KINSTON, Ala. – Ty Majeski grabbed the lead during a late-race restart and held off Harrison Burton to win the Southern Super Series Rattler 250 for the second-straight season on Sunday at South Alabama Speedway.
Majeski grabbed the lead for the first time all day from Burton on a restart with just 19 laps to go on Sunday afternoon. In 2016 Majeski dominated the race, leading all but eight laps en route to the victory.
“We definitely didn’t have the car to win all day,” Majeski said. “We were not in the race track quite where we needed to be. We weren’t the best car today, and probably shouldn’t have won. But in my opinion, those are the days that define you as a team and as a driver. When you win races you shouldn’t, they are always special.
While Majeski and Burton were the dogs, Jeff Choquette played the role of the rabbit early on. Choquette led the first 211 laps – the second most in event history – but saw Garret Jones and Burton pounce on him following the competition caution at lap 200.
Jones restarted third, and made the most of his four new sticker tires by going right after Choquette. The two waged a tremendous battle for the lead before Jones slipped by on the inside. However, Jones’ stay out front was short lived, as Burton wrestled the lead away from Jones just a lap later.
Burton appeared to be on the way to another win in dominant first quarter of the season, but botched the restart with less than 20 to go.
“I had a lot of crap on my tires and need to do a better job cleaning them off,” Burton explained. “I just couldn’t get going, and it took me too long to get back up to speed. Once the car came back, we were really fast. It’s just a heartbreaker.”
The rivalry between Majeski and Burton wrote another chapter Sunday afternoon. The two young drivers combined to win three races at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway in February.
Majeski said he enjoys racing with Burton, and has a lot of respect for him.
“He is really fast lately, and has been for a couple of years,” Majeski said of his rival. “They really picked up their game when they got their new Fury car, and were probably better than us again today. We’re close, but not where we want to be. Harrison is one of the best every week right now.”
Burton paid the same respect to Majeski.
“Both the teams, the 91 and the 12, work really hard all the time,” Burton said. “They always bring us good cars to the track. I got to know Ty a little bit through NASCAR Next. Everyone wants to beat everyone, but I think we might want to be each other even more.”
For the second night in a row, Choquette was left thinking what might have been. After leading more than half the race in Saturday’s Baby Rattler, he suffered a mechanical issue while leading. In Sunday’s race, he simply lost the handle late in the going.
“We got the lead early and led all the way until lap 200-and-something,” Choquette said. “The only thing we changed was to put four tires on it. We went from leading by a straightaway to a straightaway behind. That is just one aspect of the racing that you can’t control. You can make all the adjustments you want, but if those four tires don’t go, there is nothing you can do.
With the win, Majeski puts his name among some of the elite in South Alabama Speedway. He becomes just the second driver to win back-to-back Rattlers, and only the fourth driver in the history of the event to win more than one 250.
Steve Wallace finished third, followed by Choquette and Stephen Nasse.
Ty Majeski, Harrison Burton, Steve Wallace, Jeff Choquette, Stephen Nasse, Christian Eckes, Chandler Smith, Raphael Lessard, Garrett Jones, Cole Anderson, Bubba Pollard, Steve Dorer, Casey Roderick, Kyle Plott, Augie Grill, Paul Kelley, Connor Okrezsik, Johnny VanDoorn, Chris Davidson, Paul Shafer Jr., Derek Scott Jr., Chase Purdy, Donnie Wilson, Cory Roper, Brandon McReynolds, Jerry Artuso, Kyle Bryant.