Majeski Sweeps to Victory at Hawkeye Downs Kwik Star 100
By: Kevin Ramsell
Ty Majeski hasn’t forgotten Hawkeye Downs Speedway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His last victory came in 2015 when the ARCA Midwest Tour made their last appearance. On Saturday night, he picked up his third win at the half-mile oval by taking the Kwik Star 100.
“I tell you what, some days you hit and some days you don’t. Today we just hit it, this car was just phenomenal,” a smiling Majeski said in victory lane. “It was all night. We just worked on it a little bit in practice. I knew we had a good balance in the race car, and when qualifying came, we knew we had speed as well.”
The four-time ARCA Midwest Tour champion definitely had speed as he set a new track record in qualifying with a time of 18.216 seconds. He would then go on to win the odd heat race.
In the main event, Majeski would start eighth and didn’t waste time working his way to the front.
By lap 2, he was already up to the fifth spot and then to fourth by lap seven. Six laps later he would move up to the podium spot and then get by Jonathan Eilen for second on lap 21.
Majeski would then set his sights on early leader and Gandrud Auto Group 250 winner Paul Shafer Jr.
Shafer had a good lead, but it wasn’t long until Majeski was on his back bumper pressuring the Portage, Indiana driver for the lead.
On lap 34, Shafer would get loose coming off of turn four allowing Majeski to jump to the inside and take over the lead.
The first of two cautions flew on lap 47 when Travis Sauter had a mechanical issue and dropped fluid on the track, causing a red flag to clean up the racing surface.
Majeski would get the jump on Shafer for the restart on lap 48.
Two laps later, the final caution flew when Dillon Hammond got into the back bumper of Dalton Zehr in turns three and four causing both to spin.
Again, Majeski would muscle his way away from Shafer and drive off uncontested over the final 50 laps to take another victory in the ARCA Midwest Tour, and third in a row at Hawkeye Downs Speedway.
“I love coming to this track, this is one of my favorite tracks,” Majeski commented. “Obviously, I haven’t been here in six years and hopefully this will be a yearly thing for the Midwest Tour. I love coming to support this place. Hopefully we will be here for years to come.”
Shafer would hold off a late charge from Eilen to get the runner-up spot.
“I was joking with Gabe Sommers before the race that I was going to go at it for the first 45 and whatever happens after that, we will find out,” Shafer said after the race. “That is what we did until Ty got to us and got around us, and we just tried to catch him but he was just better. I can’t thank my guys enough, and to run second to Ty is basically a win, so we will take it!”
Eilen, who won at Hawkeye Downs in 2012, was happy to return to the famous Iowa track.
“The car was really good in the long runs. I don’t know, it just wouldn’t fire off and I was thinking, gosh did I burn this thing up to early? But then we got moving along,” Eilen explained. “All in all it was a good run. We have been struggling, had some good runs going but could not pull them off, so it feels good to come out of here third.
“This track means a little bit to me. Obviously about ten years ago I had some bad luck and broke my back and came back the next year and won. I always want to come here and get a little revenge off of that.”
Rich Bickle Jr. had a strong finish in his final race at Hawkeye Downs and finished fourth. DJ Weltmeyer, fresh off his feature victory at Grundy County Speedway on Friday night, finished fifth.
Hammond recovered from his early incident to finish sixth.
Luke Fenhaus, who was second in points coming into tonight, was seventh. Griffin McGrath finished eighth with Gabe Sommers in ninth. Justin Mondeik rounded out the top ten.
The ARCA Midwest Tour will make its second visit to Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wisconsin this Friday night for Howie Lettow Memorial.
Ty Majeski, Paul Shafer Jr., Jonathan Eilen, Rich Bickle Jr., DJ Weltmeyer, Dillon Hammond, Luke Fenhaus, Griffin McGrath, Gabe Sommers, Justin Mondeik, Levon Van Der Geest, Brian Gibson, Gregory Borchardt, Andrew Brocker, Dalton Zehr, Travis Sauter, Curt Tillman