Ty Majeski had to survive two restarts to secure his first career victory in the ARCA Menards Series Thursday night (May 23) at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Majeski took the lead late after Michael Self elected not to take tires after a caution caused by himself. On older tires, Self was a sitting duck with less than 10 laps remaining. The field railroaded the No. 25 with Bret Holmes taking the lead but it wasn’t long before Majseki made the pass that would secure his first career victory.
Defending series champion Sheldon Creed finished the race in second while Gus Dean finished third. Harrison Burton, who graduates high school Friday (May 24), finished fourth and Self rebounded to finish fifth.
Previously in the afternoon, Self earned his third career pole. He rocketed away during every restart and kept the lead. Self’s teammate Christian Eckes bad luck returned with a tire going down pushing him into the wall and putting the race under caution for the first time of the night.
Self again rocketed away from the pack with the lead as the field behind him battled for the opportunity to take down the leader. Majeski, Riley Herbst, and others battled throughout but as the race was coming to a close, defending series champion Creed looked to have what it took to take down the No. 25. Con Nicolopoulos crashed and made contact with the wall on pit road setting up the caution that would change the complexion of the race.
Smoke was billowing out of the No. 25 but the crew pleaded their case not to get brought down pit road stating that the smoke went away once the field was going full speed. ARCA let them continue and as the team explained, the smoke went away. It looked as if Self was out of the storm but that wasn’t the case. On lap 85, Self lost it in turns 3 and 4 and smacked the outside wall. Despite keeping the lead, Self would need to hold off the field for one more lap.
This is where the sitting duck part came in as many believed he would stay out for track position. That would be the case but the rest of the field came down pit road leaving Self the only driver on track without new tires. That showed on the restart as the entire field steamrolled past the No. 25 machine. As Self fell, Creed began making his way back through the field after being handed a speeding penalty during that last round of stops. For the sake of Self and Creed, Herbst was turned into the outside wall on the backstretch setting up ARCA overtime.
Despite the fact that he was given a fresh slate, Creed was unable to pass Majeski as the No. 22 ran away with his first career victory. It’s the first victory for a manufacturer other than Toyota snapping their winning streak at 10. It’s the first for the blue oval since Joe Graf Jr. went to victory lane at Berlin last August.