Hirschman Shines in Bright Lights of NWMT New Smyrna Debut
Feb 13, 2022
"He's good. He's always good."
Bubba Pollard was going to need to find something more than 'good, and always good,' to beat Ty Majeski on Saturday night at Citrus County Speedway.
Majeski led wire-to-wire to emerge victorious in the debut event for the SRL National Super Late Model Tour. He made it look easy, but almost made it harder than what it had to be.
After setting fast time earlier in the afternoon, Majeski just wasn't entirely sold he could win the race. He even debated pulling the car out of impound to make an adjustment. That would have forced him to start at the race at the back of the field.
He and crew chief Toby Nuttleman ultimately decided against it and responded by leading every lap from the outside pole after a top-eight redraw. This was a car he wasn’t even happy with.
"We made quite a few changes before qualifying and it didn't feel good at all," Majeski said. "It was the worst the car felt all week. It still had really good speed, but just not a good feel. I was talking to some other drivers and they kind of fought the same thing. Maybe it was a lack of familiarity with these American Racer tires, I don't know.
"But thankfully we kept it in line because that wouldn't have been a good decision."
Pollard had a couple of chances to pick Majeski off on two of three restarts but just couldn’t get the launch he needed. Majeski fired off before the restart zone in the other but it wasn’t called by Ricky Brooks in the scoring tower.
Pollard was forced to settle for a runner-up finish.
"We weren't the best," Pollard said. "We were tight. We've been tight since we got here and just kept working on it. The Port City guys, my guys we tried. It was a half of a tenth, and it doesn't take much.
"I just couldn't fire off on my restarts. We were pulling the guys behind us before that second to last restart, and then we went to fire off and I had nothing. Stagger, air, I don't know. We'll go to work, and I'll take it."
Pollard opened his season with wins at the Red Eye 50 at New Smyrna and Speedfest 200 at Watermelon Capital. There was no shame in following that up with a runner-up to Majeski and Nuttleman at Citrus County.
"They’re good everywhere they go, each and every week," Pollard said. "We’re a couple of adjustments away from contending with (Majeski) and the (Donnie Wilson Motorsports) guys. We’ll be there."
Michael Atwell ran third for most of the race but didn’t have the same pace as Majeski and Pollard. He began to fall off in the closing laps and easily conceded top-five positions to more aggressive drivers behind him in the hopes of avoiding a potential crash.
"We were just hanging on," Atwell said. "No grip all night and I just wanted to make sure we got it home in one piece at the end. We’ll get to work on it and get it ready for these next few big races."
As Majeski built up leads of nearly two seconds, Nuttleman encouraged his driver to conserve a little more, but he actually was.
That’s how good the No. 91 was on Saturday night.
"I was actually riding most of the race," Majeski said. "Toby doesn't know that of course, but I was just maintaining. He's always telling me to back it down when we have a good lead, and we've been doing this so long, I know how to read him.
"I love doing this with him and just honored to be a part of something like this with him."
They’re good, always good.