After a devastating loss last time out at Richmond Raceway, Ty Majeski and Joe Shear, Jr. were not to be denied in Friday’s T-Sport 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, the first race of the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Playoffs.
Piloting the No. 98 Road Ranger Ford F-150 for ThorSport Racing, Majeski led a whopping 179 of 200 laps in Friday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at the 0.686-mile short track, including a consecutive stint of the final 161 laps.
Granted, when it comes to a short track race, it’s not often that the final pass for the lead is made with more than 75% of the race remaining. However, much like two weeks ago at Richmond, Majeski was just that strong.
Although, the Seymour, Wisconsin native did face a little bit of a challenge from Christian Eckes on the final restart of the evening, where the No. 19 was able to clear the No. 98 for a split-second, before drifting too far up the track, not even scoring a lap led.
In the final 52-lap stint of the event, Majeski was able to stretch his lead to 3.422 seconds, over second-place finisher Christian Eckes, leaving the front-row starters finishing in the first two spots, albeit in reversed order.
Layne Riggs returned to the site of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut a season ago to finish a career-best third place, piloting the No. 7 Chevrolet Silverado for Spire Motorsports.
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Playoff contenders Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith finished in fourth and fifth.
William Sawalich, the only driver to complete the full distance of both the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series events at IRP, earned a career-best sixth-place result in his fourth start for TRICON Garage.
Rajah Caruth came home in seventh, while Corey Heim, the regular-season champion, was relegated to eighth place after a pit road penalty on the final set of stops. Matt Crafton and Matt DiBenedetto rounded out the top-10.
Other NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Playoff contenders finishing outside the top-10 included Nick Sanchez in 11th, Grant Enfinger in 12th, and Ben Rhodes in 16th.
Leaving IRP, Corey Heim continues to lead the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series point standings, while Ty Majeski is the only driver to have punched his ticket into the Round of 8. At the cutline, Nick Sanchez holds a two-point advantage over Matt Crafton, and a three-point advantage over Matt DiBenedetto.
Up next for the series, after a week off, is a trip to The Milwaukee Mile, for the Clean Harbors 175, where Ty Majeski will look to go back-to-back in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the one-mile facility.