Ty Majeski (No. 22 Crestliner Ford) scored a surprise victory in Thursday night’s ARCA Menards Series General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, taking the lead on a late restart and holding off Sheldon Creed (No. 21 Chevy Accessories Chevrolet) and Gus Dean (No. 32 Icebox Helmet Coolers Chevrolet) in a two-lap dash to the checkered.
Majeski benefitted when the race’s dominant driver Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) tapped the outside wall on lap 85. ARCA officials displayed the caution, but Self stayed out as the rest of the lead lap cars came to pit road for tires. Self restarted as the leader but drifted back through the field as Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation Chevrolet) took over the lead. Holmes led through lap 95 when Majeski took the lead.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Majeski, however, as the caution came out on lap 99, just as the field had taken the white flag for a crash involving Riley Herbst (No. 18 Monster Energy/ORCA Coolers/Terrible Herbst/Advance Auto Parts Toyota) entering turn three. Majeski had to endure another restart when Codie Rohrbaugh (No. 7 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet) made contact with the wall in turn two.
Despite the late race excitement, Majeski drove to a quarter-second advantage on the final lap over Creed.
“Restarts were crazy tonight,” Majeski said. “Clean air is king. The 23 (Holmes) had two new tires and was able to hold off the 18 (Herbst) who had four tires 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 was penalized for speeding on his last stop at lap 92, but was able to quickly knife his way through the field.
“I knew I didn’t want to speed and I watched the tach the whole way down pit road,” Creed said. “I looked up to find my pit stall and and I looked back down and knew it was going to be close. ARCA called me for it and it was all on me. We had a great car and got through the field pretty quick. I hate what happened with the 18 down the backstretch. He gave me the bottom the lap before and then threw a block pretty hard on the top side the next lap. I am not the kind of guy to just turn someone into the fence, but I am not the kind of guy that wants to get blocked like that either.”
Dean was happy with a third-place result after spending much of the race at the back half of the top ten.
“We started eleventh and moved up to eighth in the first five laps,” he said, “but that’s all we could get until lap 90. Those last ten laps seemed like a totally different race. We went from eighth to second and eventually finished third. The restarts were wild. We had about six or eight cars there going for it. It was really intense. These cars race totally different than the (NASCAR Gander Outdoors) Truck I am used to. It was a lot of fun to be back.”
Majeski was relieved to pick up his first career ARCA Menards Series win after a disappointing 2018 season.
“Last year was really tough,” he said. “It’s great to come back with Chad Bryant Racing and run well every time. I don’t bring a lot of money, I got here on talent and results and when you have a bad year like we did last year there’s a chance people won’t want to work with you. Thankfully I have some great people behind me. It’s great to get Chad and Paul Andrews into victory lane. They haven’t had the results they’ve wanted this year either so it’s a big night for all of us.”
Self led 91 of the race’s 109 laps before fading after he tapped the outside wall. He was disappointed with how his night ended up.
“I just made a mistake and got greedy,” Self said. “I just pushed it a little too hard and made a mistake. I wish they didn’t throw the caution. We still salvaged a top-five which is good, I guess.”
There were two lead changes among three drivers and seven cautions for a total of 38 laps. Majeski’s winning average speed was 109.426 miles per hour. Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) was involved in the first caution of the night and was transported to a local hospital after the race for evaluation after the crush panels were knocked out allowing exhaust fumes into the car.
Unofficially, Self leads the ARCA Menards Serie standings by 25 points over Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford) and 35 points over Holmes.
Next up for the ARCA Menards Series is the General Tire 150 at Pocono Raceway on Friday, May 31. Practice starts at 9 am ET, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 12 noon. The race is scheduled to start at 5:45 pm ET and will be televised live on FS2 with a same day replay on FS1 at 8 pm ET. ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat for free at ARCARacing.com. Now users may join for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login. For tickets, log on to PoconoRaceway.com or call 800-RACEWAY.