60th Bettenhausen Memorial Grundy County Speedway; Recap/Photos by Stan Kalwasinski

Majeski wins Bettenhausen 100

By Stan Kalwasinski

Morris, Ill., September 18—Ty Majeski came home the winner of the 60th annual Tony Bettenhausen Memorial 100 presented by Elite Trade Show Services late model stock car special at the Grundy County Speedway Saturday night.

Putting on a strong performance and adding the Bettenhausen Classic to his short track winning resume, the 27-year-old Majeski, from Seymour, Wis., raced to victory in the 100 lapper at the third-of-a-mile paved raceway.  Majeski wheeled his Toby Nuttleman-prepared, Compass Insurance Services/Ken’s Sports/Gordon Epping, CPA-sponsored Camry No. 91 to the victory, finishing with a healthy margin of 3.776 seconds over second place finisher DJ Weltmeyer as starter Greg Kuntz’s checkered flag waved.  Majeski took home $6,000, plus lap prize money, for his winning effort and became the event’s 30th different winner.

Two-time race winner Ricky Baker ended up third, followed by Stan Zolodz IV, Steve Dorer and Josh Nelms.  Anthony Danta, Larry Schuler, Steve Seligman and newly-crowned, seven-time Grundy late model champion Eddie Hoffman rounded out the top 10 in the 25-car field.

Fastest qualifier/new track record holder and former two-time race winner Paul Shafer Jr. seemed to be in for a solid second place finish until a shower of sparks erupted from underneath his car, sending Shafer to the pits with 93 laps complete.  A broken heim joint or flat tire, whichever came first, put Shafer out of the race and being credited with a 15th place finish.  Setting a qualifying track record, Shafer’s lap of 14.453 seconds erased the old mark of 14.477 set by Joe Vinachi on May 1st of this year.

Zolodz led the opening 16 laps with Majeski racing into the lead on the following circuit.  Three yellow flags slowed the action during the first four or five laps.  A total of seven yellow caution periods slowed the race.  A multi-car melee between turns three and four with four laps complete saw the cars of Rich Bickle Jr. and Dave Gentile Jr. get torn up with Gentile hitting the outside wall hard.

Over and over after every restart, Majeski seemed in control, shooting out to a comfortable margin every time and finishing about a quarter of a lap ahead of the second place-finishing Weltmeyer.

“It was a solid run for us,” said Majeski in victory lane.  “We were able to get track position and the lead early and that was huge.  The car was really good and we hit our stride with this car.  It’s been really fast all year.  We actually unloaded here Friday (for practice) with the wrong (setup) package.  We switched it over and it was pretty good today.”

In accompanying races, the Midwest Mass Stock Car Series Mid-Am division 25-lap feature race saw Timmy Stewart of Gary, Ind., score the $2,000 victory over John Ventrello and Marqus Hoover.  Randy Weese won the street stock feature ahead of the father and son team of Scott and Scotty Gardner, who were followed by Sal Lozano and Chad Bayuk.  Dan Schmeissing captured the 20-lap headliner for the pure stocks (four-cylinder) division.

The finish:

Ty Majeski, DJ Weltmeyer, Ricky Baker, Stan Zolodz IV, Steve Dorer, Josh Nelms, Anthony Danta, Larry Schuler, Steve Seligman, Eddie Hoffman, Wes Griffith Jr., Max Kahler, Keith Tolf, Jeff Wakeman, Paul Shafer Jr., Nathan Kelly, Jeff Holmgren, Rich Bickle Jr., Josh Wallace, Dean Patterson, Jim Weber, Clay Curts, Dave Gentile Jr., Tom Smith, Billy Hulbert