Ty Majeski earned his third consecutive ARCA Midwest Tour championship Sunday at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway in Wisconsin, and he made sure it was not a close battle by winning the final event of the season.
Although he started seventh in the feature, it only took 30 laps for Majeski to move into the top-three and then start the battle to the lead. It would not be an easy battle however, as Johnny Sauter took the lead on lap three and would not relinquish the lead until Majeski took it with just 85 laps to go.
The first caution of the 200 lap event was a competition caution at lap 50. The leaders had the opportunity to pit, but only Dan Fredrickson took the chance to put on new tires. Fredrickson entered the pits in third, and restarted 14th. It would take him just 20 laps to enter the top ten, and for a while he seemed to be the fastest car. The speed faded at the end, and Fredrickson would finish second behind Majeski.
“Definitely a really good car, pretty dynamite,” Fredrickson quietly said after the race. “About 25 laps to go, the rear-end started blowing oil out of the back. It’s all over the rear tires.”
Shortly after Majeski took the lead, Andy Jones came to a stop against the turn four wall, and had to be taken away on the hook. From the following restart on, Sauter was only second best as Majeski pulled away from the rest of the field. Fredrickson made noise as he moved from 5th to 3rd during the green flag run, and began to chase down the leaders before the final competition caution came out on lap 171.
Sauter restarted to the outside of Majeski, with Fredrickson and Andrew Morrissey closely following. Fredrickson quickly pulled to the inside of Sauter to take over the second position, but could not make any ground on the leader.
A caution with seven laps to go for Bradley Tilton spinning around in turns three and four bunched up the field once again, but with a single file restart, nobody could touch Majeski.
The race’s final caution came out with just two laps remaining when Cole Anderson and Nick Barstad, who both had solid Oktoberfest weeks, made contact in turn four. Both racers drove away from the scene.
It took several attempts at the final restart, as officials were not happy with the restarts by the leaders, but eventually the field came to a clean restart, and Majeski took the final checkered flag of the year for the ARCAMT Series. Fredrickson brought the car home in second while Sauter, Andrew Morrissey and Chris Weinkauf rounded out the top five.
This was Majeski’s first La Crosse win in the series, and sixth overall this year. However, it did not come in dominant form like some of his wins had.
“I did not know how to play my cards after everyone took tires around lap 100. We had that long run coming up to 20 to go, and I know those guys were just riding,” Majeski said. “You never really know what anybody has until you take the green. Fortunately we were able to hold on.”
Majeski coincidently breaks a tie with Fredrickson and Steve Carlson; all three drivers were two-time champions of the series. Ty Majeski is now the only three-time champion in ARCA Midwest Tour history.
By Caleb Slouha, Correspondent, Speed51.com – Twitter: cslouha
Photo Credit: Speed51.com / Bruce Nuttleman