What started as an unknown as far as title chase went ended in an inaugural ASA STARS National Tour championship for Ty Majeski.
With his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series duties paired with the daily lives of his Super Late Model crew members, hitting the final three races at Toledo, Winchester and Nashville was going to be a challenge. Ultimately, Majeski and his team were able to attend the final three races with the assistance of Michael Hinde Racing at Winchester, and the Wisconsin driver was able to claim the series title.
“I’ll be honest, we weren’t planning on running the whole series to start off. We were committing to racing through Kaukauna, which would’ve been the first seven,” said Majeski. “I knew the last three were going to be difficult for me to get to logistically with my race team. Toby (Nuttleman)’s our only full-time guy; we’re lucky to have a full-time guy but the rest of our guys have full-time jobs so it’s difficult to get to all these races. We were able to put together the last three races and make it work from a personnel standpoint and logistically.
“I thought it was a good first season for the ASA STARS National Tour in general. I felt like short track racing has had a craving for something like this for quite some time and it’s cool to see Bob (Sargent) put a team together to kick this thing off. It was something that I wanted to support.”
The first seven races of the season saw Majeski all but dominate the ASA STARS National Tour. He led the series in wins with his triumphs at Madison, Milwaukee and WIR, while also winning the most stages and scoring the most stage points out of anybody. Following race seven at the Gandrud Auto Group 250, his tenth-place run at North Wilkesboro was his only finish outside the top-five.
Disaster would then strike the final three races. Engine issues ended his day early at both Toledo and Winchester, closing what was a 93-point gap after WIR to just eight going into the finale. He did collect a stage win at Nashville, but an accident knocked him out of winning contention at Nashville. He was able to limp his way to an 11th place finish five laps down, which was enough to beat Cole Butcher for the championship after the Canadian fell out of the race late.
The 2023 season also saw Majeski return to Super Late Model racing on a more regular basis with a championship run in the ASA STARS National Tour, something he says helped his program to make up lost ground.
“It was not an ideal last three races with basically three DNF’s, but we did finish Nashville limping around. We ended the season with pretty much three DNF’s but we did barely sneak out the championship. It was a pretty up-and-down season but overall I thought it was good for the series and a good season for my team as well getting back to racing a little bit more.
“I took a backseat to Late Model racing a little bit in 2022 and that caused our program to fall behind a little bit. I feel like we got our edge back and our racecars pretty good again.”
Along with winning the ASA STARS National Tour championship, Majeski also competed full-time with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, where he finished eighth in the final points standings while winning a race at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. Balancing the two championship chases throughout the year was important, though made easier than in years past.
“It was a lot easier this year because I’m no longer a full-time engineer at ThorSport. I’m able to spend more time at the shop with Toby and Joe (Shear Jr) and my engineer had the Truck side handled. It’s just a balance and making sure you’re putting the right amount of effort into all facets, whether it’s my family, the Late Model side or my Truck side. Making sure I spend enough time at home but still putting full effort into everything that I do. If I couldn’t have put a full effort into running ASA then I wouldn’t do it. And if I couldn’t put a full effort into running the Truck Series with running ASA, I wouldn’t have done it either. At the end of the day my priorities lie with the Truck Series, that’s where I make my living. It was making sure I spent enough time at ThorSport and with Toby back at home and I feel like I found a pretty good balance with that this year and had a lot of success in all fronts.”
Majeski is at a point in his career in which he is content with what he is doing with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Super Late Model racing around the country. With full support from ThorSport Racing, he looks forward to what the 2024 season will bring.
“I really look forward to doing a lot of the same stuff. I really enjoy what I’m doing with my career in general, being with ThorSport with the Truck Series and being able to run a decent amount of Super Late Model races. It’s really been a dream come true for me. Duke and Rhonda (Thorson) really enjoy me going out and running with ASA and it’s something they get invested in and watch and follow. It all works, and I hope to be doing something very similar next year.”
For more information on the ASA STARS National Tour, please visit the series website at starsnationaltour.com, or be sure to follow the series on social media (Facebook: ASA STARS National Tour | Twitter: @racewithstars | IG: @starsnational).
ASA STARS National Tour
The ASA STARS National Tour debuted in March 2023 for Super Late Model racing in America. Announced in October 2022, many of the best drivers in America will compete in the ten-race national tour with a minimum $100,000 point fund. The championship team will be guaranteed $25,000.
The ASA STARS National Tour is made up of three races from each of the regional pavement Super Late Model Series under the Track Enterprises banner – the ASA/CRA Super Series, the ASA Midwest Tour and the ASA Southern Super Series.
The Team Construction Winner’s Circle program has been announced as a part of the ASA STARS National Tour for licensed drivers/teams with perfect attendance. The program provides additional financial incentives to those teams who support the series.
Track Enterprises, a racing promotions company based in Illinois, will operate the ASA STARS National Tour. It announced the acquisition of Champion Racing Association (CRA) in January 2022 and followed that up with the purchase of the Midwest Tour in July. In October, Track Enterprises President Bob Sargent announced a partnership with the Southern Super Series, which set the table for the formation of the ASA STARS National Tour.
-ASA STARS National Tour Press Release
-Photo credit: Will Bellamy/Racing America