Everything looked to be going Michael Self’s way in the General Tire 150, the ARCA Menards Series’ annual visit to Charlotte Motor Speedway. He earned the General Tire Pole in Thursday afternoon qualifying, dominated the first 85 laps of the 100-lap scheduled distance in the evening, and surely looked set to score his third victory of the season and extend his points lead over Travis Braden.
But things can change in an instant in racing, and so they did on Thursday night.
When Self tapped the wall on lap 85, it set off a chain reaction of cars pitting for fresher tires and multiple overtime restarts. In the end, it was Chad Bryant Racing’s Ty Majeski who scored his first career series victory in just his second start with the team, pulling out the win after a flurry of late cautions.
“It’s great to come back with Chad Bryant Racing and run well every time,” said Majeski, who returned to ARCA in 2019 in a limited schedule after a disappointing 2018 season in NASCAR. “I don’t bring a lot of money, I got here on talent and results and when you have a bad year like we did last year there’s a chance people won’t want to work with you. Thankfully I have some great people behind me. It’s great to get Chad and Paul Andrews into victory lane. They haven’t had the results they’ve wanted this year either so it’s a big night for all of us.”
Thanks to the multiple late-race cautions, the event was extended to 109 laps. Between Self’s damage and new tires for the rest of the field, his Venturini Motorsports Toyota began to fall through the running order. Bret Holmes took the lead at first, only for Majeski to cut through and assume the point a few laps later.
Subsequent cautions for Riley Herbst and Codie Rohrbaugh bunched up the field twice more, but Majeski held onto the lead despite challenges from Holmes, Gus Dean, and Sheldon Creed. Creed would recover from a penalty on his last pit stop to finish second, while Dean would hang on for third. Daytona winner Harrison Burton and Self would complete the top five. Self’s rebound would enable him to maintain his championship lead, which is now 25 points over Braden.
The General Tire 150 represented the second race of a seven-week stretch of consecutive ARCA races. Next week’s General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 will see the series return to Pocono Raceway for its first of two visits this year, while the stretch ends at Chicagoland Speedway on June 27.