When officials from Nashville, Tennessee’s Fairgrounds Speedway announced the return of the prestigious All-American 400 to the ranks of Super Late Model racing, the response generated was immediate with a number of the best Late Model drivers in the country throwing their names in. One of the first to commit is Wisconsin’s Ty Majeski.
Despite a busy schedule in 2016 and zero track time at Nashville, Majeski is eager to rise to the challenge. He has already done a lot of homework on the Fairgrounds and shared what he’s learned so far and what his approach will be coming in.
“It’s definitely one we circled on our schedule when we heard they were going back to Super Late Models. I’ve watched many videos there, I know the track is really rough, especially out of turn two,” Majeski told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “Guys who get through there and navigate around there are usually pretty good and get their stuff working on the bottom. That’s where you’ve got to pass people because everyone runs the middle groove there. That’s going to be our focus in practice. I’ve been pretty good at adapting to racetracks that I haven’t been on before. Not that I won’t seek any help, but historically it’s been all right for us, so we’ll see what happens.”
Another big challenge for Majeski will be the daunting 400 lap distance, which will be a new high-water mark for him. He does feel there’s one part of the event format that might give him an edge. Strategizing with controlled pit stops, a format that allows teams to make live pit stops, but with the order remaining the same for drivers when they come out of pit road as when they came in.
“Lap count wise it will be the longest race I’ve ever run. From that standpoint there’s going to be strategies, especially with how they’re going to do the pit stops. Something that actually originated up in the Midwest with the ARCA Midwest Tour at the Dixieland 250. We have a little bit of an advantage as far as that goes and how to play strategy, but at the end of the day it is its own race and we’re going to have to adjust accordingly on how the race goes.”
The past few seasons have been a whirlwind for Majeski who has won the ARCA Midwest Tour championship the past two seasons and leads the Tour standings with five wins and two races to go. He also led and finished third in the 2015 Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL). Among his accomplishments in 2016 has been the championship at the New Smyrna Speedway (FL) World Series with three wins including the 100 lap finale. He also found victory in another premier Super Late Model event, the Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway in March. All of which helped him be selected as the Number One Pick in the 2016 Speed51.com Short Track Draft and being selected to the NASCAR Next program.
Recently he finished third in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national points after collecting 13 wins across the Midwest in just 24 NASCAR starts. Now he has his sights set on what he believes would be his biggest triumph.
“It would be the biggest win in my career at this point. We had a really good 2015 season and we improved on that in 2016, to win another premiere race would be the cherry on top so far. We’ve proved in the last year and a half that we can go anywhere in the country and perform well. This track’s a little different, but I feel like we have a really good package from Pensacola and New Smyrna that will probably be pretty good at Nashville. I’m optimistic I think if we play our cards right and get our car working we’ll be fine for the 400 on Sunday.”
Majeski made one last thing clear, he knows he can win.
“We wouldn’t be going if we didn’t have a shot at winning. I think that’s the mentality you have to have if you show up at a racetrack, you think you can’t win a race, you’re already beat in my opinion. We’re going in with that mentality and hopefully we’ll come out on top.”
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com State Editor (CT, MA, Long Island) – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com/Bruce Nuttleman photo