Ty Majeski (No. 22 Crestliner Boats Ford) scored his third ARCA Menards Series win of the season with a dominant performance in the Bounty 150 on Thursday night at Chicagoland Speedway. Majeski led 72 of the race’s 100 laps and at times opened up a 12-second advantage on the field. Several late-race cautions allowed the field to close the gap, but Majeski would reopen the advantage repeatedly, eventually winning by 9.179 seconds over second-place finisher Harrison Burton (No. 20 Ruud Toyota).
“We’ve won all three races in a different way,” Majeski said. “We didn’t have the best car at Charlotte and beat them on a couple of late race restarts, we got them in the pits at Pocono, we almost got them on fuel mileage at Michigan and we wore them out with the best car here tonight.”
Majeski’s biggest challenge throughout was to stay focused on hitting his marks and not abusing his tires.
“The last thing I wanted to do was to build up a fifteen second lead and blow the right front out from driving it too hard and abusing it,” Majeski said. “I just wanted to hit my marks and keep the car out of trouble and bring it home. This is as much about showcasing Chad Bryant Racing and the stuff they build as it is showing the world what I can do and it would make me look horrible to throw away a car that dominant.”
The battle behind Majeski over the last 20 laps was intense and Burton, Bret Holmes (No. 23 Techworks Trailers Chevrolet), Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota), and Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford) all swapped positions throughout. Burton would end up coming out on top of that battle.
Burton is doing double duty this weekend, bouncing back and forth between the ARCA car and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck garage.
“The two drive so differently,” Burton said. “There’s a lot more off-throttle time in the ARCA car. It’s a bit of an adjustment after spending so much time in the Truck. We had a great night with the Venturini Motorsports team. We aren’t running for the drivers championship over here, but they are leading in the owner’s points and it’s really important for us to keep them up front.”
Holmes finished third, his best finish of the season, a year after parking his family-owned team for this race as the team struggled with performance.
“Last year at this time we were 450 points out of the points lead and had run every race,” Holmes said. “This year we are 30 points out of the lead. It’s a night and day change. We’re getting better every week. We finished ahead of Michael (Self) tonight but he still will get those bonus points for the pole and leading laps. That’s the next step we need to make as a team. We went from the top ten to the top five. Now we need to go to finishing first or second and leading laps.”
Self ended up fourth after starting from the General Tire Pole, but it was an adventurous night.
“I made a couple of mistakes on pit road that cost us a lot of spots,” Self said afterwards. “I left before the left rear tire was on the car on the final stop and instead of restarting fourth we restarted ninth. The last lap was a good one, the best lap I ran all night. I wish we could have had a couple more laps so I could do more of what we did on the last lap.”
Braden rounded out the top five.
“It was great to be here and be competitive with the guys at the front of the pack,” he said. “We know what we need to do. We know we aren’t where we need to be. Nights like tonight show us we can get to where we need to be and compete with these guys.”
The race got off to a halting start as three caution flags were displayed in the first twenty laps. The first was when Morgen Baird (No. 11 Founders Brewing Company/Rave Associates Toyota) stalled in turn four on lap 5, the second was when Jason Miles (No. 1 NJC Real Estate Ford) suffered nose damage on the ensuing restart, and the third was when Eric Caudell (No. 7 Honoring America’s Warriors Toyota) spun into the infield on lap 17.
Other cautions involved Tanner Gray (No. 54 Valvoline/Durst Inc.), who slapped the wall in turns one and two on lap 54, Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) who spun with a flat left rear tire on lap 64, and Joe Graf, Jr. (No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford) who spun into the backstretch grass on lap 77. The six cautions slowed the field for a total of 31 laps and kept the race’s average speed to 112.617 miles per hour.
There were six lead changes among four drivers. Self, Eckes, and Burton all led in addition to Majeski.
The ARCA Menards Series will take next weekend off before returning to action in the Menards 250 at Elko Speedway on Saturday July 12. Practice will begin at 2:15 pm ET/1:15 pm CT, General Tire Pole Qualifying is set for 6:15 pm ET/5:15 pm CT, and the race will go green shortly after 10 pm ET/9 pm CT. The race will be televised live on MAVTV, and ARCA for Me members can follow along with free live timing & scoring, live chat, and live track updates at ARCARacing.com. Discounted tickets are available at Minneapolis/St. Paul-area Menards locations.