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The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is just three races away from wrapping up the regular season, and unless something out of the ordinary happens (i.e.: someone from 11th place or lower in the standings wins a race), the playoff field is pretty much set, as 10th-place Matt Crafton currently holds a 27-point advantage over 11th-place Derek Kraus.
However, the battle for the regular season championship is anything but settled. The top six in the regular season points are all separated by 49 points, so it’s still anybody’s title. However, there is one driver in the thick of the battle that has quietly had a great season, and despite being winless, no one has talked about near as much as a threat to win the regular-season title.
Ty Majeski currently rides fifth in points, 43 points behind current championship leader John Hunter Nemechek. He has quietly put together a fantastic season. It almost seems like no one has realized to this point how well he has done, let alone the fact that he is in a full-time ride.
Majeski was announced to drive the No. 66 full time for ThorSport Racing after making four starts in the same truck in 2021. The 27-year-old Majeski was previously a full-time driver at Niece Motorsports in 2020 but was dropped eight races before season’s end for unknown reasons. He was replaced by Trevor Bayne for the rest of the season, except Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where Travis Pastrana stepped behind the wheel. Lawless Alan now drives the No. 45 in 2022.
Majeski started out the year in surprising fashion, winning the pole for the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
The former Roush Fenway Racing (now RFK Racing) development driver would go on to win another pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway and just picked up his first (and currently only) stage win of the season at Sonoma Raceway, winning stage one on pit strategy.
So aside from being winless, how has Majeski gone largely unnoticed this season? Well, it’s not just the fact that Majeski hasn’t won this season, but he hasn’t been a threat to win in general. He has only led 31 laps this season, 21 of them at Daytona alone.
The other 10 have come at just four different races – four each at Charlotte and Sonoma, and just one single lap led at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Kansas Speedway. What makes Majeski the underdog for the regular season championship is his consistency.
Majeski only has five finishes outside of the top 10 and has finished on the lead lap all but twice – he finished 30th, seven laps down at COTA, and ended up 29 laps down at World Wide Technology Raceway, en route to a 32nd-place finish.
To put his consistency into perspective versus other regular season title contenders, only Zane Smith, who is currently second in the standings, has been more consistent. Smith has just two finishes outside of the top 10 (it would be one if he wasn’t disqualified from his second-place finish at Las Vegas). Chandler Smith has four finishes outside the top 10, but his worst finish is 21st, in two different races.
Both Smiths are ahead of Majeski in the standings.
However, where Majeski lacks compared to his competition is playoff points.
Nemechek has gathered eight playoff points, while Zane Smith is currently at 20, as he leads the series with three wins. Ben Rhodes, Majeski’s teammate, has 13 stage points, whereas Chandler Smith and Stewart Friesen both have six apiece. Majeski, despite his consistency in his finishes, has just one playoff point. He also has the second least amount of stage points with 102 (Only Friesen is lower at 81).
While Carson Hocevar has been the talk of the town in the Truck Series in recent weeks, whether it’s his continued quest for his first career win or his broken leg, he is still running eighth in points, well outside of contention for the regular season title because his consistency is much worse than that of Majeski. Combining that with the fact that Majeski hasn’t won a race this season, he’s been able to fly under the radar to this point.
He’s going to need a little bit of help, but Majeski could very well steal the regular season title right out from underneath the noses of everyone who has won this season. And doing so would elevate him to championship contender immediately, after going the whole season completely unnoticed. Everybody loves an underdog story, but Majeski has the opportunity to become an underdog for the ages.
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