Matt Kenseth Returning to Slinger Nationals
Mar 15, 2022
When Ty Majeski is finished on the dirt at Knoxville Raceway Saturday with the Camping World Truck Series, he'll have his sights set on another race the very next night.
Majeski is entered for Sunday's Elite 8 Super Late Model Series event at Slinger Super Speedway. The two-time Slinger Nationals champion is looking for track time ahead of this year's edition of the crown jewel event.
“It’s always fun to go back and run the Super [Late Model], especially at Slinger," Majeski told Racing America. "Obviously, there’s a big race coming up there in a few weeks in the Slinger Nationals. We wanted to get back there and test a different engine package than what we’ve been running there in the past.
“You can test until you’re blue in the face, but until you race, you don’t really know what you’ve got. We want to get out there for a local show at Slinger before the Nationals, get our ducks in a row and be the best we can be for Slinger Nationals in July."
While Majeski has enjoyed plenty of success at Slinger in the past, there's still more he wants to learn about the high-banked quarter-mile. This weekend, he and his team will be evaluating a new engine package to determine what to bring to the Nationals in July.
“There are a couple of different engine packages. We want to see where we stack up with the different weight and engine package, so we’ll see where we stack up. We’ve run the same package there since 2015. Guys have been having success running something else, so we’re going to try it and see how it stacks up compared to our old stuff. After this week, hopefully we’ll have some clarity on what we need to go back with for the Nationals.”
In Majeski's eyes, this weekend's race is important because of how little margin for error there will be when he returns in July. With a stout group of local racers and just 12 drivers making the Slinger Nationals field through single-car qualifying each year, it's important to show up to the track dialed in.
“Here’s the best way I can put it," explained Majeski. "When I look at my schedule and think about races I’m nervous about making, Slinger Nationals trumps the Snowball Derby. You’ll have 35 or 40 cars at Slinger. You have, say, 50 cars at the Snowball, but they take the top 30 on time at the Snowball. They take the top 12 at Slinger.
When I look at my schedule and think about races I’m nervous about making, Slinger Nationals trumps the Snowball Derby.
“The locals are really, really good there, but what they’re really good at is qualifying. They can really lay down a lap, and that makes it incredibly difficult for travelers to come in there and make the show on time. It’s a tougher race, from my perspective, to make than the Snowball Derby.
“The difference between making it and not is sometimes just a few hundredths. It’s tight, and you’ve got to be on your game.”
Of course, there will be plenty of stiff competition from outsiders as well when the Slinger Nationals roll around. Along with top Super Late Model pilots, the likes of Matt Kenseth and William Byron have already entered the 43rd Annual WABAM Slinger Nationals with Cobblestone Hotels and PepperJack Kennels.
Add an increased payday to the mix, and there's already plenty of anticipation for this year's Nationals.
“I’m always looking forward to Slinger and going back to the Slinger Nationals. It’s a great facility, a great atmosphere. I always look forward to going there in July. It sounds like Matt Kenseth is coming, and hopefully a couple of other guys will be coming as well. It’s always a great show and brings in a lot of travelers.
“It’s anted up this year, they’re paying double, 20 grand to win this year along with the regular lap money. There could be 30 grand on the line on a Tuesday night in July.”
Fans unable to attend Sunday's racing at Slinger Super Speedway will be able to watch live on Racing America.