One of the most accomplished Super Late Model competitors of the past decade in Ty Majeski will strap into a Late Model for the first time in his career as he attempts to chase a victory in the South Carolina 400 at Florence Motor Speedway.
Majeski will partner up with Chad Bryant Racing for the prestigious event, and is optimistic that he can kickstart the team’s venture into Late Model racing with a victory despite having no experience in the discipline.
“Chad and I have built a good relationship over the past few years,” Majeski said. “I ran some ARCA races with him and we got a few wins together. Chad’s background is in Late Model Stock racing and he recently bought a couple of cars so he could start his own program. Hopefully we can contend for a win.”
During the past several years, Majeski has battled talented drivers such as Bubba Pollard, Stephen Nasse and others to amass a resume that includes victories in the Slinger Nationals, SRL Winter Showdown, Rattler 250 and Oktoberfest, among others.
While Majeski continued to run a handful of Super Late Model events in 2020, he also attempted a full season in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, where he accumulated three Top 10s before being released by Niece Motorsports in September after 15 races.
Although Majeski was disappointed that he was unable to visit victory lane in the Truck Series, he expressed his gratitude towards Al Niece for giving him the opportunity and intends to use his experiences from 2020 to make further strides in his development.
“Anytime you get in a competitive NASCAR ride is beneficial to your career,” Majeski said. “I had a very typical season for a rookie with the pandemic and a lack of track time before races, which was definitely challenging, but it was an incredible year and I’m going to put this season in the memory bank and use it to build my career.”
Now that the NASCAR season has concluded, Majeski has turned his attention towards preparing for the South Carolina 400, but he fully expects to encounter plenty of obstacles as he goes up against successful names like Josh Berry, Matt Craig and others.
One element that Majeski noticed about Late Models when he formally took part in his first test was an overall lack of fluidity inside the car as opposed to a Super Late Model, which helped him understand the slim margin of error with every race and how patience is needed to find a place up at the front.
“Late Models have stock front clips and they are 300-400 lbs. heavier than Super Late Models,” Majeski said. “You can’t make a Late Model do something that it doesn’t want to do. With a Super, you can manipulate it with the brake pedal and your inputs, but if you try to do that in a Late Model, it gets worse. You have to be patient on the throttle and the brake pedal, but not overdriving the car is going to be big for me.”
Majeski also took note of the unique factors that make up Florence. Outside of having no walls on the backstretch and in the turns, Majeski said that the two different sets of corners at the facility will present their own set of challenges as drivers attempt to navigate their way through traffic.
A victory is the main objective for Majeski once the green flag drops for the South Carolina 400, but he stressed the importance of logging laps throughout the weekend so he can get a feel for his car and relay crucial information to his crew that will help establish himself as contender at the end of the night.
“I don’t know what one of these cars needs to feel like, let alone what a good one feels like,” Majeski said. “Chad felt that we had some pretty good speed at the test even though I didn’t think the car felt great at all. Naturally a heavier car with less technology is not going to go through the corners as well. I need to manage my own expectations, but hopefully we can hit on some things this weekend.”
Majeski and three dozen other Late Model competitors will attempt to qualify for the 225-lap on Saturday evening, which is set to take place following the conclusion of the support races that start at 4:00 p.m.
Photo: Bruce Nuttleman