CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ty Majeski never dreamed entering the 2016 season that he would be chasing a NASCAR Whelen All American Series national championship.
But in the end, a dream that wasn’t planned nearly came true, putting the former iRacing.com standout on the national map while he continued to rewrite the Midwestern short track record books.
Majeski, 22, exceeded expectations in three different series and three different styles of race cars this year, rocketing to his third straight ARCA Midwest Tour title, a third place finish in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings and a best finish of fourth across four ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards appearances.
The Seymour, Wis. native kicked off his season with traditional and planned starts in the Whelen All-American Series, but an ultimate goal of achieving a third-straight ARCA Midwest Tour championship.
However, Majeski soon had a change in his original plan after scoring three wins during the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway in February. Those breakthrough victories catapulted the college student into quick contention for the NWAAS Division I national title, slowly turning his focus towards the national standings and the prospect of a potential top five finish by mid-season.
Despite an increase in attention at NASCAR sanctioned circuits due to his potential national title chase and induction into the NASCAR Next program, Majeski continued his pursuit of a third ARCA Midwest Tour championship, winning four of the first five races of the season to establish a massive championship lead.
As the latter stages of the season approached and after discussion with long-time crew chief Toby Nuttleman, Majeski officially announced his chase towards the Whelen All-American national championship, competing at historic Midwest tracks including LaCrosse Speedway, Madison Int’l Speedway and Elko Speedway.
And while his late season push came up eight points shy of overhauling short track superstars Matt Bowling and Keith Rocco for the national championship, Majeski still recorded a remarkable season record of 14 wins and 21 top five finishes in just 26 starts, all while Rocco and Bowling both competed in more than 45 races each.
Even though the season was impressive itself, Majeski cited the lower car counts (specifically at Wisconsin tracks) as being his Achilles heel in the end.
“It was unbelievable,” Majeski said of his pursuit of the title. “We started out in New Smyrna with three wins in full fields, which is important when chasing this national championship. Ultimately, what cost us the title was our wins coming in fields that weren’t full fields. Our stats were a little better than the first and second place finishers, but we just didn’t have the full fields.”
“We were definitely limited when it came to NASCAR-sanctioned tracks that we could compete at [to receive points in the national standings]. Elko Speedway was the only track that we ran down the stretch until Sept. 18. Elko is just such a tough track to pass at with 30-lap features.”