CONCORD, N.C. – While racing action across much of the country may be winding down, Ty Majeski will be at it full blast this weekend. The current Kulwicki Cup points leader will be attempting to win the prestigious Tony Bettenhausen Memorial 100 at Illiana Motor Speedway on Saturday night. The hard-charging 21-year-old will then battle it out for a victory and the TUNDRA points title in Sunday’s series finale at Jefferson (Wisconsin) Speedway.
“We got rained out for this race at Illiana last Saturday, so we spent the night following along with our fellow Kulwicki Development (KDDP) driver Cole Williams who was racing at the fairgrounds in Nashville,” said the Seymour, Wisconsin native. “A night off every once in a while is okay, but man, we wanted to be out there.”
Majeski had fast time for May’s ARCA/CRA Tour Chicagoland Showdown, but had to settle for a fifth-place finish on the flat half-mile oval. He won a regular feature at the track the week prior to May’s 150-lapper and also won a touring event there in 2014. He and crew chief Toby Nuttleman have been working on shock absorber and bump stop settings all summer long. Majeski feels like they have hit on a package that should make them competitive each time out and especially this weekend at Illiana.
“We usually have a good car at Illiana, but we just missed the setup last time,” said Majeski. “The track is a lot like La Crosse in that it has little banking. The secret to running fast there is negotiating all the bumps coming out of the fourth turn. Toby and I spend a lot of time pondering and discussing setups. We make a great team and I’m blessed to work with him this season. I’m confident we’ll have a strong car there on Saturday night.”
The drivers expected for the Bettenhausen Memorial will offer some of the toughest competition Majeski has faced all year. Multiple-time ARCA/CRA champion and defending race winner Brian Campbell heads the entry list that also includes 2015 Slinger Nationals Champion Dennis Prunty and former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Erik Darnell, not to mention the tough local competition from the area.
As for Sunday’s TUNDRA Series finale at Jefferson Speedway, Majeski enters the event as the points leader. He is looking to move past the controversy that occurred at TUNDRA’s last race at Golden Sands Speedway on Labor Day. Majeski and fellow KDDP driver Reagan May (the 2014 TUNDRA Series Rookie-of-the-Year) came together on two occasions, resulting in Majeski being placed on probation for this weekend’s finale and May being suspended for two races, including the 2016 season-opening race.
“From our side, it’s over and done with,” offered Majeski. “We just want to put the drama behind us and lock up this championship. We have had a great car all year, and we are confident going into the race this weekend.”
Majeski has a 24-point lead over Florida’s Dalton Zehr heading into Sunday’s showdown and he needs at least a sixth-place finish to clinch the title. “It’s been a good battle with Zehr all year long,” said the University of Wisconsin-Madison Mechanical Engineering student. “He and the Coleman team always have a good car and they are competitive every time out. I’m looking forward to Sunday and seeing who comes out on top.”
Saturday’s schedule at Illiana sees qualifying at 5:30 p.m. and racing beginning at 7:00 p.m. Street Stocks and Turbo Stocks will also be in action. For additional information, please visit their site at http://www.illianaspeedway.com/index.html.
Sunday’s action at Jefferson will also feature Super Trucks, Vintage Stock Cars, Legends and Bandoleros. Time trials are set for 12:30 p.m. with the first race getting the green flag at 2:00 p.m. For additional information, please visit the track’s site at http://jeffersonspeedway.com/.
-Kulwicki Driver Development Program. Photo credit: Speed51.com