The ARCA Menards Series came to Charlotte Motor Speedway for a rare Thursday night event and its second race back since returning last year after a few years of hiatus.
Eighth-place qualifier Ty Majeski took the checkered flag for his first ARCA victory, holding off defending series champion Sheldon Creed and Gus Dean in a two-lap overtime dash for the checkered. Majeski took advantage of dominant pole sitter Michael Self’s issues when he brought out the caution on Lap 85 by spinning in the first turn. Self stayed out on the race track in hopes of trying to stay as the leader, but everyone else, including Majeski, came down to pit road under the caution. Majeski took the lead with four to go and was able to hang on through three overtimes to earn the win in just his 11th start.
“Ah man, this is unbelievable, I can’t even believe this,” Majeski said in his post-race interview with Fox Sports 1. “From losing my ride this year [in the Xfinity Series], it was like January or February when this deal finally came together. Chad (Bryant, Team Owner) took a chance on me. We both have a lot to prove. This is a great win for everybody. We have a great sponsor on board, Crestliner. This is freaking awesome! We have the [Alan] Kulwicki colors on, that’s where I kind of cut my teeth in the late model racing and jump start my career. For it to come full circle and come to victory lane, and the polish victory lap, it doesn’t get any better.”
The General Tire 150 got underway shortly after 8 p.m. ET. Self earned the pole earlier in the day, thus continuing the Venturini Motorsports pole streak ever since the season started at Daytona. Former NHRA driver Tanner Gray put the No. 54 DGR-Crosley Toyota on the outside pole for his mile-and-a-half debut.
When the green flag fell, the action was exciting and intense from the get-go.
On the start, the No. 9 of Codie Rohrbaugh spun his tires and jacked up the field a little bit. This saw Self pull away from the field and lead early on. The first caution of the night came out on the fifth lap for Venturini Motorsports driver Christian Eckes, who had a left front tire go down in Turn 3. After a few laps under green, he would bring out another caution on lap 10 for another flat left front tire. Another caution was seen on Lap 16 for the No. 35 of David Dodson, who crashed off the fourth turn.
The race was restarted on Lap 22 and when Joe Graf Jr. was penalized on the restart for passing before the start-finish line. Graf had to come down pit road to serve a pass-through penalty. The next caution flew on Lap 51, as the No. 06 of Con Nicolopoulos ran into trouble on pit road. At this time Self’s machine began to smoke. While Self and his No. 25 Venturini Motorsports team worked to assess what was happening, ARCA officials let the team stay on the track without being black flagged for leaking oil, as the smoke would eventually go away when the race would go back green.
Another caution would fly on Lap 58 when the No. 69 of Scott Melton spun on the backstretch. Afterward, the race saw a long green flag run where Self would dominate the field until Creed began to run down the leader with 25 laps to go. Self kept a manageable lead over Creed and was looking to be just the second driver to earn the pole and win the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in an ARCA event since Ryan Newman in 2001.
Following Self’s spin and gamble on the restart, which saw the rest of the field pit for tires and Creed being sent to the tail of the longest line for being penalized on the restart, Bret Holmes took the lead before Riley Herbst was sent into the wall after contact with Creed. On Lap 102 following the first overtime restart, Codie Rohrbaugh made contact with the wall off the second turn. This set up the final restart with Majeski coming out on top over Creed and Dean.
“Yeah we had a bad adjustment there,” Majeski said to Fox Sports 1 when describing his late-race rally to the front. “I don’t know if it was the scuff tires that we qualified on or going to stickers that freed the car up. We were way too free. We got a caution there at the end. Paul (Andrews, Crew Chief) made a great adjustment. Ah man, this is so cool!”
Michael Self and the No. 25 Venturini Motorsports team finished fifth after rebounding from his late-race issues.
“I just made a mistake,” Self told Fox Sports 1 in his post-race interview after his spin in Turn 1 to bring out the caution. “I just got greedy, I guess. That was just dumb on my part. Just an idiotic move. This Sinclair No. 25 was such an incredible car today, I mean that thing was so fast. I got in and got a little bit free, you know getting right there, borderline free all night. That run was right on the edge and I totally blew it. But you know what, we came out with an okay points day. Thanks to everyone here, thanks to General Tire for putting this race on. This was a blast. Compared to last year, I’ll take it. We’re going to Pocono and I just have to learn.”
This was Majeski’s second start of 2019, leading 14 laps en route to the victory. Self led the most laps with 91.
- Ty Majeski
- Sheldon Creed
- Gus Dean
- Harrison Burton
- Michael Self
- Tanner Gray
- Christian Eckes
- Bret Holmes
- Travis Braden
- Thad Moffitt
- Andy Seuss
- Joe Graf Jr
- Bryan Dauzat
- Scott Melton
- Tommy Vigh Jr
- Codie Rohrbaugh
- Willie Mullins
- Jason Miles
- Riley Herbst
- Brandon McReynolds
- Devin Dodson
- Con Nicolopoulos
- Brad Smith
- Dick Doheny
- C.J. McLaughlin- Withdrew Before Start Of The Race