Ty Majeski wins Indianapolis Truck Series playoff opener

Ty Majeski wins Indianapolis Truck Series playoff opener

ThorSport Racing driver Ty Majeski won the opening round of the NASCAR Truck Series playoffs at Indianapolis Raceway Park on Friday.

Ty Majseki was winless through the season coming into Friday night’s TSport 200 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. However, in the first race of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series playoffs, Majseki crushed all of his rivals.

Majeski’s first victory couldn’t have come at a better moment as the result puts him into the Round of 8. Despite squandering the opportunity to take one final timeout in Richmond, the 28-year-old complimented his squad for the victory.

“I’m proud of the effort, but this is just the start of our playoff run,” said Majeski, who failed to win with the fastest truck two weekends ago at Richmond.

“Mistakes really cost us (at Richmond)… We learned from those… Obviously, tonight we were in a really similar situation, and we were able to execute on all fronts.

“The pit crew was great, (crew chief) Joe (Shear Jr.) made great calls, and I felt like I executed pretty good on the restarts.

“We put it all together as a race team tonight, and I’m pretty proud of that.”

The No. 98 ThorSport Racing Ford driver dominated the race, winning the first two stages and outpacing pole-sitter and runner-up Christian Eckes by 3.422 seconds to secure a berth in the Round of 8. He led 179 of the 200 laps.

Majeski finished with the narrowest lead of any stage. He had a lead of 3.904 seconds over eighth-place finisher Corey Heim at the end of Stage 1.

Although Majeski and ThorSport Racing were having a solid season before the playoffs, they were unable to turn their strong weekends into victories. Majeski had finished in the top two in three of his races and the top five in four more.

Layne Riggs who is a non-playoff driver took third as Hocevar finished fourth. The current series champion Zane Smith started from the back of the pack due to unapproved changes to his No. 38 Ford and eventually finished in fifth place.

In his fourth Truck Series outing, William Sawalich finished sixth which was a career-best finish as Rajah Caruth, another non-playoff driver placed seventh. Late in the race, Heim, who came in eighth place, received a penalty for having an excessive number of his crew over the wall.

Matt Crafton, a three-time series champion, and Matt DiBenedetto rounded out the top 10.

Another driver, who never led a lap and finished 19th in the first car one lap later, also had success in the race. In his sole Cup start, Shane van Gisbergen, who shocked the NASCAR world by winning the Chicago Street Race, stayed out of trouble and had plenty of seat time.

The champion of the regular season, Heim, maintained a three-point advantage over Majeski in the series.

The playoff field will be reduced from ten drivers to eight following the upcoming two races at Kansas Speedway (Sept. 8) and the Milwaukee Mile (Aug. 27).

Crafton and DiBenedetto, who trail eighth-place Nick Sanchez by two and three points respectively, are the two drivers that are now outside the cut line.

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