On Monday night, the NEO Racing News SK Shootout Series kicked off SoBo Championship Week at the South Boston Speedway. The 150-lap event was the third leg of the SK Triple Crown, as well as the season finale in a points battle that was still up for grabs.
Entering the night, Cody Kelley sat 21 points in the lead over Ty Majeski, and Kelley could use a 4th place finish regardless of what anyone else did to clinch the title.
Majeski started the night off by picking up the pole, the 45th of his career, and then led the top 8 cars into the Qualifying Dash. Majeski went on to win the Dash, and Kelley would make a last lap pass to finish in 2nd to secure the Qualifying Dash title. After the Dash, a 7-car invert would move Tim Bills up to start at the front of the field for the feature, while Majeski would have to start at the back of the field after winning the previous four races in the division.
When the green flag flew for the feature event, the points battle took a quick turn as Ryan Borges missed a shift on the front row of the grid. This resulted in the outside lane getting stacked up which forced Kelley to make a sudden move to the bottom of the track but quickly found himself facing the wrong direction after some contact, and ultimately ended up on his roof. Kelley would continue on during the race, but had a damaged car and would limp to the finish as he looked to survive as the race went on.
Bills controlled things out in front of the field through the halfway point of the race, but was facing pressure from behind from Majeski after the lap 57 restart. From that restart on, the race would stay green all the way until the checkers flew, and it allowed Majeski to stalk Bills in the lead for a while, before eventually making his move to the lead on lap 103. Majeski never looked back from there as he went on to lead the final 48 laps of the race, to pick up his 5th consecutive win, his 8th of the season, and his 44th career victory.
Behind Majeski, Bills was able to hang onto a 2nd place finish after leading the first 2/3 of the race. Ty Spearman ran solidly inside the top five and ended up rounding out the podium in 3rd. Michael German used a three-wide move late in the race to gain a couple spots to finish 4th, after starting back in the 13th position. Kevin J Myers also ran solidly inside the top five all race long and finished in the 5th spot.
Just outside the top five, Ryan Borges picked up a 6th place finish, recovering from his early missed shift at the start of the race. Todd Sipe battled for a spot inside the top five for most of the race but would drop back to a 7th place finish. Matt Rolfe picked up an 8th place finish, after holding off Ian Layne in the closing laps who finished 9th. And Patrick Hahe rounded out the top ten in the 10th spot.
With Majeski picking up the win, Kelley needed to make up some positions throughout the race to maintain his points lead and would limp to a 12th place finish, but it wasn’t enough as Majeski would make up enough points to erase his 21-point deficit, and came out on top by 9 points in the standings. The championship was Majeski’s 2nd career SARA championship, to go along with his 2014 Summer Season Pro Late Model championship as well.
For the Triple Crown, Borges entered the race on top of the standings and would use a 6th place finish to maintain his lead, and picked up the SK Modified Triple Crown title, with a total of 18 points in his three Triple Crown races.
Congrats to Ty Majeski, the 2015 Summer Season NEO Racing News SK Shootout Series Champion