CONCORD, N.C. – Ty Majeski’s incredible 2015 racing season will reach a peak on Dec. 14 when he is crowned the inaugural Kulwicki Cup Champion. Majeski and the other six members of the first-ever class of Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) drivers will be honored on that night next month at the organization’s banquet in the Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Highlighting the evening’s activities will be the presentation of the champion’s check for $54,439 and special one-of-a-kind champion’s trophy to Majeski.
Majeski earned 150 competition points, the maximum possible, during his spectacular 2015 on-track performance. In his best 15 finishes taken into consideration in the judging process, Majeski scored wins in every race. His off-track representation of the KDDP gained him an additional 60 bonus points. Majeski was lauded by the seven-member advisory board judges for taking the organization’s mission to another level when he started his own driver development program for young go-kart drivers.
The Seymour, Wisconsin driver, who is an engineering student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, claimed his second ARCA Midwest Series championship last month. Overall this season, Majeski won 18 of 56 races. He finished in the top-10 in 48 of those features and set fast time in 19 of them. Majeski’s 2015 track record showed marked improvement from 2014 when he won five of 35 races, set fast time in nine races and placed in the top-10 23 times.
Steve Apel, the three-time Slinger Speedway track champion and this year’s Red, White and Blue Champion at Wisconsin International Raceway, finished as the runner-up in the 2015 Kulwicki Cup competition. The West Bend, Wisconsin driver scored eight victories and another seven top-five finishes in his 15 races considered by the judges. Apel’s representation off the track garnered him the most bonus points of any driver (66). He received praise and points for his interaction with fans and his unique race car color schemes.
Apel started his own racing team this year and changed car numbers. He placed a huge retro Alan Kulwicki Racing logo on the roof of his car and ran that scheme as a tribute to the late NASCAR champion. For his final races of the season, Apel ran a new paint scheme – a bright yellow #97 reminiscent of the paint job that Kulwicki ran with Transact Racing in 1982-83. The Monday after Oktoberfest at La Crosse Speedway – after being away from home for 4 days and a full day of work – he towed his #97 over to Thelma Kulwicki’s house for her to see it. It’s safe to say that Apel’s car – painted up just like her stepson’s – was the last race car she saw. Mrs. Kulwicki passed away the following evening.
The two frontrunners were followed in the final standings by Reagan May, Cole Williams, Dave Farrington, Jr., Bryce Napier and Justin Crider.
Final Overall Kulwicki Cup Point Standings:
1st – Ty Majeski – 210
2nd – Steve Apel – 188
3rd – Reagan May – 147
4th – Cole Williams – 119
5th – Dave Farrington Jr. – 103
6th – Bryce Napier – 69
7th – Justin Crider – 50
The points were tabulated by the KDDP’s unique three-measurement system. The seven-member advisory board was asked to rank the overall job the drivers did on and off the track in representing the organization (from first to seventh). First-place votes are worth 70 points; second gets 60 points; third awards 50; fourth 40 points; fifth 30 points: sixth 20 points and seventh 10 points.
Board members were given 10 “discretionary bonus points” that they could allocate for activities they felt were exceptional in representing the organization. In the final voting, drivers received considerable bonus points for their social media skills, fan interaction and various activities outside the race track. The final aspect of the system awarded the drivers “competition points” for their on-track success. Race wins award 10 points, with 2nd-5th-place finishes getting 6 points, 6th-10th 4 points, 11th-15th 2 points and 15th-plus 1 point.
While Majeski and Apel accounted for 23 victories in 30 races, the other drivers contributed an additional 13 feature wins during the season. The group of seven drivers accumulated an impressive total of 92 top-five finishes during the 2015 judging period that went from April through October.
Final 2015 Competition Points:
1st – Ty Majeski – 150
2nd – Steve Apel – 122
3rd – Reagan May – 114
4th – Cole Williams – 89
5th – Dave Farrington Jr. – 82
6th – Bryce Napier – 40
7th – Justin Crider – 23
“The inaugural season for our organization and the Kulwicki Cup competition has been successful beyond our wildest dreams,” said KDDP executive director. “All seven competitors have done a championship-caliber job in representing the KDDP this year and have been just super to work with. I am convinced that Alan would be proud of each of them and I know that Thelma was impressed with them and loved our inaugural KDDP team of drivers. I am so glad that she was able to witness the program she started enjoy such a successful first season.
“The KDDP was established with the mission of assisting seven young drivers to take it to the next level,” added Roberts. “When you look back on the season, each of the drivers certainly benefitted from our support and they all progressed in some unique fashion during the year. It will be so much fun to have the group all gather for our banquet next month and celebrate a great inaugural season for our program.”
The KDDP banquet is set for Dec. 14 (Alan Kulwicki’s birthday) in The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The event will feature a live online broadcast by Speed51 TV.
-Kulwicki Driver Development Program Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com