Majeski to be development driver for Roush Fenway Racing
By Joe Verdegen
After weeks of speculation it became official on May 16. Ty Majeski, the 21-year-old asphalt Super Late Model racer from Seymour, has joined Roush Fenway Racing as a development driver.
Majeski will compete for Roulo Bros. Racing in selected ARCA events during the 2016 season; the same program that developed Roush Fenway’s 2015 XFINITY Champion, Chris Buescher.
“We are truly excited about having Ty on board,” said Roush Fenway President Steve Newmark. “He is an exceptional young man that has excelled on and off the track, as evidenced by his considerable racing accomplishments, as well as his career in the class room as an engineering student. We feel that there is a very high ceiling for what Ty can accomplish and we look forward to watching him progress in his career and hopefully playing a major role in that development.”
“I am really excited to get this next step started,” Majeski said. “It’s an honor to be associated with one of NASCAR’s most successful owners, Jack Roush. I would like to thank everyone at Roush Fenway and Roulo Bros. for the opportunity.”
A two-time champion of the ARCA Midwest Tour, Majeski has won eight of 13 races this season racing in the Midwest and also in Alabama and Florida.
In doing so Majeski becomes the first Green Bay-area driver in more than 18 years to jump to NASCAR’s big leagues. Green Bay native Scott Hansen, who now resides in Milwaukee, raced NASCAR trucks for Kenny Schrader in 1998 and 1999.
“We’ve stayed focused for a few years now on putting together a deal like this,” said Majeski, an engineering student at Wisconsin. “For us we didn’t feel it would be a good fit to run like one ARCA race or one NASCAR truck race. I’ve had plenty of those opportunities come about the past couple of seasons. What this deal allows is for me to truly develop myself as a driver. And it couldn’t be more of a perfect fit.”
Currently Majeski remains one of the hottest short track drivers in the Midwest. On May 13 Majeski won the Cabin Fever 100 ARCA Midwest Tour event at State Park Speedway in Wausau. Majeski also won the T.U.N.D.R.A. Super Late Model season opener at Wisconsin International Raceway. That near 62 percent winning percentage rivals that of numbers put up by the late Dick Trickle of Wisconsin Rapids. Trickle won an estimated 1,200 features — including 67 features wins one season.
“Dick Trickle was one of the best no doubt and times were different back when he raced,” Majeski said. “Back when he raced the rules were a little more liberal — a little more relaxed. Nowadays everything is so regulated — everyone is so close and even. It makes it a lot tougher now to be honest with you, it really does.”
Majeski is quick to point to his crew chief, Toby Nuttleman of West Salem, for much of his short track success.
“Toby’s been a huge reason for my winning, no doubt,” Majeski admitted. “He and I are great friends. Toby and I will co-own my short track ride and we’ll still make it back to race in as many short track shows as possible. I know two on our list for sure this year are the Dixieland 250 (Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna) and the Slinger Nationals. Both are mid-week shows and shouldn’t conflict with anything else we have going on.”
When asked if Nuttleman will be part of Majeski’s racing plans in the driver development program Majeski replied “Not as of right now but that could change.”
“Dealing with NASCAR’s politics is something he’ll have to get used to,” Hansen said. “He’s more than talented enough and if he can deal with the politics down there he’ll be just fine.”
The Seymour speedster is up and ready for the challenge.
“I think you have to deal with politics with pretty much anything in life,” Majeski said. “You just have to know who you can trust, and whenever possible surround yourself with people you can trust. I think we’ll be o.k.”
As for his status with being a student at Madison, Majeski admits that it “remains to be seen” when and if he’ll take a break from his studies.
Majeski had a banner year in 2015 — tearing up the paved short tracks across the Midwest. With Nuttleman guiding him, Majeski copped 18 feature wins last season, coupled with 18 fast times at one dozen different ovals. Majeski won the first ever Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) Championship last year — a program honoring the late Winston Cup champion Alan Kulwicki, a Milwaukee native.
“Toby (Nuttleman) has been great and our communication as a driver and crew chief is second to none,” Majeski said. “I’ve gotten to the point where I can bounce ideas off of him. He’s also one of my best friends off the track. We snowmobile and do other stuff during the offseason.”
Majeski’s 2016 campaign started off with a bang, too. Despite getting “roughed up” by the locals a couple of nights during Speedweeks, Majeski captured three victories en route the winning the World Series of Asphalt racing at New Symrna (Florida) Speedway in February.
In doing so Majeski became the first Wisconsin driver to win that title since Neenah’s Lowell Bennett pulled it off in 1997.
Majeski also win the Rattler 250 in Southern Alabama in April.
“After watching Ty for the past few years in his Late Model program, I really like what he does in and out of the race car,” said Roulo Bros. owner Gary Roulo. “I love his intensity. His Late Model program is a hard act to follow. Our focus is to not only win races in the ARCA Series, but to effectively prepare drivers to be successful at the highest levels of NASCAR.”
“Once in a while an opportunity comes about,” Majeski admitted. “They are few and far between though. We’re pretty excited about this deal we’ve got here and we hope to make the best of it.”