The end of Sunday’s Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway was like past races at the 2.66-mile track in one aspect.
The final 42 laps featured a car being watched over by spotter TJ Majors fend off the field on the way to victory lane.
But the car wasn’t driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. It was the No. 22 Ford of Joey Logano that benefited from Majors’ eagle eye.
“Our spotter, TJ Majors, is a great addition to our race team as far as speedway racing,” Logano said. “He’s the best as they come.”
Majors joined Team Penske after Earnhardt’s retirement from Cup competition after last season. Majors spotted for Earnhardt during his entire tenure with Hendrick Motorsports from 2008-2017.
During that time, Earnhardt earned one win and five top fives at Talladega and two wins and six top fives in point races at Daytona.
“Thanks to Dale for retiring so I could get him,” Logano said. “When Junior retired, (Majors) gave me his word that he’d give me first look at it. We weren’t going to give him the option to go somewhere else.
“It was fun over the offseason to watch film together. For him to teach me things about the draft, kind of share his notebook with my notebook, teach each other what we’re thinking in certain scenarios, what we should do. Then to see all that come to play, you know, over Speedweeks, really obviously here today, to see all that is very exciting in what the future can bring.”
Logano finished fourth in the Daytona 500, his plate racing debut with Majors after several seasons with spotter Tab Boyd.
Crew chief Todd Gordon described the pair’s instant rapport as “flawless” and said Majors had helped Logano improve on superspeedways.
“I guess I would put the spotter and driver combination as a marriage,” Gordon said. “You can have two wonderful people, and you got to find the perfect fit. Tab did a phenomenal job for us. I think he continues to do a really good job for (William Byron, where he is now).
“But the opportunity at speedway races, I think TJ has done a phenomenal job with Dale Jr. in the past several years. He’s seen a lot. There’s a lot of communication that the spotter can see that we can’t. The driver can see the bumper of the car ahead of him. The crew chief can see what happens in the frontstretch. But the spotter sees everything. I think TJ has been a great asset.”
Majors previously had spotted a Cup victory at Talladega on May 3, 2015 when Earnhardt scored the last of six wins at the track.
Earnhardt, now an analyst for NBC Sports, gave Majors a shoutout after the race.