, and 16-year-old Corey Heim, who piloted the car on the short tracks, Majeski also has positioned the team third in the owner’s points standings just twenty points out of second.
Despite only making his sixth ARCA Menards Series start of the season, there’s a lot on the line for Majeski as he fires the engine on Friday night.
“It’s been a couple months since I’ve raced in ARCA – so I’m not sure exactly what the points look like or how close we are in either of them, but all I know is we are going there to win the race,” offered Majeski. “We’ve had five really solid runs so far with three wins, a second, and a fourth and our goal is to finish off the season strong in Victory Lane.
“If we do that than the points should take care of themselves and perhaps there will be more to celebrate on Friday night.”
Being in position to contend for wins at places like Kansas Speedway and putting a team in position to race for a championship seemed so distant after the trials and tribulations of 2018.
“I’m just thankful for the opportunity that Chad gave me to prove myself,” sounded Majeski. “On the Xfinity side – last season was obviously not idea and to come back and get in Victory Lane three times in the ARCA Menards Series has been huge for my career.
“Without a doubt, it has kept me relevant in the industry and as a driver, that’s all you can ask for out of an opportunity like this.”
The ARCA Kansas 150 at the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway will close the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season on Friday, October 18. Practice opens the day at 1 pm ET/12 n CT followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 6 pm ET/5 pm CT. The 100-lap/150-mile feature event will go green at 8:30 pm ET/7:30 pm CT and will be shown live on FS2 with an immediate replay on FS1. ARCA for Me members can follow live timing & scoring, live chat, and live track updates throughout all on-track sessions free at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login.
-ARCA Press Release
-Photo Credit: ARCA