Ben Steele (Via: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
Ty Majeski will take a victory at the Milwaukee Mile any way he can get it.
ARCA Midwest Tour fans would probably say the same thing about having racing back at the historic oval.
Majeski got what he wanted, winning the Father’s Day 100 despite the event only going 89 laps due to rain on Sunday afternoon. It was the Seymour native’s first victory at the Mile after races in 2012, ‘14 and ‘19. He has 27 victories on the Midwest Tour.
“I won on every paved racetrack in Wisconsin except for the Mile coming into today,” Majeski said in Victory Lane as rain poured down. “So really happy to get this one."
The Midwest Tour was back at the Mile for the first time since 2019 with last year’s races getting wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic. Promoter Bob Sargent said about 4,000 tickets were sold for the event.
It looked like fans might have to wait a little while longer when thunderstorms were forecast for the late afternoon. But organizers bumped up the race schedule, with the super late model feature going off a few hours ahead of when it was planned.
Drivers were on Lap 30 when rain started to fall and the yellow flag was waved. Luke Fenhaus had just taken over the lead.
The delay lasted only about 30 minutes before drivers were called back to their cars. Most of them decided to pit their cars under the yellow flag.
It didn’t take long for excitement to pick up, when front-runners Fenhaus and Dalton Zehr got tangled up on the back stretch and the cars hit into the wall. Both were knocked out of the race.
Majeski had decided to pit on Lap 31 to get two right-side tires. After restarting 15th, he worked his way back up to the front and jockeyed with Gabe Sommers for the lead.
“I was really just managing track position,” Majeski said. “Knowing we were going to need to make it a two-stop race.
“Looking at the radar, we decided to gamble on that Lap 30 caution and put tires on. That’s why we were able to get through the field as easily as we were. I don’t know if we would have won the race if it would have gone through. We were certainly prepared for it. But overall, like I said, sometimes they go your way. Today went our way.”
Majeski grabbed the lead on Lap 57. While holding off Sommers, the rain started to fall again. After the droplets increased, another caution was called with 19 laps remaining.
A few minutes later, the checkered flag was waved with Majeski the winner. Sommers was second and defending champion Austin Nason third.
“I was probably a second or half-second faster than him,” Majeski said of Sommers. “I was trying to manage, manage, manage. Because if it did go green and didn’t rain, we were going to have to fend those guys off on older tires. Thankfully, Mother Nature came into play and we played that right.”
Father-and-son duo Mark and Derek Kraus from Stratford finally got to race against each other. Mark, who hadn’t raced in five years while helping his son’s burgeoning racing career, finished 10th in the family car. Derek, who competed in the NASCAR Camping World Trucks race at Nashville Speedway on Friday, seemed to battle handling issues and wound up 21st.