Preece Pulls Away Late To Capture Tripoint Showdown 75 Win
Sep 15, 2022
If you can’t find a way, make a way.
The idiom certainly applies to Ty Majeski in the aftermath of his first victory in the NASCAR Truck Series on Thursday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. To wit, Majeski certainly embodies the DIY spirit of the Wisconsin short trackers that preceded him and has applied it to his NASCAR journey as well.
It’s a well-documented journey that hasn’t been fruitful until this season.
When the Super Late Model standout was part of the Ford Performance development program, he shared the ill-fated Roush Fenway Racing No. 60 in the Xfinity Series with Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric in 2018.
It’s a tenure most everyone would rather forget.
The car was involved in 22 incidents that brought out a caution, an additional six spins or crashes that did not bring out a caution and another four crashes in practice or qualifying. It has been well accepted that it was the car and not the drivers, with Cindric and Briscoe eventually graduating to race winning Cup Series programs, but Majeski did not.
He became something of a journeyman, running an equally challenging Truck Series campaign with Niece Motorsports in 2020 that failed to reach the playoffs, but continuing to dominate the short track ranks -- including a Snowball Derby victory that December.
That journey led to ThorSport Racing in 2021, but not as a full-time driver, but instead an engineer who was permitted to make four starts on the side. It wasn’t quite sweeping the floors in Sandusky, but Majeski was out to do whatever it takes to earn a ride and inherited the No. 66 when Johnny Sauter himself became a part-timer.
Majeski made his way back into a race winning NASCAR program, and he literally engineered it himself, when his career options otherwise looked bleak.
"I've known in my heart that I could succeed at this level, given the right opportunity," Majeski said after the race. "There have been a lot of great people that have pushed me through hard times and kept me going when it looked like it maybe wasn't going to happen.
"I kept pushing, took the backseat last year and ran the four races, and took the engineering job with ThorSport in the hopes it would turn into this."
This, of course, is not only his first NASCAR win but one that also came in the playoffs and locks the 28-year-old into the Truck Series championship race on November 4 at Phoenix Raceway. Majeski has been shaped by a tremendous amount of adversity but also the conviction that he was good enough and smart enough to find a way.
"I learned a lot from my past failures," Majeski said. "And even if people feel like they weren't failures, to me they were, and I've took all those lessons and applied them to this season -- that taking a 10th place truck and finishing 10th with it.
"Work on it and make it better."
Majeski says this win is ‘right up there’ with his 2020 Snowball Derby triumph and they indeed share a lot of similarities. In the same way that Majeski worked hand in hand with crew chief Toby Nuttleman to turn their family operation into a Super Late Model powerhouse, his engineering degree is also an asset when it comes to working with Joe Shear Jr. and doing the same with their Truck Series program.
"I'm different from most drivers in the sense that I know exactly what is in the truck," Majeski said. "Me, Joe Shear, our engineers, we sit in Joe's office for four hours a day running sim," Majeski said.
"I can talk about my experiences as a driver and as an engineer, and Joe's too, we're running the computer and I love being a part of that conversation. It's the same with our Late Model program and now I'm experienced enough to be able to do the same on the NASCAR side."
Majeski says he loves being a race car driver but has an equal amount of enthusiasm for the engineering side of the sport, and to have won after contributing to both elements is extremely satisfying.
And now, remarkably, Majeski is a little over two months away from wondering if his driving career had ended to having a chance to engineer his own championship.
"It's no secret that ThorSport has a strong history at short tracks with Johnny and Cole Custer and anyone Joe has worked with," Majeski said. "Phoenix is a short track but its aero dependent like an intermediate. We've already started working hard on it, doing some sim work, and hopefully we can unload with a good setup.
"We've unloaded so close all year, and that's a testament to Joe and our engineers, and it's just really satisfying to have a lot of input in that too, being in the room with those guys, having a chance to come up with our plan for that weekend."
It's the Majeski, Shear, Midwestern DIY short track spirit personified.