Ty Majeski became the inaugural ASA STARS National Tour champion on Sunday at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, but it wasn’t easy.
For the first seven races of the ASA STARS National Tour season, it looked like Majeski would cruise to the inaugural series championship for pavement Super Late Models.
Three dominating wins in the first five races put the Seymour, WI short track star and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular in command of the title hunt, but a pair of DNF’s at Toledo and Winchester dwindled what was a 93-point lead down to just an eight point advantage heading into the All American 400 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway for the series finale.
“We got ourselves in trouble,” commented crew chief Toby Nuttleman prior to the start of the All American 400 STARS season finale. “But, I wouldn’t want anyone but our driver in the seat to finish the deal.”
The way the race played out was likely not what anyone expected. The gremlins that haunted Majeski during the stretch run and let Cole Butcher close the title chase to a single-digit gap seemingly turned the tables early on. Butcher suffered a flat left rear tire on lap three, putting the Canadian driver two laps behind. Meanwhile, Majeski charged to the front from his 13th starting position, advancing into the top-five by the end of the first stage break at lap 110.
With Butcher down two laps after the flat, Majeski was in great shape – taking the lead on lap 151 and opening a seven second advantage by lap 175. The fourth caution of the evening on lap 190 wiped out the big lead, but Majeski maintained the point heading towards the end of the second stage, when a multi-car melee eight laps short of the break changed the makeup of the race.
Coincidentally, it was Butcher who played a big role in the lap 212 accident, as he was the victim of a slowed car on the frontstretch, making hard contact mid-pack. The impact resulted in Butchers car suffering heavy front end damage and apparently putting fluid on the track. As the leaders charged through the initial impact zone, they hit the fluid and the resulting pileup took out many of the top ten in the running order. Majeski made hard contact with the wall between turns one and two, causing heavy right front damage.
Butcher’s night was done after the incident, relegating the Canadian racer to a 22nd place finish.
The Gearheadz Motorsports team thrashed on Majeski’s No.91 during the ensuing red flag and patched the car together enough to allow the team to continue. He restarted ninth when the race went back green and was able to nurse his damaged race car to the checkers to finish 11th.
The effort was enough to secure the title, with Majeski claiming the Inaugural ASA STARS National Tour Championship by 32 points and cementing his name in the record books.
“It was really cool to see all the help we got after the wreck,” Majeski commented. “We had five or six different teams helping us and we got it put back together enough to make it to the checkers.”
“What a crazy season. We had almost a 100-point lead with three races to go, and after the race started today we were basically even with the No.28,” Majeski continued. “It would have been great to have just race for the championship, but it sure didn’t work out that way.”
Majeski will earn a $5,000 bonus as the ASA STARS National Tour driver’s champion, and his Gearheadz Motorsports team will receive the $25,000 champion’s bonus.
For the full ASA STARS National Tour schedule, plus Super Late Model rules and other information, please visit the series website at starsnationaltour.com, or be sure to follow the series on social media (Facebook: STARS National Series | Twitter: @racewithstars | IG: @starsnational).
ASA STARS National Tour
The ASA STARS National Tour debuted in March 2023 for Super Late Model racing in America. Announced in October 2022, many of the best drivers in America will compete in the ten-race national tour with a minimum $100,000 point fund. The championship team will be guaranteed $25,000.
The ASA STARS National Tour is made up of three races from each of the regional pavement Super Late Model Series under the Track Enterprises banner – the ASA/CRA Super Series, the ASA Midwest Tour and the ASA Southern Super Series.
The Team Construction Winner’s Circle program has been announced as a part of the ASA STARS National Tour for licensed drivers/teams with perfect attendance. The program provides additional financial incentives to those teams who support the series.
Track Enterprises, a racing promotions company based in Illinois, will operate the ASA STARS National Tour. It announced the acquisition of Champion Racing Association (CRA) in January 2022 and followed that up with the purchase of the Midwest Tour in July. In October, Track Enterprises President Bob Sargent announced a partnership with the Southern Super Series, which set the table for the formation of the ASA STARS National Tour.