When scrolling through the ballot for the 2017 Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes on Speed51.com many fans will notice there is one very big name missing from the lineup. Ty Majeski, the 2016 number-one pick in the Short Track Draft, is not eligible for the ballot this season due to a rule that he can thank Chase Elliott for.
The rule is not unprecedented and was previously used for Elliott during the 2011 Short Track Draft. Majeski, currently a Roush Fenway Racing development driver, also has an undetermined number of NASCAR Xfinity Series starts on the horizon in 2017.
Last year, Majeski was the top pick in the draft and the chances of him backing that up and being number one two years in a row would be very high. In order to allow other talented young prospects the opportunity to be a number-one pick, Majeski will not be eligible in 2017.
“Of course I was disappointed when I found out I wasn’t eligible this year. We had a great 2015, but we had an even better 2016. I was looking forward to see how I was going to stack up again this year,” Majeski told Speed51.com powered by JEGS.
“Eligible or not, I think it’s a great thing Speed51 does for the short track community and I will definitely be following along. It’s certainly an honor to have been the first overall pick last year and it’s something I’ll always have on my resume.”
Majeski, if he still meets the draft criteria, will be re-eligible for the Short Track Draft again next season as he will still be under 25 years of age. The only thing that would hinder his eligibility would be if he obtained a full-time ride in any of the top three NASCAR touring divisions or he no longer held rookie status in any of those three divisions.
“Our hope is that with Ty’s outstanding talents behind the wheel, he will not have to worry about being eligible for future Short Track Drafts,” said Speed51.com Editor Brandon Paul. “He is currently in a great position with Roush Fenway Racing and all of us at Speed51.com hope to see him competing full-time in one of the NASCAR’s top three series soon.”
Majeski is currently slated to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with Roush Fenway Racing on June 24 at Iowa Speedway. If Majeski makes enough starts to lose his rookie status in the Xfinity Series or signs a full-time deal for next season, he will lose his spot on the ballot.
“Obviously, I’m thrilled for my Xfinity debut in June. Everyone has been working so hard at RFR to continue to get these race cars better and it’s been showing,” Majeski stated. “I’ve been learning a lot working in different areas at RFR to be the best prepared I can be. We also get to test there in May before the debut, so that will definitely help my learning curve.”
Kyle Benjamin (2013 #1 pick) and Bubba Pollard (2012 #1 pick) were both future number-one picks who were granted eligibility the following year; however, neither of those drivers had been signed to a NASCAR development deal at the time.
The draft picks and the order they are selected in are chosen by a combination of votes casted by a panel of industry experts and the popular “fan vote” on Speed51.com’s social media outlets. The votes are then counted and tallied before the draft order is released to the public.
Throughout the coming weeks, Speed51.com will be giving fans an insider look at the potential draft picks in preparation for the draft during the first week of May.
-By Hannah Newhouse, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com