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KANSAS CITY, KAN. – A year ago, Ty Majeski was working in the shop at ThorSport Racing just hoping for a chance to race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. And while he made four starts in 2021, it was hardly the full-time schedule he was supposed to run for Niece Motorsports in 2020 before it was cut short after just 15 races.
Fast forward to Saturday night’s (May 14) Heart of America 200 at Kansas Speedway and Majeski was just truck lengths from his first career win. Walking away with a second-place finish, the career best performance showed how far the 27-year-old has come in such a short time.
“[I was] just trying to go where he (race winner Zane Smith) wasn’t, he was the class of the field all night,” Majeski explained after the race. “The last run was probably our worst run balance-wise, just a little bit too free to attack it. [Smith] could just use so much more throttle and keep his momentum up and just fell a little bit short.”
But did the driver of the No. 66 Toyota have anything in his truck to put himself in victory lane ahead of Smith, who was clearly the class of the field all night?
“There was times where maybe he was vulnerable late in a run. I felt like, you know, a couple of those runs earlier on in the race, we could pace him late but I just could not fire on restarts, just really battled traffic,” Majeski continued. “And if we could have stayed in third, instead of falling back to sixth or seventh every restart, I feel like we might have had a shot to pick up some track position. But overall, solid day for us.”
The runner-up result marks Majeski’s third top five this season and his second consecutive after a fourth-place run at Darlington Raceway last weekend.
“Overall, we’re building on some good finishes here,” he explained. “And hopefully, we can keep building on it. And we’re close.”
On the final restart just inside 10 laps remaining, Majeski lined up in the second row behind Smith and John Hunter Nemechek, who led the field to the green flag. And taking the inside line proved to be the right decision when Nemechek spun his tires on that final restart.
“I was contemplating following him (Nemechek). But I just had to go with the leader. I figured that was my best chance to win the race,” he said. “I was surprised he didn’t go. I thought, you know, he must have spun his tires a little bit and didn’t get going. And I was so happy to see that because I knew it was between the No. 38 and I at that point.”
Now halfway through the regular season, Majeski sits sixth in the championship standings and is nearly 40 points ahead of Grant Enfinger in 10th. He’s in a solid position to make the playoffs at this point, but even if he doesn’t, he’s bought into the ThorSport culture.
“I’m having a blast with these guys. I’m in the shop, living in Sandusky working with them every single day,” Majeski said. “I have a day-to-day job just like everybody else there and then we go racing together on weekends. So just building that relationship internally with, you know, not only my team members, but Duke (Thorson) and everybody at ThorSport, it’s truly having the time in my life.
“Last year I took a step back to hopefully take a step forward in the future. I see what ThorSport is doing and what they’re all about and Duke and Rhonda are great people.”
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