Austin Wayne Self Earns First Career ARCA Victory at Winchester
(Winchester, Ind, June 28, 2015–) One week ago Austin Wayne Self (AWS) saw his first career win slip away due to a cut right rear tire in the closing laps at Chicagoland Speedway. Fast forward one week later and the driver of the No. 98 AM Technical Solutions-Pirate Energy Ford for Mason Mitchell Motorsports (MMM) would not be denied victory. Self took the lead on a late race restart and led the final six laps en route to his first career win in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards at the Winchester Speedway.
Self wrestled the lead away from Brandon Jones on a late race restart with six laps remaining and never looked back. The win comes in Self’s 36 start in the ARCA Racing Series. The win also marks MMM’s second win in the series. Their first win came one year ago at Chicagoland with driver/owner Mason Mitchell behind the wheel.
“We had a good car,” Self said. “My team was making sure I was focused. You don’t get too many chances to be in position with six laps to go in second on a restart. They were just making sure I was up on my game.
“On that last restart, I definitely feel like we had the car to win,” Self said. “It’s awesome. We finished second to Frank Kimmel here in 2013. This was always the place that I really wanted to win. I had a lot of family and friends here. I love this place a lot. The racing is always fun. To be able to come home with a win is really big for me. This MMM crew never gives up and I am glad we could get the No. 98 back in victory lane”
Two years ago Self finished runner-up in just his second ARCA Racing Series start at the historic half-mile located in Winchester, Indiana.
Owner Mason Mitchell was one corner away from a Winchester victory in 2014 before he and Jones made contact in the final corner battling for the win.
“It was pretty dramatic,” Mitchell said of the finish Sunday. “It was basically last year, only reversal of roles. He was well aware of that and I’m pretty sure the other team was too. I thought it was clean just like last year. You do what you have to do nowadays to win races.”
“Austin has done a great job all year long and has improved so much behind the wheel. It was really cool to see a lot of his family in victory lane celebrating with him.”
Persistent rain at Winchester canceled the first ARCA practice along with qualifying Saturday afternoon at the ultra-high banked half-mile. The lineup would be set based off of 2015 owner’s points which would put Self and the No. 98 team in the seventh position.
When the green flag waved on the Herr’s Chase The Taste 200 trouble quickly ensued as the caution waved on lap 1 for an incident involving the No. 58 of Michael Lira.
On the ensuing restart Self passed two cars on the outside to move into the top-five at lap 18. The Austin, Texas native would continue his march toward the front and move into third at lap 42. Self would ride in the third positon until the caution waved at lap 79. Under the direction of veteran crew chief Marc Browning Self brought the No. 98 down pit-road for two tires and fuel. The No. 98 crew sent Self back out in the seventh position.
It only took the 2014 Scott Rookie of The Year one lap to move back into the top-five on the lap 85 restart. Self picked up three positions and moved into fourth. AWS would ride in to third positon until the afternoon’s fourth caution at lap 139. Self made his final trip to pit-road under caution for four tires and fuel.
With 30 laps remaining Self found himself in the second position behind leader Jones and a mirror full of Grant Enfinger when the final caution came out with 12 laps remaining.
On the afternoon’s final restart at lap 192 Self and Jones rubbed fenders giving Self the lead for the first time with six laps remaining. The 19-year-old would not relinquish the lead and he would go on to become the seventh first-time winner in the last seven races in the ARCA Racing Series.
With the win AWS now leads the Calypso Lemonade Short Track Challenge. Self’s worst finish in five short track starts in 2015 is sixth at Toledo in May.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is the Iowa ARCA 150 at the Iowa Speedway Saturday, July 17th. The race will be broadcasted live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 8:00 p.m. CDT. Arcaracing.com will also have live timing and scoring for all on-track activity.
Follow MMM on Social Media: To keep up-to-date with the latest, news, information and race updates, follow MMM racing’s twitter page @MMM_Race and “like” their facebook page at Mason Mitchell Motorsports. Also, follow, Mason and Austin on their personal twitter pages @themasonracin @AustinWSelf
Austin’s Driver Fan Page: www.facebook.com/austinwself
Mason Mitchell Motorsports: Is owned by 2014 ARCA Racing Series Champion Mason Mitchell. Mitchell is concentrating on furthering his championship racing career, in hopes that a top NASCAR XFINITY Racing Series team will pick him up in the future as a development driver. Mitchell also oversees the day-to-day operations of MMM, a championship ARCA and NASCAR development team based in Mooresville North Carolina. http://www.masonmitchellmotorsports.com
Tim Clagg: 419-889-5124