Oktoberfest Preliminaries Saturday with the Oktoberfest 200 Sunday
by Jana Wimmer
Oct 4, 2014 - When the green flag drops Sunday for the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment Oktoberfest 200 all eyes will be on Nathan Haseleu and Ty Majeski as the battle for ARCA Midwest Tour Champion unfolds. The two drivers have fought back and forth all season, at one point they were even tied atop the standings. As we enter the final race of the 2014 season Majeski leads Haseleu by just nine points, the smallest margin ever heading into the last event.
Haseleu is the seasoned Midwest Tour veteran, while this is Majeski’s rookie season. But no matter the years of experience, both driver plan to approach this weekend’s race the same way.
“It’s a long weekend,” says Haseleu, “So I guess we just approach one day at a time. We will try and get the best car we can in practice because Sunday is a long race.”
We are approaching this weekend like we do every other weekend, just keeping focus,” says Majeski, “We need to focus on getting the best car prepared. We’ve had really fast cars everywhere this year; we just need to keep it going. If we start getting the point battle in our heads, we may lose our edge. Nathan runs well at La Crosse, we will be aware of him, but need to focus on getting the best finish we can regardless of where he is.”
Their seasons look like mirror images of each other. Each has picked up two wins while Haseleu has six top-five finishes and eight top-ten finishes and Majeski has seven top-five finishes and seven top-ten finishes.
“We had some races where we had fast cars and others where we didn’t,” said Haseleu, “To be consistent we just take what the car gives us and probably some experience has helped as well.”
“We have great communication, smart people and great support,” says Majeski, “The chemistry within our team is second to none.”
Experience definitely falls in the hands of Haseleu. He won the inaugural Midwest Tour Championship and has not finished outside of the top three in points in the last four years. He is also the defending race winner, winning his first Oktoberfest a year ago.
“That was a big win last year. I always like racing at La Crosse, sometimes we run good there and other times we haven’t” says Haseleu, “We are going to unload with the same set-up as last year, so it gives us a good starting point.”
Meanwhile Majeski is at the other end of spectrum. He already has Rookie of the Year honors wrapped up and now looks to win a championship in his first season with the Midwest Tour.
“It’s really an honor to have clinched ROY,” says Majeski, “My goal this season was to get ROY and a couple wins. Now that we have that achieved that before the end of the season, we’ve set a new goal. That’s to go after the championships. Although we have the ROY clinched, we really have our eyes on the championship and it would be disappointing to fall short based on the strong season we’ve had this far.”
For both drivers the format of the Midwest Tour finale will be new. With 200-laps and pit stops, it is a change from previous years, and last year when Haseleu won. Strategy could come into play, but a lot will just depend on how the race plays out for each driver.
“If we have a fast car the strategy will be different than if we don’t,” says Haseleu, “Pit strategy will go off how fast the car is. With the longer race, I think there will be longer green flag runs so your car will have to be comfortable to be fast.”
Added Majeski, “We have been talking about the pit stops. It’s new for us, but it’s new for all the teams out there. We have some ideas on how to handle the pit strategy, but you never know how the race will play itself out.”
No one has a magic eight ball to look ahead at Sunday and see how this battle will unfold, but if it’s anything like the rest of the year, it will come down to the end. But one thing is certain, whoever holds that championship trophy will be all smiles.
“To win another championship would mean a lot,” says Haseleu, “We’ve been close a few times since, but it would also mean a lot to all the the people that have put their time and effort into this race program, the pit crew, Joe Hunter, RaceTeamGear and Colony Brands.”
“Winning Rookie of the Year and the Championship in the same season has never been done,” says Majeski, “It would be really special and I would be proud to bring them both home. We just need to be smart during the feature and we will see what happens. No matter what happens it’s been a heck of a season and I’m really proud to be part of this great team.”
Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).
For complete event details log on to arcamidwesttour.com.
Upcoming Event Information
What: 45th Annual Oktoberfest
Where: West Salem, WI
When: October 4th-5th, 2014
To learn more about the Automobile Racing Club of America Midwest Tour, log on to arcamidwesttour.com. For questions, call Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or e-mail email@example.com
The Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) is among the leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country. Founded in 1953 by John and Mildred Marcum, the organization administers more than 100 events each year in multiple racing series, including the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the ARCA/CRA Super Series, the ARCA Truck Series and the ARCA Midwest Tour, plus weekly racing at Toledo and Flat Rock Speedways.