AVONDALE, Ariz. – Ty Majeski pushed it to the limit in order to put himself into the championship battle during Friday’s Lucas Oil 150 at Phoenix Raceway.
However, such limit was reached on Lap 147 when a battle against Zane Smith went haywire.
As leader Ben Rhodes was beginning to pull away from the field, Majeski was in third and determined to hunt down both Rhodes and Smith.
Entering Turn 2, Majeski was right on the back bumper of Smith and tried giving him a little short track chrome horn. Suddenly, Majeski’s No. 66 ThorSport Racing Toyota got sideways entering the straightaway and lost control.
In a blink of an eye, Majeski went from attempting to blister through the field to just tapping the inside wall. Majeski’s title bid was all but obsolete as his pit crew were stunned in disbelief.
Adding insult to injury, Majeski’s hood popped up which required further repair on pit road. Due to the incident, the 150-lap race went into overtime with Smith winning the championship.
Heartbreakingly for the entire No. 66 crew, Majeski crossed the line in 20th, the worst out of the Championship 4 drivers at Phoenix.
Aggression got the best out of the two-time series winner but noted that he was certainly trying to win for the championship especially for owners, Duke and Rhonda Thorson, who were trying to get back-to-back NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title.
Moreover, it was a feat that came up short as well for Rhodes, who ended up second in points at the end of the night.
“I thought the best opportunity there for us was to try to wiggle the 38 (Smith) a little bit and try to get underneath him and try to set up the race between Ben and I,” Majeski on the late-race battle. “I was just trying to be aggressive underneath him and lost it off of (Turn) 2.
“All you can ask for is the chance to win the championship with five to go and we had that tonight, and it just didn’t pan out.”
Despite not leaving Phoenix with the championship, it was certainly a campaign Majeski will not forget.
The Wisconsin racer captured his two wins in the Round of 8 at Bristol and Homestead. If anything, it was an overall team effort that made Majeski’s first full-season in the Truck Series memorable.
“It’s been a dream come true. My NASCAR career hasn’t been great up to this point. Been through a lot of rough moments, and I’ve had a good support system around me. Just persevered through some rough times and landed in a really good spot at ThorSport and just thankful to have had the opportunity,” Majeski explained.
“It was just a matter of me just taking it all in all week, right. It’s so hard to make it to Phoenix, and to do it my first full-time season, it has been pretty special. We’ve come a long way throughout the year, and we’ve been putting races together on a consistent basis the back half of the season,” Majeski continued.
“All we can ask for is a shot to win the championship and just really proud of the effort of everybody. It’s been, like I said, a dream-come-true season. I think we have a really good foundation. Hoping to be back next year.”