Photo credit: Sean Busher
Ty Majeski spends his days working in the Roush Fenway Racing shop, but come this weekend he will have a NASCAR XFINITY Series start to his name. Majeski makes his national series debut in the American Ethanol E15 250 presented by Enogen (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night.
The NASCAR Next product will pilot the No. 60 Ford at the 0.875-mile track with sponsorship from iRacing.com.
“I’ve been working so hard for something like this since I was racing go-karts when I was 9 years old,” Majeski told NASCAR.com. “It was always my dream, and to see it come true is pretty sensational. I’m just excited to get this opportunity and make the most of it.”
The 22-year-old Wisconsin native has been making his name in the Super Late Model circuit, winning the 2016 Super Late Model championship at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida. He went on to finish third in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings with 14 wins and 21 top-five finishes in 26 starts last year.
Last spring, Majeski inked a deal to join Roush Fenway’s development program and made the move to Concord, North Carolina this year. So far, he has been working out of the Roush shop, furthering his racing knowledge. It also helps that Majeski has an engineering background — he is about a year and a half from his degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“I work in the shop every day at Roush,” Majeski said. “I actually did a lot of Bubba Wallace’s shocks earlier this year, so I’m building shocks for them and working with the engineering groups over there, too. I think all that helps.
“Knowing what you’re driving when you go out on the race track and telling them what the car is doing, I can relate in more of an engineering way and I think that goes a long way.”
Roush has seen its share of success at the short track as the organization has won five of the 14 XFINITY Series races held there. Majeski tested at the track last month and also credited his time on iRacing to help speed up the time it took to learn the ins and outs of the track.
“I use them (iRacing) as a tool in a lot of ways,” Majeski said. “They do a great job scanning the race tracks. When we unloaded there (for the test), I was up to speed pretty much right away. I had a good visual of the race track on iRacing and it definitely shortened the learning curve a ton when we showed up.”
In addition, Majeski has leaned on Roush Fenway veteran Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for some advice heading into this weekend. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver owns three career XFINITY Series wins at Iowa.
“Ricky (Stenhouse Jr.) and I talk a decent amount,” Majeski said. “I called him after our first test day out in Iowa and asked him a few questions, so Ricky has been a big help for me. He’s run well at Iowa in the past so he’s a good guy to pick his brain a little bit and try to find some more things that I can learn.”
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At Iowa, Seth Barbour will be atop the pit box, while “the whole No. 6 crew over-the-wall guys” will work pit road for his team, Majeski said. Barbour most recently worked as Wallace’s crew chief in the XFINITY Series.
Majeski hopes that this race can be a stepping stone to pick up some more seat time in the series as the season moves along.
“Right now we have both Iowa races, so those two are for sure and they are definitely looking to do more, but nothing is set in stone right now,” Majeski said.
As for the maiden start, Majeski is taking a practical view of what would make him happy coming out of Iowa on Saturday night.
“I’d be really happy with a top 10 and I think it’s really feasible as well,” Majeski said. “I just want to limit my mistakes. I don’t want to make any mistakes. Have good, clean restarts, come in and out of pit road, no speeding penalties or anything like that and I think the chips should fall for us to a top 10. That’s my goal.”