It wasn’t supposed to be this hard, Ty Majeski’s Late Model Stock Car debut, but it was a long Friday at Florence Motor Speedway on practice day for the South Carolina 400.
Alas, hope springs eternal on Saturday for the 225-lap main event on Saturday afternoon.
Majeski is driving for Chad Bryant, the two having a preexisting relationship in the ARCA Racing Series, and the car owner extending his business to Late Model Stocks this summer but needing an experienced driver to dial it in.
There were not many opportunities to do that on Friday as their No. 77 suffered an engine failure early in practice and spent the middle parts of the session swapping over to a built motor just get laps in before the track closed at 6 p.m.
Once the session ended, JR Motorsports and Josh Berry came over to help them swap over to their new crate engine.
It was a long night.
“These guys have completely worked their asses off,” Majeski said. “Changing the engine, because we didn’t have another crate on the grounds, and then putting the new crate in. Just an unbelievable group of guys here and at JR Motorsports.”
Thank you to @joshberry and all the @JRMotorsports crew for helping us change engines for the 2nd time today. This is what short track racing is all about right here. #Racers pic.twitter.com/2GUDkhsSpz
— Ty Majeski (@TyMajeski) November 21, 2020
As if that wasn’t challenging enough, Majeski is having to learn a car that is unlike anything he has ever driven before.
The Late Model Stock is a fundamentally different machine than the Super Late Model he has piloted to over 100 victories across the United States over the past half-decade. It’s closer to an ARCA car but he only made two ARCA short track start and that was with the Ruolo Brothers in 2016.
“I’ve enjoyed it from the standpoint that it’s a new challenge,” Majeski said. “It’s something new.
“I feel like I’ve solidified myself as a one of the top Super Late Model guys over the last five, six, seven years. It’s cool to have a good opportunity to jump into something new.
“These guys are incredibly good at what they do. And anytime you jump into somebody else’s world, it’s always hard. So I’m enjoying it. It’s definitely a learning curve and Chad and I are working well together. And then the guys are working well together. So obviously I have a history with this team and these guys that has helped too.”
It will be the first time Majeski has raced against the likes of Berry, Lee Pulliam, Timothy Peters, Nolan Pope and Mike Darne.
Majeski hopes to make a handful of starts with Bryant in this No. 77 next year, depending on his NASCAR schedule, which is still being pieced together.
“I’d love to,” Majeski said. “You know, we’ve been talking about it and, obviously, there are races that work out with my schedule and that work out with his schedule next year. We definitely want to put something together and run some more races.
“He’s a racer just like I am, and this kind of racing is what it’s all about. We’re here to have fun and trying to make this car as fast as it can go.”
As for making it go fast, that’s still a work in progress.
“I don’t have a ton of experience in anything heavy on a short track,” Majeski said. “So, certainly a little bit of a learning curve and you definitely have to have to change your driving techniques and break a lot of habits I have from the Super Late Model side.”