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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Ty Majeski Comes Home 2nd in Long John Silver’s 200

Ty Majeski

Ty Majeski during the Long John Silver’s 200 at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

RIDGEWAY, Va. — Ty Majeski is regarded as one of the best short-track racers in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. However, he was still searching for his first grandfather clock and trip to Victory Lane at Martinsville Speedway.

Majeski started his day strong, qualifying on the pole in his No. 98 Soda Sense/Curb Records Ford F-150, giving him the best starting view of anyone in the field.

Once the trucks took the green flag to start Friday night’s Long John Silver’s 200, Majeski learned quickly that Christian Eckes was going to be the truck to beat. Eckes got a great restart and was able to completely clear Majeski in Turn 3.

The first caution of the night came on Lap 29 after Thad Moffitt went around. Majeski was still running strongly in second.

However, when the race restarted on Lap 37 Majeski didn’t get a strong restart at all, not getting going at all in the top lane.

Majeski was able to recover though, only losing one spot to Layne Riggs, who he eventually got back around. No other cautions came out before the end of Stage 1 and Eckes went on to win it with Majeski finishing in second.

The caution period saw some different strategies take place. Eckes decided to stay out on the track and go for the Stage 2 victory along with 15 other trucks. Majeski decided to come down pit road for four tires and fuel to play for better track position when Stage 3 began to go for the win.

This strategy play had Majeski restart back in 16th place when Stage 2 began on Lap 61.

A quick caution came out just six laps later on Lap 67 when Tanner Gray got turned from behind by Matt Crafton. The incident also collected Justin Carroll and Mason Massey.

Majeski had worked his way back up the field and would restart in ninth on Lap 74.

After another quick caution for Riggs who got spun by Jack Wood, the race got a little bit of a green flag run before another caution came out on Lap 98, which ended Stage 2. Eckes swept both the stages and Majeski was able to finish the stage in fourth place.

Ty Majeski

Ty Majeski Friday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

Majeski inherited the lead under caution after Eckes, Tyler Ankrum and Chase Purdy made their pit stop to complete their strategy move made at the end of Stage 1.

“The race just went his (Eckes) tonight with his strategy,” Majeski told Nathan Solomon after the race. “I don’t think we did anything wrong.”

On Lap 110, Stage 3 began with Majeski in the bottom lane and William Sawalich leading the top lane. Majeski got a nice restart and began building a gap from the rest of the field.

That was until Lap 134 when Kaden Honeycutt spun out coming out of Turn 2.

Majeski restarted in the bottom lane, inside of Nick Sanchez on the ensuing restart, with Majeski keeping the lead.

Then on Lap 146, another caution came out after Ben Rhodes got into Grant Enfinger, sending him up the track into Dean Thompson, who hit the wall hard ending his night.

Majeski once again chose the bottom lane for the restart and would be lined up against Sanchez again. Eckes also went on a charge during the last green flag run and would restart in fourth, right behind Sanchez in the top lane.

Sanchez got a great restart, beating Majeski into Turns 1 and 2. Masjeksi made up for it though and got back even on the back straightaway before clearing Sanchez for the lead exiting Turn 4.

After another yellow, this time for Bret Holmes and Carroll, the race went back green on Lap 165.

Majeski was able to beat Sanchez for the third time, keeping the lead once again. Unfortunately for Majeski, a pileup happened leaving Turns 3 and 4 before even fully completing the lap, creating another restart.

Ty Majeski

Ty Majeski during practice at Martinsville Speedway. (Photo: Wayne Riegle | The Podium Finish)

This time, however, Majeski would line up to the inside of Eckes, who was able to get by Sanchez on the prior restart to take second place.

When the race restarted with just 28 laps to go, these two drivers showed why they were the class of the field. Majeski and Eckes both got an equally good restart and raced side by side for a lap and a half before Eckes was able to clear Majeski going into Turn 3.

Eckes opened the gap up to almost three seconds on Majeski when a caution came out again on Lap 177. This would give Majeksi another restart to try and retake the lead from Eckes.

On that said restart, Eckes pulled away, getting a great launch in the inside lane as Majeski struggled to get going from second. Majeski even lost the second position to Sanchez after contact between the two and went under attack from Ankrum for third when the caution came back out.

“I just couldn’t launch on restarts all night,” Majeski said post-race. “We think we know what it was. We think we can fix it. I need to be better too at figuring out what to do differently there.”

Majeski restarted in third for what would be the final restart of the day, lined up in the inside lane behind Eckes. Majeski was able to move back into second place and finish there, watching Eckes drive off to claim his second win of the 2024 season.

Although coming in second, Majeski showed great speed, leading 66 laps.

“Overall, I just think the 19 (Eckes) was a little better than us and he had better tires at the end,” Majeski said. “I am obviously disappointed. I wanted that grandfather clock, but all you can ask for is a shot at the end.”

With the strong run today, Majeski took the points lead over from Corey Heim, as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway next weekend.

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