Ty Majeski Becomes the First Ever Rookie to Win a Midwest Tour Championship
by Kari Shear-Carlson
Oct 5th, 2014 - When the green flag fell on the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment Oktoberfest 200, three Sauters were starting nose to tail. Tim Sauter started on the pole with Griffin McGrath on the outside of him. Travis Sauter was on the inside second row and Jim Sauter Jr. started third row inside. By lap 17 it was the Sauter, Sauter, Sauter show. Tim Sauter pulled out to a strong lead followed by his son Travis and Tim’s brother, Jim Jr.
So it really came as no surprise that a Sauter dominated both halves of the event, which included a competition caution at the halfway break. During the first half, Tim led his son Travis from the drop of the green, but Travis never let his dad get out of his sight as the two pulled away from the field. But the second half was a different story as Travis took the lead from his dad on lap 120 and held off a hard-charging Dan Fredrickson to win his fourth Oktoberfest event.
“To be on the chart four times is pretty cool. This was my first 200-lapper I’ve ever done. Early in the race I was trying to save the car because we were only able put three tires on at the break. I figured I needed the lead in the second half so that I could have lane choice for late race cautions,” said Travis. “My dad wasn’t as good in the second half. It got pretty tight with the 36 (Dan Fredrickson) car there at the end but it was fun. It means a lot, it’s a neat race to win,” added the victor.
As it has been for the last several years, today’s Oktoberfest 200 wasn’t just about winning the race. There was still a championship to be determined. Going into this weekend, Ty Majeski held a nine point lead over Nathan Haseleu for the 2014 ARCA Midwest Tour Championship. Majeski already had the Rookie of the Year Championship secured, so his focus was on becoming the first ever driver in the Midwest Tour to win both championships in the same season.
It appeared that he was on his way after posting the fastest lap in qualifying on Saturday afternoon, gaining another ten points over Haseleu. However as the top 16 were racing to determine this afternoon’s starting line-up, Majeski got caught up in an altercation sending him hard into the turn three wall ending his night and what looked like his hopes for the championship. However he was able to use Cardell Potter’s car to get the job done on Sunday and claim not only the 2014 ARCA Midwest Tour Championship but the 2014 Rookie of the Year honors as well.
“The first two races of the season weren’t too good but from then on we went up hill. We never had any breathing room though. The points were always tight. Talk about an up and down weekend. I went from setting fast time to wrecking in the dash. But it’s all the people behind me. They were up until 4am to get the car the best it could be today. I never thought we were out of it. It was definitely a relief when it was all said and done. It’s because of all the hard work by everyone. It feels really good to bring it home for them.”
If Nathan Haseleu had won the Oktoberfest 200, Majeski would have had to finish fifth or better. Unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be for Nathan. He ran around the top ten most of the day.
At the start of the race Majeski was on the move from his starting spot trying to make gains on Haseleu in order to maintain the point lead. While the Sauters continued to pace the field, Chris Wimmer was able to get by Jim Jr. to split up the family reunion. Sauter and Sauter seemed to be pulling away a little bit, but Wimmer wasn’t wasting any time trying to reel them in
The first caution came out for a spin in turn two. Once again all three Sauters and Chris Wimmer set the field up to go green. Wimmer was able to get the second position over Travis Sauter as Dan Fredrickson now joined the action. Fredrickson made the pass around Travis and was now in the hunt for second.
Wimmer started to run down Tim Sauter as Travis came back at Fredrickson and the four started to pull away. Griffin McGrath made the pass on Jim Jr. and found himself in the fifth spot and Andrew Morrissey followed suit.
Travis had gotten back by Fredrickson and was all over the back bumper of Wimmer for second, giving Tim a little breathing room.Travis looked under WImmer on lap 55 and finally got the spot two laps later. He was now back in the hunt to get the lead from his dad.
As Wimmer dropped to third Fredrickson was now looking to take the spot away from him and got the job done on lap 60. Sauter and Sauter had pulled away from the rest of the field by about 10 car lengths, but Fredrickson was hoping to close that gap.
The field was spreading out and the leaders had caught lapped traffic. The father and son duo had now stretched their lead out by about a straightaway as Fredrickson got caught up in a little lapped traffic.
Travis was gaining on his dad as they moved in on heavy lapped traffic, but Tim got through smoothly and slipped away from Travis by a half straightaway. Wimmer had moved back to the inside of Fredrickson and Griffin McGrath was hot on Danny’s bumper getting the spot on lap 75 as Majeski now followed putting him in the fifth spot.
The competition caution came out on lap 90. Teams could change up to three tires and make any chassis adjustments they deemed necessary. Fredrickson was one who was happy to see that caution come out. “My car wasn’t very good in the first half, we needed that caution and break to fix it. We were really fast in the second half, but I burned up too much trying to get back up there.”
At the break it was Tim Sauter, Travis Sauter, followed by Chris Wimmer, Griffin McGrath, and Ty Majeski rounding out the top five.
When the field lined up to go green once again, Tim Sauter started on the inside front row with Travis on the outside followed by WImmer and McGrath in row two.
Wimmer stuck his nose under Travis but Travis wasn’t giving up. Majeski dove under Sauter for third but had to settle into fourth as Travis got on the bumper of WImmer. Tim continued to lead, but not without a challenge from WImmer. However, it didn’t take long before Travis once again found himself in second getting by Wimmer.
Travis was getting a little more aggressive with Tim this time around putting a nose under him in turn four. He had to settle for second, but just kept trying and each time his dad shutting the door. So Travis looked to the outside and took away the lead on lap 120. The two started to pull away a little as WImmer started to drift back.
Another caution fell on lap 133 for a little may-lay on the front stretch. This once again set the line up with the Sauters side by side followed by Jacob Goede and Fredrickson.
Travis got the lead again and tried to pull away. Tim once again settle into second. Goede started to pressure Tim Sauter as Fredrickson was pressuring him for third. Travis started pulling away. Danny took the third spot from Goede. Fredrickson set his sights on the 99 of Sauter and after a heated battle finally go the spot.
Danny was pulling way from Tim Sauter, but didn’t appear to be gaining much on Travis.
The 04 spun in turn two bringing out another caution. This set it up for a Saturday night brawl on a Sunday afternoon. Travis chose the inside on the restart with Fredrickson on the outside. The two were followed by Tim Sauter and Jacob Goede.
Travis got the jump once again but Danny was all over his bumper doing whatever it took. Meanwhile, Griffin McGrath who ran in the top five all day got the fourth spot from Goede.
Travis started to put a little bit of a gap between him and Fredrickson with 15 laps to go. McGrath continued to move up taking the third spot over Tim Sauter.
Danny decided to give it all he had and fight for the lead one more time with 10 laps to go. He was once again all over the bumper and left rear fender but Travis continued to hold him off.
With five to go Travis pulled away to a comfortable gap. Comfortable enough to add his name to the Oktoberfest winner’s list for a fourth time.
Fredrickson finished second and Griffin McGrath who put on a stellar performance found himself with a podium finish as well. “I was kind of conserving my stuff,” said McGrath. “I was hoping we’d have a long run at the end cause the car got better and better and better. We kind of wait for people to burn their stuff up and then we will be there at the end.”
Jacob Goede finished fourth and Andrew Morrissey had made his way up to round out the top five.
Everyone with the ARCA Midwest Tour would like to congratulate Ty Majeski and his team on his 2014 ARCA Midwest Tour Championship along with claiming the 2014 Rookie of the Year title.
The next event on the ARCA Midwest Tour schedule will be the 2014 Championship Banquet.
Be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour on Facebook (midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).
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.