WISCONSIN DELLS – You had to know it was coming.
Ty Majeski had barely slid out of his race car and raised his arms triumphantly when a lone voice cut through the cheers:
“Check the right rear!”
The jab referred to the news of a week earlier, when NASCAR confiscated the right rear tire off Majeski’s truck, penalized him and subsequently suspended his ThorSport Racing crew chief for an infraction found in inspection before the Craftsman Truck Series race at the Milwaukee Mile.
The episode will follow Majeski through end of the season, especially if he misses a chance to race for the championship in Phoenix in November after dominating the regular-season finale and playoff opener before Milwaukee.
So it was nice for Majeski to spend a some time Saturday disengaged from his real job and doing what he does best, winning big-money super late model specials in his home state.
Results:ASA Midwest Tour Jim Sauter Classic 200
“Yeah, a little bit,” Majeski said after winning the ASA Midwest Tour Jim Sauter Classic and its $15,555 top prize.
“I was at the (ThorSport) shop all week, making sure the team is heading in the right direction, our heads are focused on Kansas and making the best of the situation. My guys are pumped as ever. When something like that happens it can either piss guys off and demotivate them or it can make them more hungry and motivate them, and it’s definitely the second one. My guys are motivated more than ever. It’s lit a fire under us.
“We’re doing to do the best we can to close out this year with a championship.”
The truck schedule is laid out with plenty of weekends off that allow drivers to race special events all over the place, and that’s what Majeski has done.
The Seymour native and Neenah resident is 5 for 5 this season in the biggest asphalt short track races in Wisconsin, having won the ASA STARS National Tour races at Madison International Speedway, Milwaukee Mile and Wisconsin International Raceway as well as the Slinger Nationals. (Madison comes with an asterisk. He took the checkers second and had left the track before being declared the winner when Dan Fredrickson’s car failed inspection.)
On his way to a $15,555 payday Saturday night, Majeski bounced back from an early spin from contact with Luke Fenhaus to lead 47 of the 200 laps. Fenhaus finished second by 1.410 seconds after recovering from a flat tire and broken shock absorber in addition to the contact.
“I came down and obviously he was there,” Majeski said of the incident. “I don’t think either of us wanted to go to the back (for being involved in contact that brings out a caution flag) on Lap 25 or whatever it was.
“Thankfully we did it early enough where we could both recover from it and up battling it out for the win between the two of us.”
Max Kahler finished third, Johnny DeAngelis fourth and Tristan Swanson fifth.
The 29-year-old Majeski is having the best year of his short track career in terms of results, although he points to 2020 – when he also won at Slinger and WIR as well as some national specials – as a time when he, his team and his cars were stronger.
“It’s not easy doing this with the limited schedule,” said Majeski, a five-time Midwest Tour champion. “It’s hard to race with these guys who are racing more than us, and it’s been a challenge but we’ve been working on our cars to get them better. We fell a little bit behind last year and this year it’s coming back to us.”
Majeski has one big one to go, the 200-lap headliner at the Oktoberfest race weekend at La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway.
Beyond that, he has six Craftsman Truck Series races, five of them with crew member Ron Calhoun designated as interim crew chief in place of Joe Shear Jr. Majeski’s victory in the playoff opener put him in the three-race round of eight, when the four drivers competing for the championship will be determined.
“Obviously we want to go win Bristol again; that’s the best blueprint to get to Phoenix, but if we can’t we’re still in a good position to point our way in,” Majeski said.
With or without the hecklers.