CONCORD, N.C. – Ty Majeski, a rising 21-year-old racing star from Seymour, Wisconsin, has won the inaugural Kulwicki Cup for his performance during in 2015. Majeski reflected on his racing season and what it was like to be among the first class of seven drivers to represent the Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) and participate in the season-long competition: (Note: Responses are exactly as given and not altered in any manner.)
(1) What is your immediate reaction in learning that you are the official inaugural Kulwicki Cup winner?
“It was great news. I was really happy and relieved. The team worked hard in 2015 to try and lead throughout the season. However, there are many other talented drivers in the KDDP so we were always pushing to be better. I am just so happy and honored to be the inaugural KDDP winner. I will do my very best to represent KDDP and make the board and my supporters proud. Alan Kulwicki was an inspiration to me. I read the book and watched the movie that was provided and was inspired to keep pushing to honor his legacy.” (At the beginning of the season, the seven drivers received a copy of Fr. Dale Grubba’s book “Alan Kulwicki: NASCAR Champion: Against All Odds” and DVD of the 2005 movie “Dare to Dream: The Alan Kulwicki Story.”
(2) What do you feel winning this award can do to you and your career?
“I strongly feel that winning this award can prove to myself and to others that I am here to stay and to continually get better. I am always looking for ways to improve. As Alan believed, (and I do too) once you feel you are the best, you decline in your field. I will work to never let that happen. I am hoping this gives me the momentum to take my program to the next level.”
(3) You have proudly worn that KDDP logo & Mighty Mouse patch on your uniform all year long…do you think they have been good luck? Think in a lot of ways, maybe the spirit of Alan Kulwicki has been riding along with you?
“When I see a picture of myself in Victory Lane with Alan’s symbols on, it always reminds me of carrying on where Alan left off. I think Alan was looking over all of the KDDP drivers and the board members with a huge smile on his face. I am positive he is proud to see his legacy living on through the seven of us and the board members.”
(4) Have you found that fans & others enjoy, understand & appreciate you wearing the Mighty Mouse patch like Alan did? Do folks of all ages enjoy that throw-back connection to Alan?
“Many, many people have approached me with very cool stories of Alan, as they point at the patch. One of my favorite things was to hear about Alan and how great he was. The biggest theme of what people say was how focused Alan was, and they compare me to him. It’s really humbling to be compared to him. It’s a big responsibility so I tried my best to live up to that. I did my best to race clean, smart and use my knowledge to keep getting better.”
(5) Any ideas of what you’ll do with that big check (for $54,439) you’ll be getting on Dec 14?
“I’m exploring opportunities that will help get me to that next level. It’s really special to win this and I want to make the most of it. We have to wait and see what arises for us. I know a lot of people are watching this program and how the drivers are progressing. I’m hoping we can put that big check towards the next level.”
(6) How much fun has it been being a member of the inaugural KDDP class? Think you can be an inspiration to the younger drivers who look up to you?
“It was great to be a part of the inaugural KDDP class. I never knew what to expect. Other drivers have already approached me with questions and I’m happy to help. It also inspired me to start my own Driver Development Program, the TMDDP. Winner Blake Bartel joined me at the Wisconsin Dells Falloween race and we had a great time. I really enjoy working with younger drivers and I think it’s important to be a good role model to them. It is a real compliment when parents tell me their young drivers look up to me.”
(7) What were your goals/expectations when you were applying for the KDDP program last December? Did you achieve those goals & expectations? It’s been challenging to mix getting your education & racing as much as you have…but you have done a superb job balancing it all. Is that something you think Alan would give you a big thumbs up for?
“Going to school while racing a 56-race schedule was a bit of a challenge, but I am positive Alan would have done the same thing. I understand that nothing is 100% in racing and I have to have a backup plan. When I applied for the KDDP program, I expected to be pushed and to have that competitive side of me come out, and boy did it! As the season progressed I set goals for myself, as I hit those goals, the team pushed them up and we kept climbing! I am so proud of my entire team for the great season we had and I am truly thankful for the KDDP and selecting me to represent them as their champion. Again, I will continue to do my best to represent them in the best way possible, just as Alan would.”
-Kulwicki Driver Development Program Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com