Luke Fenhaus, a full-time competitor in the ARCA Menards Series East for Pinnacle Racing Group, was about 45 seconds away from capturing his second-ever victory in the Slinger Nationals.
As fate would have it, though, a victory in the 44th running of the prestigious event just wasn’t in the cards for the Wausau, Wisconsin-native, after a caution was displayed inside the race’s final laps for Levon Van Der Geest.
However, that late-race restart, which came with four laps remaining in the event, was precisely what NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Ty Majeski needed, as he remained on the outside of Fenhaus’ No. 4 to complete the pass.
Majeski, driving the No. 91 Ford Mustang with sponsorship from iRacing, was then able to set sail in the final half-mile of the event, pulling away from eventual runner-up finisher Luke Fenhaus by four-tenths of a second.
Ty Majeski is now a three time Slinger Nationals Champion.
— Racing America (@RacingAmerica) July 12, 2023
“Yeah, sometimes these races go your way, and sometimes they don’t,” said Majeski in victory lane. “Obviously, I had a good-timed caution there. Luke was probably a little better than us. His car was a little bit more versatile going through lapped traffic, he could maneuver a little better and make a little more time. All it takes is a yellow and a good restart. Thankfully, we came out on top tonight.”
For Majeski, a native of Seymour, Wisconsin, his triumph in Tuesday’s 200-lap contest marks his third victory in the Slinger Nationals, becoming the sixth driver to collect three or more victories in the biggest event around the quarter-mile Slinger Speedway.
Fenhaus, who finished in the runner-up position after restarting with the lead inside the final laps, wasn’t necessarily as pleased about his result, considering his dominance in the race’s second half.
“Just screwed up. I don’t know,” said Fenhaus. “I thought I did everything perfect with lapped cars. Thought I did everything with maintaining the pace that I did and keeping a nice gap. I just didn’t need a caution.”
In spite of a solid result, and a decent payday, the 19-year-old driver still wasn’t satisfied with his run.
“Yeah, it’s not what it’s about though,” Fenhaus said about a solid result and decent prize money. “I want to win this race. I felt like we had the best car until later in the run. I burned it up late. Passing lapped cars on the top, I was getting really loose. Didn’t need a caution, got tight. Put rear brake in it, because I knew it was going to get tight, and didn’t go enough for it.”
As the top-two drivers battled it out, Derek Thorn, the 2022 Snowball Derby champion, would come home in third place. John DeAngelis would come home in fourth, while Austin Nason completed the top five.
In sixth place, Chase Elliott was the highest-finishing of the NASCAR Cup Series drivers to dip into the field, driving the No. 9 Fr8Auctions Chevrolet. William Byron, a four-time Cup Series winner this season and the defending Slinger Nationals champion, came home in 10th.
Matt Kenseth, an eight-time champion of the Slinger Nationals, came home outside the top-20, in 22nd, after his race came to an end prematurely due to an apparent scoring issue.