Ty Majeski and Bubba Pollard will be making their first Glass City 200 appearances when the ASA STARS National Tour arrives at Toledo Speedway on Saturday.
While both drivers have competed at the half-mile in the past, it has been several years for the both of them.
Majeski will be making his first start at Toledo since 2015 for an ASA/CRA Super Series race. He finished 11th, one lap down, during one of his first races with long-time crew chief Toby Nuttleman.
“The race track is fast, it doesn’t have a ton of grip, but with the tire we’re on there’s a lot not a lot of falloff. You’re just fighting for grip from what I remember,” said Majeski. “It’s pretty smooth but incredibly fast, it reminds me of a flatter and smoother Pensacola. We weren’t very good, it was in the beginning of Toby (Nuttleman) and I’s tenure together.
“I feel like our race cars are a lot better now than they were then and I feel like I’ve come a long way since then as well. We feel pretty decent about it, our flat track package is pretty good with some of the tracks we have in Wisconsin. We didn’t get a chance to test or anything so we’ll see what we’ve got.”
It’s been even longer since Pollard’s been at Toledo, with his last start coming with the ARCA Menards Series in 2015.
It was over 10 years ago when he was last at Toledo in a super late model, finishing fifth in an ASA/CRA Super Series/ASA Midwest Tour combination event in April, 2013. He took advantage of a test session at Toledo on Sept. 8 to get ready for the 200-lap event.
“It had been since 2013 since we’ve gotten to race there, just wanted to make some laps. We have five or six races here and we really wanted to take advantage of those races. With the way the schedules worked out we had some opportunity to test,” said Pollard. “We were very happy when we left, we had to work out a few things but all in all, it was a good day.”
Pollard’s career accolades rival any other driver’s in short track racing.
He’s won the Oxford 250, All American 400, Rattler 250, Slinger Nationals and many other marquee races across the United States and into Canada. He recently won the Battle at Berlin 250 at Berlin Raceway last month.
Since 2004, he was won 156 races and has finished in the top-10 in an astonishing 70 percent of his 564 recorded starts. The Georgia driver has one ASA STARS National Tour win on the season, coming at North Wilkesboro Speedway back in May.
With it having been 10 years since his last super late model appearance at Toledo, Pollard felt the need to get track time before Saturday’s race.
“We go to so many race tracks and that’s why we felt like we needed to go up there. With the way the schedule works out on Saturday, we don’t get very much track time. We’re taking these new Senneker Performance race cars to new places for the first time and we felt like we needed some track time,” Pollard said.
“The race track’s very fast, it’s got a lot of grip. I feel like it’s going to be a good race, a lot of fun. I watched some videos of the last race up there and take in as much information and data as I can to apply it to this weekend.”
After having traditionally been a 200-lap Outlaw super late model race — and more recently a Twin-100 format with Outlaw and Template-bodied super late models — this year’s Glass City 200 is the first as a 200-lap Template-bodied super late model race.
Pollard does have a start in an Outlaw super late model, coming in 2016 at the Kalamazoo Klash at Kalamazoo Speedway.
He says there are stark differences between the two disciplines.
“The body has so much grip built into it with the downforce and things like that. It gives you a lot different feel than what we’re accustomed to. The way you adjust a race car can be quite a bit different as far as mechanical grip. There’s not much we can take from the two, but I always enjoy racing the Outlaw cars,” Pollard said.
“They’re cool race cars and I’m sure they would be super fast around Toledo. You never know, hopefully one day we can get back in an Outlaw car.”
Meanwhile, Ty Majeski heads into Toledo with a 93-point lead in the ASA STARS National Tour standings.
He’s won three races with the series this year — Madison, Milwaukee and WIR — and has yet to finish outside the top-10. Additionally, he also won the Slinger Nationals and the ASA Midwest Tour Jim Sauter Classic.
The Wisconsin driver’s accolades include a record five ASA Midwest Tour championships, a 2020 Snowball Derby win, five Rattler 250 wins, three Florida Governor’s Cup wins and victories in every major race in the state of Wisconsin. In total, he has won 126 races since 2011, not including weekly wins in his home state.
The ASA STARS National Tour season has seen Majeski take on three new tracks, with a fourth new facility coming up next month at Winchester Speedway.
“On the super late model side, it’s been a fantastic season. We’re five-for-five in Wisconsin races, we’ve only raced the big ones,” stated Majeski. “We’ve run solid at race tracks we’ve never been to this year with North Wilkesboro, Hickory and Anderson. We’ve done a good job at adapting to places we’ve never been to pretty quickly.
“I feel like last year we didn’t get to race as much because I was working full-time at the shop here at ThorSport. I’ve been able to be back more with the late model program and racing more and I feel like our cars have gotten better as a team all across the board. We’re excited to go into Toledo and see how we stack up.”
Majeski is also in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series playoffs, where he has a win at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park this season. The second round of the playoffs starts Thursday at Bristol Motor Speedway — a race where he earned his first-career win with the series last season.
Come the weekend of Nov. 3-5, Majeski could very well be chasing after both a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship and an ASA STARS National Tour championship.
“I hope that’s the case, we have a little bit of work to do on the Truck side. We want to make it to the final four again, and we start the final round this weekend at Bristol. That would be a dream come true to not only compete for both championships, but it would be unbelievable to somehow some way capture both of them,” Majeski said. “That would be a pretty special weekend on both fronts.
“I don’t know if anything like that’s ever been done, or at least not in a decent while. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to race late models and Trucks and have each be capable of winning every time we hit the race track. It’s been a dream of mine come true for the last couple years with ThorSport and my late model program. It would be really cool to make the most of it.”
The respect the two drivers share for each other has been mutual ever since they competed against each other for the first time at the 2014 Snowball Derby. The two have had exciting battles on the track over the years, the latest coming in March when Pollard outdueled Majeski in the final laps at the Rattler 250 and in May when Majeski got the best of Pollard in a 1-2 finish at the Joe Shear Classic.
“Bubba’s a guy where even — which is rare — if he struggles in practice and you think he’s not going to be a factor, he’s almost always ends up being a factor,” Majeski said of Pollard. “You always have to keep an eye on Bubba, he’s super smart, knows what he wants in his race cars and knows how to get them to where they need to be even if he unloads off.
“No matter if you think he’s off that day, he’ll be there at the end of the race. He’s really sneaky good, right? Sometimes people write him off but you can’t, I’ve learned that the hard way. He’s a great racer, old-school guy. It’s cool to race guys like him.”
“I have a lot of respect for the guy, he’s done a great job over the last several years. He’s very talented behind the wheel of a race car. It’s a lot of fun getting to race with him,” said Pollard of his Midwest counterpart. “We’re in two separate areas of the country and we don’t get to race together too much, but when we do we’re both up towards the front.
“We struggle at places that’s up into the Wisconsin area. The tracks are just so unique and that’s one of the reasons that they are good. The experience he and Toby (Nuttleman) have on those race tracks are a lot different than what we are accustomed to down here. We’ll have a good race this weekend, hopefully we can be up towards the front with those guys because you know they’ll definitely be up there.”