Ty Majeski entered a two-hour rollercoaster ride when he strapped into his Super Late Model on Sunday afternoon. After starting from the pole position, the Seymour, WI driver dropped back in traffic before accelerating his way into a second Governor’s Cup 200 win at New Smyrna Speedway (FL).
“We just weren’t very good early on,” Majeski told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We came in on the first pit stop, lap 65, made some adjustments to it and we went way too far in the other direction. I couldn’t even drive the thing.”
The Wisconsin native spent the first half of the race tailing fellow competitor Jeff Choquette after Choquette jetted to the front of the field. Majeski then struggled as he fell back through the 29-car field, eventually going down a lap when the leader at the time, Stephen Nasse, passed him.
Majeski narrowly escaped falling two laps behind when a competition caution helped save his day.
“We were about half a car length from going another lap down when the yellow came out and that was really the key to our race,” Majeski recalled. “If we had gone two laps down it would have been really tough.”
Prior to that point in the race, Majeski had strategized with his team and discussed who he had to pass in order to rescue his chance at a decent finish.
“My spotter had told me what car I needed to pass to get on the lead lap and once we got to that point I started riding because I couldn’t make up any more spots,” Majeski explained.
Everything fell into place for Majeski once he positioned himself for the free pass that would ultimately put him back in contention for the win.
From there, Majeski methodically worked his toward the front before taking the lead from Nasse with less than 10 laps to go.
“Once the yellow came out, I knew we had the lucky dog,” Majeski said. “We came back down pit road and made a small stagger adjustment, went out and I was just able to pick them off one by one. Fortunately, it was soon enough.”
A second straight Governor’s Cup 200 win gives the No. 91 race team a boost of faith as the season winds down to the biggest race of them all, the Snowball Derby.
“If we would have went home running like we did about mid-race we would have been scratching our heads and wondering if we need to redo our racecars and reevaluate what we’re doing,” Majeski admitted. “[This win] gives us a lot of confidence.”
Second-place finisher Jeff Choquette left New Smyrna Speedway with a sense of satisfaction as they prepare to make the trip to Pensacola in December.
“It’s just a case of the fastest car winning today,” Choquette said. “In our eyes we still put on a good show and that’s all that matters. We’re going to test next weekend and it’s always a good thing to carry a little momentum. Hopefully we can get a good finish there too.”
Spencer Davis, placing third overall, ran a consistent race towards the front of the pack, winning several close battles throughout. He offered his philosophy on the race that dates itself back to the 70’s.
“Anytime you’re in a 200-lap race I think you’re going to have your ups and your downs,” Davis said. “I’ve had a game plan for here in past years. The race has always been a wreck-fest until about thirty to go and then you get a long green flag run until the finish.”
Davis agreed that this Governor’s Cup was unconventional, but much of his strategy remained the same despite it.
“This time proved otherwise; we ran a clean race the whole time,” Davis admitted. “Regardless, I wanted to save tires a little bit, I was in no hurry to get to the front.”
Despite missing out on a chance to have his name engraved into the prestigious trophy, Davis views his podium finish as a victory in and of itself.
“It’s just a real cool deal to be on par again and run so good,” Davis said. “We haven’t had so much luck in our own Super Late Model and to finally get some is nice.”
When asked about his future involving the Snowball Derby, the answer was simple:
“You’ll definitely see us there.”
A pair of Florida racing veterans, Brad May and David Rogers, rounded out the top-five on Sunday.
For an on-demand lap-by-lap account of Sunday’s race, visit 51’s Trackside Now coverage presented by Stanley Tools and Racecar Engineering.
-By Melissa Strahley, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
51st Annual Governor’s Cup 200:
|29||5K||Daniel Keene Jr.|