|Majeski in Sunday's Pro Invitational at Homestead|
SCREENCAP: FOX Sports, iRacing
Majeski, the four-time ARCA Midwest Tour Series Champion, would campaign the #45, the same number he’s campaigned for Niece Motorsports in the Truck Series this season. His year got off to a rough start with a spectacular last-place finish in Daytona that saw his truck slide to the apron on its roof. He then recovered nicely in Las Vegas, qualifying 5th and finishing 13th.
In Vegas, Majeski was sponsored by iRacing that night, where his prior success in super late models has been matched by arguably the most successful sim racing career. The latter proved particularly significant when NASCAR’s postponement came down just before he was to run the Truck Series race at Atlanta. For Sunday’s inaugural Pro Invitational Series race at Homestead, Majeski won the 20-lap Last Chance Qualifier and timed in 3rd on the grid for the 100-lap main. He finished in 9th.
Majeski was slated to return in Tuesday’s running of The Replacements, a follow-up to the successful Atlanta event held nine days earlier. He timed in 32nd in practice with a lap of 30.540 seconds, but was one of eight drivers to not take qualifying time. This placed Majeski in the 29th spot alongside Ryan Truex in the #40.
The 36th spot fell to crew chief Rodney Childers, whose #54 was decorated in the same Busch Beer paint scheme as his driver Kevin Harvick’s Cup car. Curiously, the starting lineup showed him on the outside of a placeholder entry for iRacing’s admin. The #02 “Race Control” entry would also figure into the final running order of the race itself.
On the first lap, Justin Haley and Christian Eckes triggered the first wreck coming off Turn 4, sending Haley’s #11 Leaf Filter Chevrolet into the outside wall. Haley remained on the lead lap while Eckes lost a lap, but would not fall further than 35th. According to Seth Eggert at Kick’n The Tires, Majeski had internet connection issues during the pace laps which dropped him from the race. Majeski was already classified last without a lap complete when the first full-race rundown was shown on Twitch at Lap 4. The final race results erroneously showed Majeski in the 37th spot with the “Race Control” #02 shown in 36th. This has been corrected for purposes of this article.
Eckes remained in the 35th spot, though not simply from the first-lap incident with Haley. After an apparent “Fast Repair,” his #18 Safelite Toyota bounced off the #15 Fire Alarm Services Chevrolet of Regan Smith down the backstretch, sending Eckes into the inside wall. Pro Invitational runner-up Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took 34th after his #8 Filter Time Chevrolet was caught up in a pair of accidents while two sim racers rounded out the Bottom Five: the #39 of Tim Clauson and the #85 of Jordan Erickson.
Bryan Boris Cook in the #63 turned in the slowest completed lap in qualifying, trailing the pole by 0.428 of a second. He recovered nicely in the race, charging through the pack for a 5th-place finish, following Josh Berry, Josh Williams, William Byron, and Parker Kligerman to the checkered flag.
*Car #45 has not finished last in a Cup Series race since August 12, 2007, when Kyle Petty’s #45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge fell out with a busted radiator after 56 laps of the Centurion Boats at the Glen. The number has not started a Cup Series points race since Petty Enterprises last campaigned it in the 2008 finale at Homestead, where Chad McCumbee finished 39th in a field of 43. The number has never finished last in a Cup race at Kansas.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
36) #45-Ty Majeski / +101 laps / internet
35) #18-Christian Eckes / +82 laps / crash
34) #8-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. / +59 laps / crash
33) #39-Tim Clauson / +54 laps / unknown
32) #85-Jordan Erickson / +53 laps / unknown
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