CONCORD, N.C. – Ty Majeski didn’t have the fastest car in Thursday night’s General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but he put himself in the right place at the right time to capture his first ARCA Menards Series win.
Majeski ran inside the top three for much of the night, but it wasn’t until a restart with nine laps left – when race-long leader Michael Self stumbled on older tires – that he was able to capitalize and make his move.
As Self faded, Majeski climbed to third, while Bret Holmes assumed the point ahead of Riley Herbst.
With two fresh tires, Holmes found himself at a bit of a disadvantage as the laps would down, with both Herbst and Majeski on four fresh tires and closing quickly. Herbst got to Holmes’ bumper with seven laps left, but found himself shuffled out two laps later when Majeski roared past for second on the outside.
Once he got to the runner-up spot, Majeski noted that Holmes was “a sitting duck,” and proved it coming to four to go when he charged inside the No. 23 Chevrolet to take command of the race.
Though he never lost the top spot after that point, Majeski did have to endure a double-overtime finish before parking his No. 22 Chad Bryant Racing Ford in victory lane.
A hard shunt for Riley Herbst, sparked by contact with Sheldon Creed going down the backstretch with three laps left, set up the first overtime and put Majeski and Holmes on the front row for the restart.
Majeski got away quickly, but another caution for Codie Rohrbaugh crashing down the backstretch waved just after the leaders took the white flag, leading to a one-lap dash with Majeski and Gus Dean on the front row.
Dean nailed the restart and stayed with Majeski through turns one and two, but Majeski got an assist from Creed down the backstretch to clear Dean and cruised home by three car lengths for the win.
With his triumph, Majeski became the seventh driver in ARCA history to win their first series race at Charlotte, and the first to do so since Jeff Fultz in 2002.
“This is unbelievable. I can’t even believe this,” said Majeski in victory lane. “From losing my ride to this year, it was like January or February before we finally put this deal together. Chad took a chance on me, and obviously we both have a lot to prove. This is a great win for everybody.
“Honestly, this is freakin’ awesome. We have the Quickie colors on. That’s where I cut my teeth in late-model racing and it really jump-started my career. For it to come full circle, for us end up in victory lane and to have the chance to do a Polish victory lap … it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Critical to Majeski’s success late in the race was the call to take four tires prior to the final restart with nine laps to go, though the eventual winner believed that clean air would actually trump fresh rubber.
“We actually made a bad adjustment earlier on,” Majeski said of his second pit stop. “I don’t know if it was the scuff tires that we qualified on and then going to stickers that freed the car up, but we were way too free. We got a caution there at the end and Paul (Andrews) made a great adjustment.
“Restarts were crazy tonight,” Majeski continued. “Clean air is king. The 23 (Holmes) had two new tires and was able to hold off the 18 (Herbst) who had four tires … all because he had clean air. I worked the top and worked the top and was able to make up some ground and get around him.”
Creed, who copped a speeding penalty on his final pit stop at lap 92, tried to get to Majeski’s outside to challenge for the win in turn three, but came up short and had to settle for second.
The Alpine, Calif., young gun was .269 seconds adrift of Majeski at the checkered flag.
Dean completed the podium ahead of Harrison Burton, who was making his first ARCA start since winning the season opener at Daytona Int’l Speedway in February.
After leading the first 91 laps from the pole and being out front by as much as half a lap at one point, Self’s race came unraveled late in the going, first by a slow oil drip onto the headers and then when he slapped the wall to bring out a caution with 15 to go.
Self stayed out under the yellow despite damage to the rear of his No. 25 Sinclair Toyota, and his older tires shuffled him out of contention down the stretch. He pitted for tires before the first overtime and rallied back to fifth at the finish, maintaining the points lead as a result.
Christain Eckes, who slapped the wall on lap six after cutting a left-front tire, crossed the line seventh but was taken to a local hospital due to elevated carbon monoxide levels from a broken crush panel.
Ty Majeski, Sheldon Creed, Gus Dean, Harrison Burton, Michael Self, Tanner Gray, Christian Eckes, Bret Holmes, Travis Braden, Thad Moffitt, Andy Seuss, Joe Graf Jr., Bryan Dauzat, Scott Melton, Tommy Vigh Jr., Codie Rohrbaugh, Willie Mullins, Jason Miles, Riley Herbst, Brandon McReynolds, Devin Dodson, Con Nicolopoulos, Brad Smith, Dick Doheny, C.J. McLaughlin.