Andrew Morrissey became the second driver to be a two-time winner of the Joe Shear Classic, the season opening event for the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment at Madison international Speewday in Oregon, Wiscosnin.
The 2011 ARCA Midwest Tour Champion held off a late charge from two-time series champion Dan Fredrickson and defending three-time champion Ty Majeski.
Morrissey would make the winning pass with 16 laps to go by taking over the top spot from Travis Sauter in the 200-lap race.
“This win means a lot. This is my home track, it was the first place I ever raced at and I grew up racing here,” Morrissey said in victory lane. “The last few years we struggled here and to win it this year means a lot specially to beat Danny and Ty. They are the best racers out there right now and to finish ahead of them his huge.”
This was the first time that this event was a 200-lap event with controlled pit stops. Morrissey admitted the pit strategy was a key to his victory today.
“I think that is what won us the race,” Morrissey confirmed. “There was a caution with 88 to go and I almost came to pit road. I knew that I could go another 65 laps on fuel. The next caution came out and I knew that nobody else was going to pit, so I pitted and I knew because of me pitting they all pitted later and I gained track position on them. So, it really paid off I think that got me to victory lane.”
Fredrickson gave it all he had in the final ten laps, but couldn’t get close enough to Morrissey’s bumper and challenge for the win. Some wondered if he had more laps, could he have caught Morrissey.
“Well yeah, but if my car had been right we would not have needed any more,” Fredrickson said after the race. “We were tight in the end. It got loose in the beginning just a little bit. We got into the pits right away to fix it a little and it was perfect before we put the new tires on, and it just got tight. It was plenty fast but I shouldn’t have needed those laps, I would have gotten him anyways.”
Ty Majeski did lead in the early going but wasn’t able to get back up front to challenge for another Shear victory.
“it was a good run and the car was pretty good all day. We just lost a lot of track positions with the way the cautions fell,” Majeski explained. “It just wasn’t our way. We restarted 16th with 20 to go and we made it to third. So I felt like we were the best car as we were gaining on Andrew and Dan in the end, but unfortunately it wasn’t our day.”
Sauter held on to finish fourth with Rich Bickle Jr. in fifth. 12-time MIS track champion Bobby Wilberg was sixth with Dalton Zehr in seventh. John Beale was eighth with Derek Kraus in ninth. Austin Nason rounded out the top ten.
For Morrissey, who is also planning to run in Madison’s Triple Crown Series this season, today’s win at his home track wasn’t the only thing to make this victory special.
“Terry Fisher, he was a long-time race fan and has been to every ARCA Midwest Tour race until today,” Morrissey explained. “He passed away this winter and his wife asked me to carry his ashes for today and I was very happy to do that for her, especially to bring it home with a win as well. This means a lot.”
The ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment will be back in action on Saturay, May 20th at State Park Speedway in Wausau, Wisconsin.
Visit midwesttour.racing for a full schedule and be sure to follow the ARCA Midwest Tour presented by SCAG Power Equipment on Facebook (/midwesttour) and Twitter (@midwesttour).