The 50th Annual Florida Governor’s Cup was a race of survival. 41 cars started the 200-lap affair, and just 13 of them finished. As cars dropped one-by-one, Ty Majeski made his way through the field and showed that he was the fittest of them all.
Majeski held off Jeff Scofield for the final 20 laps to claim the victory at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway in what was one of the longer runs of the whole race.
“We had an awesome car there at the end,” said Majeski in victory lane. “It’s really tough coming down here from the north. These guys are really tough. It feels really good to come down here and do what we did. It says a lot about our team to pick up a prestigious race like this.”
The 21-year-old Wisconsin driver started deep in the field, all the way back in 28th, but carefully and methodically made his way forward through the field as drivers ahead of him fell by the wayside.
“We had a misfortune in qualifying,” said Majeski. “We broke a left-front upper control arm and had to start really deep in the field. Guys were really riding and that was allowing me to pick up spots real early and get track position. That allowed me to stay out in front of all the wrecks and all the mayhem in the mid-pack and throughout the back.”
Contenders like Steve Wallace, Augie Grill, and more were involved in some of that mayhem throughout the day. Wallace led quite a few laps in the middle stages of the race before eventually crashing in turn two after contact with Bubba Pollard. Wallace was unable to continue, an finished 16th.
“He just messed up,” said Wallace. “He’s a great driver and he made a mistake. It’s just a shame because we busted our (butts) to get down here and now we have a torn up race car.”
Pollard finished fourth and took full responsibility for the incident with Wallace.
“It was my fault,” said Pollard. “Me and (Scofield) were side by side for position and I went into turn one and tried to clear Scofield. The brake pedal was soft and I couldn’t woe the car up. It’s my fault. I hate it for Steven and I hate it for those guys.”
The Wallace crash set up a 20-lap dash for the win between Majeski, Scofield and California driver Derek Thorn.
Majeski powered away from Scofield and Thorn on the restart and beat Scofield to the checkered flag by a distance of 1.738 seconds to take the victory.
Thorn finished third, and Pollard and Tyler Ankrum completed the top five.
Restarts were a bit tricky for Majeski who said he’s not used to the way in which they are performed down in the southern part of the United States, but he was still able to stay ahead of his competitors.
“We can’t shift on restarts in the north,” said Majeski. “It’s all fourth-gear restarts up there, so I’m not used to the second and third gear starts. I was kind of learning as I was going there and I felt like I got pretty good there at the end. They were definitely making me nervous. I knew that if I could get past the first couple of corners and clear him then I was going to be alright.”
Now Majeski gets to see his name engraved on the big trophy alongside other names such as Dick Trickle, Wayne Anderson, Bobby Gill and Augie Grill.
“I can’t believe it,” said Majeski. “This is definitely the biggest race I’ve won in my career. It’s also 15-grand. I’ve always wanted one of those big checks and that trophy is just cool. It’s so unique and it’ll look good on the trophy shelf for sure.”
For an on-demand coverage of our Trackside Now coverage, click here: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-fl-governors-cup-200-race-day/
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Regional Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
50th Annual Florida Governor’s Cup 200
New Smyrna Speedway, New Smyrna Beach, Florida
|28||19||Ray Black Jr|
|39||5K||Daniel Keene Jr|
|40||8P||Joey Polewarcyzk Jr.|