2014 ARCA Midwest Tour Season in Review
by Kari Shear-Carlson
October 15, 2014 - The 2014 season for the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by Scag Power Equipment was one that will go down in the record books. For the first time in series history, two championships were won by the same driver. Ty Majeski pulled off a feat that has never been done before in ARCA Midwest Tour history. He clinched not only the 2014 Championship but wrapped up the Rookie of the Year title as well. Not only that but at 20 years old he is the youngest series Champion to ever be crowned. The season Championship didn’t go down without a fight and even a little season ending drama, however.
For the second year in a row the ARCA Midwest Tour kicked off its season in Toledo, OH for the Border Wars 7-Up 150, a combined event with the ARCA CRA Super Series, where Nathan Haseleu gained the early lead in the point standings, finishing the best out of the Midwest Touring stars in sixth. Brian Campbell was the winner of that event.
Nathan followed that up with a win in the 6th Annual Joe Shear Classic at Madison International Speedway, the first two-time winner of the event. They clearly appeared to be a team that would be contending for the 2014 Championship if his season continued the way it started. Kyle Shear made an impressive ARCA Midwest Tour debut finishing in second and former Rookie of the Year, Skylar Holzhausen finished in third.
The young Rookie of the Year contender, Ty Majeski wasn’t off to such a good start, suffering from mechanical problems and finishing 20th both at Toledo and at Madison International Speedway. However, the season started to turn around for Majeski at State Park Speedway where he captured his first podium finish behind winner, Tim Sauter, and second place Chris Wimmer. Haseleu finished in the 12th spot.
Over Memorial Day weekend, the ARCA Midwest Tour made the trip to Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, IN for the Calypso Lemonade Border Wars Part II combined event with the ARCA CRA Super Series once again. Local driver Eddie Hoffman had a strong run going all day until the young rookie out of Wisconsin reeled him in and took the lead for his first ARCA Midwest Tour victory of the season and his young career. Hoffman finished in second behind Majeski and was followed by Jonathan Eilen in third.
The next trip for the ARCA Midwest Tour was to the Milwaukee Mile for the Swiss Colony Howie Lettow Memorial 150 presented by RaceTeamGear.com. Erik Jones made the trip to Wisconsin for the big event and went home with the win, followed by Cedar Rapids, IA native, Griffin McGrath, and Chad Finley in third. The race was filled with a lot of highs and lows for many of the Midwest Touring Stars. Cardell Potter was the highest finishing Touring Star in 10th place. Haseleu finished in 22nd and Majeski finished 30th.
When the ARCA Midwest Tour made their next stop at Grundy County Speedway for the Calypso Lemonade 100, Majeski once again finished on the podium, but the headline of the night was Chris Weinkauf gaining his first ever ARCA Midwest Tour victory. After years of hard work, fast cars, and bad luck, the monkey was finally off his back and the team made it to victory lane. Majeski was second and Jonathan Eilen once again found himself on the podium in third.
Dells Raceway Park was next on the ARCA Midwest Tour schedule for the Lester Buildings 100. The podium looked quite familiar with Majeski finishing second and Eilen third once again. But this time the guy holding the trophy was Travis Sauter. Sauter and Chris Wimmer had been putting on a great battle most of the night until Wimmer pulled off with mechanical problems handing the win over to Sauter.
The Coors Light Summer Shootout and Music Festival at Hawkeye Downs Speedway was next up on the busy schedule. It was a rain soaked day, but once the rain cleared out, it was another great night of racing. Ty Majeski picked up win number two of his career and the 2014 season. Chris Weinkauf had another great run finishing in second with Nathan Haseleu rounding out the top three. At this point in the season, the points battle for the Championship between Haseleu and Majeski was tied. There were only four more races remaining for the two to settle it out.
The Tour’s next stop was Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna, WI for the Calypso Lemonade 100 presented by Scag Power Equipment. Johnny Sauter took the lead over from his nephew Travis Sauter and by lap 25 was pulling away from the field and never looked back. Travis was never able to catch him and came home in second. Once again, Jonathan Eilen had a top three finish. Both Majeski and Haseleu had problems during the event finishing 13th and 16th respectively.
Next up was the Norway 100 in Norway, MI. Nathan Haseleu picked up his third Norway victory in a row and was able to take over the point lead. He took the lead on lap four and paced the field for the remaining 96 laps. But the rookie Majeski was not going to let Haseleu get a jump in the points, coming home in second. Local driver, Dan Lindsley rounded out the top three.
The 6th Annual Thunderstruck 93 was up next on the schedule at Elko Speedway in Elko, MN. This event is one that the local drivers put as much effort into as the ARCA Midwest Tour drivers. So it was no surprise when local driver and former Midwest Tour Champion, Dan Fredrickson was the first to cross the finish line to receive the checkered flag. Ty Majeski had given Fredrickson a challenge with a few to go but settled for second, taking back the point lead from Haseleu who finished in fourth after starting from the 13th position.
It was time for the grand finale’ of them all, the Oktoberfest 200 at LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway. Majeski held a nine point lead going into the two-day weekend and carried with him a lot of recent success at the track. But it wouldn’t be the ARCA Midwest Tour without a little drama. Majeski was the fastest car all weekend and proved that, qualifying in the top spot. But during the fast dash to determine the feature line-up, Majeski slammed into the turn three wall. The car was pretty much unrepairable for the weekend. Based on the ARCA Midwest Tour rules, Majeski was able to start in a car that was originally loaned to Cardell Potter after he had problems in practice. Potter offered the car to Majeski. Majeski finished in ninth, one position behind Haseleu but it was enough to clinch the title. Travis Sauter won his fourth Oktoberfest race and was followed by Dan Fredrickson and Griffin McGrath.
Another ARCA Midwest Tour season is once again in the books. Congratulations to Ty Majeski and his team on their history making year. Thank you to everyone who participated in anyway to help make the 2014 season a great success. We look forward to seeing all of you back in 2015.
The next event on the ARCA Midwest Tour schedule will be the 2014 Championship Banquet. More details will be announced as they become available.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.