DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It didn’t take long for calamity to reign supreme during Friday night’s NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series season opener at Daytona Int’l Speedway.
On lap 16 of Friday night’s NextEra Energy Resources 250, Ty Majeski found himself on his lid after being an innocent bystander just moments before in a snarling pack at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
Exiting the tri-oval, a multi-car melee broke out after a bump from Todd Gilliland to the back bumper of Tate Fogleman’s Chevrolet sent Fogleman up the race track and into the left-rear quarter panel of Austin Wayne Self.
The contact between Fogleman and Self sent Self’s Chevrolet careening down the banking at the entrance to turn one, where it impacted the right-side door of Majeski’s truck and the momentum sent the No. 45 rolling upside down.
Majeski then went for a long slide on his roof, spraying a shower of sparks in the process, before coming to rest on the apron in the middle of turn one.
The Seymour, Wis., driver and late model ace quickly radioed to crew chief Phil Gould that he was OK, then waited patiently in his upside down truck for safety crews to get it back on all four wheels.
Once a set of tow straps helped accomplish that mission, Majeski climbed out under his own power, walking to a waiting ambulance and was later checked and released from the infield care center.
The 25-year-old was making his second career Truck Series start and first on a superspeedway, after debuting with Niece Motorsports last fall at Arizona’s Phoenix Raceway.
“That was nothing like I’ve ever experienced before. Just unfortunate for our night to end that early,” Majeski said after exiting the medical center. “We had a pretty fast Plan B Sales Niece Motorsports Chevy. But that wreck was just a product of this racing. We had planned maybe to get out of there if we could. We were kind of rolling there on the bottom there and in a safe spot. That outside was
just hanging on the quarter-panel for laps there and couldn’t quite break away.
“Now, our season starts next weekend at (Las) Vegas,” Majeski noted. “I appreciate this opportunity and (I’m) ready to make the most of it next week.”
Majeski also noted the discomfort of being strapped in while still sitting upside down after the crash.
“It’s obviously not a good feeling,” he said. “I’m not hurt, thankfully, just my pride (is). It’s all good, though. We’ll live to race another day and we’ll get them next weekend.”
Self, who is working in a tighter technical alliance with Jordan Anderson Racing this season and was impressive prior to his involvement in the crash, had high hopes of making it to the end but saw his chances at chasing a Daytona victory dashed well before the halfway point Friday night.
“I thought it was going really well,” said Self of his night. “I ran the bottom for a little bit. Saw my Chevy guys up front (and) had some help from the back. I thought I gave enough room. It just looked like a good push from the 38 (Gilliland) … and we’ve seen that before from him. It’s unfortunate. It was a good chance that might happen here at Daytona. We all know that when we come here. I’m not too upset, just a little disappointed we didn’t get to race a little more.
“I thought our AM Technical Solutions truck was really fast,” he added. “I’m just excited that we’ve got Vegas next week and I hope everybody else is alright. We’ll hit it hard next week.”