Ty Majeski reaffirmed his status as one of the best pavement short track racers over the weekend in winning the South Carolina 400 at Florence Motor Speedway and he continues to look for an opportunity to prove it in NASCAR.
The performance was especially notable because it came in a type of car that he’s never driven prior to this weekend, a Late Model Stock Car, which is fundamentally different than the Super Late Model he’s driven to over 100 wins in the past five seasons.
The race was the spiritual successor to the legendary Myrtle Beach 400 which was discontinued after the legendary Myrtle Beach Speedway was shut down and partially demolished over the summer.
Majeski outdueled some of the best racers from that discipline including reigning NASCAR Weekly Series champion Josh Berry, four-time NASCAR champion Lee Pulliam and numerous track winners from all across the Carolinas and Virginias.
Berry recently earned an opportunity to drive the first 12 NASCAR Xfinity Series races for JR Motorsports.
As he turns his attention to the prestigious Snowball Derby next week, Majeski has completed another successful short track campaign that includes wins in prestigious races like the Rattler 250, Dixieland 250 and Slinger Nationals.
On the other hand, what was scheduled to be a full-time NASCAR Truck Series season with Niece Motorsports did not go well.
It stared with a rollover crash in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway and got worse from there with an 18.4 average finish through 15 races in the No. 45 entry that Ross Chastain took to three wins and a championship runner-up finish in 2019.
Majeski has the pedigree, received the team and had crew chief Phil Gould, but was taken out of the truck after Week 15 and replace by a variety of drivers that included Trevor Bayne, Conor Daly and Chastain.
Those drivers did not fare much better in the new Niece Motorsports chassis — posting a 17.0 average finish in the remaining eight races.
Was there anything Majeski felt he could do better?
“I think there were a lot of changes that happened from last year,” Majeski said. “NASCAR changed the tire and that threw teams for a huge loop.
“But there were a lot of different factors, and it’s difficult when you run so good the season before, because it’s difficult to veer away from what you know, right?
“You see in Super Late Model racing too, and I’ve been guilty of it with my team too, that when you’re running good, you get complacent or you’re hesitant to change something until it’s too late.”
Majeski’s entire NASCAR tenure has been fraught with misfortune.
When he was part of the Ford Performance development program, he shared the ill-fated Roush Fenway Racing No. 60 in the Xfinity Series with Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric.
That entry was involved in 22 incidents that brought out a caution, an additional six spins or crashes that did not bring out a caution and another four crashes in practice or qualifying. It has been well accepted that it was the car and not the drivers, but Cindric and Briscoe continued to receive Xfinity Series opportunities, while Majeski was left out.
The high downforce, low horsepower Truck Series platform also requires a completely different set of skills than the high power, low downforce Xfinity Series car.
But Majeski spent the rest of the season in the pit box with his Niece Motorsports team and continued to take notes and figure out ways to improve.
“You just have to keep your nose down and keep digging, no matter what the situation is,” Majeski said.
Majeski hopes to add the Snowball Derby to his illustrious resume and carry that momentum back into the Truck Series next season. He is working to secure funding and race for redemption and validate that resume.
Before the Truck Series schedule was revealed last week, he had sent out a tweet expressing anxiousness for it to come out so he could start to work on his deal for 2021.
“We just wanted to know the schedule so we could aggressively start selling these races and talk to different race teams,” Majeski said. “Now that we know what the schedule looks like, we can see what’s available and what makes sense.
“So, I’m hoping to put a good deal together for next year, even if it’s just part-time and something that puts me in a good situation.”
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