Ty Majeski Bests Dominant Luke Fenhaus to Win Slinger Nationals; Full Race Results
Luke Fenhaus dominated Tuesday night's Slinger Nationals, but he was crushed on a restart with four laps to go as Ty Majeski got around for the race win. Here is the race recap and the full race results for the 44th annual Slinger Nationals.
Luke Fenhaus was set to score an emphatic win in Tuesday night's 44th Annual Cobblestone Hotels Slinger Nationals at Slinger Speedway. The 19-year-old driver's win was never even in doubt, that is until a late-race caution for Levon Van Der Geest created a restart with four laps to go.
When the race went back to green, Fenhaus and the packed house at Slinger Speedway were collectively stunned as NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular and ASA STARS National Tour point leader Ty Majeski got an excellent restart and charged to the lead. Majeski would pull away from the dominant car on the night, and would score the win by a margin of victory of 0.403 sec.
With the win, the 28-year-old Majeski etches his name in the history books as a three-time Slinger Nationals Champion. While Majeski has a penchant for dominance in big-time short-track races, on Tuesday night he utilized a little bit of luck to score the win. It's just like that sometimes.
"Yeah, you know sometimes these races go your way, and sometimes they don't," Majeski said in victory lane on the Racing America broadcast. "Obviously, I had a good-timed caution there. Luke's was probably a little better than us. His car was a little bit more versatile, going through lapped traffic, he could maneuver a little better and make a little more time. All it takes is a yellow and a good restart. Thankfully, we came out on top tonight."
Majeski restarted the race from the outside lane, which has been a treacherous proposition for him over the years at Slinger. However, Majeski says he and his team placed a focus on restarting better from the top this time around, and it all paid off.
"Yeah, usually we struggle here on the outside," Majeski admitted. "But came with a little different setup this year and tried to fix that. Hats off to Luke, we raced really, really hard last year. And this year was a lot cleaner on both of our parts. Great race."
Fenhaus, while heartbroken, would hold on to finish the race in second. The Wausau, Wisconsin native says he felt like he did everything perfectly all race long. He just got a caution at the absolute worst time.
"Just screwed up. I don't know. I thought I did everything perfectly with lapped cars. Thought I did everything perfectly with maintaining the pace that I did and keeping a nice gap. I just didn't need a caution," Fenhaus stated with pain.
It wasn't a win, but Fenhaus did lead 125 of the race's 200 laps on the night, and in doing so, he scored a solid payday for himself even in defeat. But Fenhaus says he couldn't care less about the money. He just wants the trophy.
"Yeah, it's not what it's about though," Fenhaus pointed. "I want to win this race. I felt like we had the best car until later in the run, I burned it up late. Passing lapped cars on the top, I was getting really loose. Didn't need a caution, got tight. Put rear brake in it, because I knew it was going to get tight, and didn't go enough for it."
Derek Thorn, the 2022 Snowball Derby champion, would come home in third on Tuesday night. Thorn says he was lacking on restarts, but after a sustained run, the car would come alive.
"We started off, we just lost positions on restarts. We had two big long green flag runs in both 100 lap segments. Our car was phenomenal after 25 laps, but both cases, we had lost four or five spots in the meantime," Thorn explained. "We were able to gather back and scratch our way to the front. We had gotten back to fourth with like 10-15 to go, and we just lucked into a caution late in the race, which put us outside second row."
Behind the trio of Majeski, Fenhaus and Thorn was John DeAngelis, who would finish the night in fourth, and Austin Nason would round out the top-five finishers in the 27-car field.
Chase Elliott was the highest-finishing NASCAR Cup Series star, as he came home in the sixth position in the No. 9E machine in his first-ever attempt at the Slinger Nationals.
Elliott's Hendrick Motorsports teammate and defending champion of the Slinger Nationals, William Byron would finish in 10th. Erik Jones, who had to make his way into the field from the Last Chance Qualifier Race, would collect an 11th-place finish.
2003 NASCAR Cup Series champion and eight-time Slinger Nationals champion (all-time record), Matt Kenseth was credited with a disappointing 22nd-place finish after his race came to an end after 64 laps.
2023 Slinger Nationals Race Results (44th Annual)
|8||23V||Levon Van Der Geest||200||5.380|
|9||89M||Brad Mueller||199||1 lap|
|10||24B||William Byron||199||1 lap|
|11||4J||Erik Jones||199||1 lap|
|12||51N||Stephen Nasse||199||1 lap|
|13||22R||Gio Ruggiero||199||1 lap|
|14||97N||Jacob Nottestad||199||1 lap|
|15||9K||Derek Kraus||199||1 lap|
|16||42P||Dennis Prunty||199||1 lap|
|17||2S||William Sawalich||198||2 laps|
|18||55L||Rich Loch||195||5 laps|
|19||17G||Grant Griesbach||161||39 laps|
|20||11P||Alex Prunty||112||88 laps|
|21||5S||Johnny Sauter||106||94 laps|
|22||8K||Matt Kenseth||64||136 laps|
|23||44J||Conner Jones||42||158 laps|
|24||92M||Conrad Morgan||40||160 laps|
|25||48K||Brad Keith||33||167 laps|
|26||92B||RJ Braun||28||172 laps|
|27||0D||Ryan DeStefano||28||172 laps|
Photo Credit: Will Bellamy, Racing America