The route for Ty Majeski’s $15,000 payday in the ARCA Midwest Tour’s Gandrud Auto Group 250 at Wisconsin International Raceway near Kaukauna, Wisconsin was not an easy one for the five-time tour champion.
“We had a pinhole leak in the power steering line when we faded on the long run, just had no power steering. I was hanging on, praying for a yellow and getting worn out,” a relieved Majeski said in victory lane. “Thankfully the pinhole filled up enough when we put more in it during a caution and it lasted that was our night.”
But that wasn’t the only thing made Majeski a little nervous before the race.
“In qualifying, we got stuck in first gear and Toby (Nuttleman, crew chief) pried it out with a crowbar to get it back in gear,” Majeski explained. “We qualified and came back in and changed our transmission before the race.”
“We had quite the evening, but glad it all worked out.”
Majeski had about a 1.2 second lead on Johnson until the final caution flew on lap 242 for Bobby Kendall’s spin in turns three and four. This setup for an eight lap shootout between the top two drivers in the Midwest, Majeski and current ARCAMT point leader Casey Johnson.
Johnson got as close to Majeski’s bumper with three laps to go, but couldn’t make a move for the lead as the laps ran out.
“If we ran the same line, I could just be a hair faster, but we all know that you can’t pass when you are running the same line to the guy in front of you,” Johnson said. “We were trying to work the groove to see if I could find something a little bit and it didn’t work out.”
Gabe Sommers finished third after leading 29 laps until the caution flew on lap 224.
“I don’t know if it was a good thing or bad thing,” Sommers said about the caution coming out. “The tires just really came in near the end. I didn’t think they would come that quick, but they did. The car was really good, and we will come back next year just a little bit stronger.”
The race saw six different leaders over the 250 laps. Sawyer Effertz lead early until he fell out with mechanical issues. Bobby Kendall led until Casey Johnson took over the top spot on lap 45 and would lead until lap 101 when Johnny Sauter took over the top spot.
Sauter, who said he finished building his car at 3am, led a lot in the middle portion of the race and appeared to be the car to beat. That was until during a caution, he pulled off the track with a mechanical issue on lap 191, handing the lead over to Sommers. Sommers would lead until a restart with 25 laps to go, where Majeski got by him and drove off to the victory.
Luke Fenhaus finished fourth with Levon Van Der Geest finishing a strong fifth.
Stephen Nasse, two-time Southern Super Series champion, made his Midwest Tour debut driving for Steve Appel, came home with a sixth place finish.
Jeremy Lepak was seventh with Detjens Memorial winner Jonathan Eilen in eighth. Justin Mondeik was ninth. Connor Mosack finished 10th in his Midwest Tour debut.
Former WIR champion, NASCAR Cup Series champion, and a new member of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Matt Kenseth made his return to the half-mile oval to recover from an early spin to finish 11th.
The ARCA Midwest Tour will be back in action on Saturday, August 20th at Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
A replay of the race is available at midwesttour.tv.