LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Fresh off his best finish for Martins Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), Austin Wayne Self (@AustinWSelf) heads to Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway this weekend looking to keep his recent swing of momentum rolling in Saturday night’s Las Vegas 350.
Last Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Self soundlessly maneuvered from his 19th place qualifying effort at the 1.058-mile track to navigate a 14th place finish, his fourth top-20 finish for the Mooresville, N.C.-based team in five races.
Now, Self, 21, returns to Las Vegas Motor Speedway eyeing a jackpot finish for Martins Motorsports, Faith Motorsports and his marketing partners.
“We had a good weekend at New Hampshire,” said Self. “The truck was really solid and we ran our race. We had to make some changes to our truck throughout the race and those changes worked allowing me to move through the field and earn our best finish together.
“I really think our team flies under the radar. Martins and Faith Motorsports are full of talented people who have a huge heard and love for NASCAR racing. We may not have the biggest budget, but we have the heart and desire to do big things. Quietly, we’ve been able to do that and hopefully this is just the start of what’s to come for the rest of the season.”
This weekend, Self returns to Sin City where he hopes the fast speeds of Las Vegas offers an opportunity to earn his third top-10 finish of the year.
“I like Las Vegas,” added Self. “Of course, I love the city and its entertainment it brings, but the track is awesome too. “It’s a fast place, where speed is important, but drafting can be a great equalizer to make up any speed you’re missing.
“I think you’ll see a lot change between the teams throughout the day. Practice is really early in the morning, then we qualify later in the day and darkness will soon fall after taking the green flag. The team(s) able to keep up with those changes will have a great opportunity to contend for a good finish.
“I hope we’re included in that group.”
Saturday night’s race will mark the Austin, Texas native’s second run at the 1.5-mile speed plant. Last October, he qualified 25th and raced hard to a respectable 21st place finish. This weekend, however, Self says anything less than a top-20 finish is unacceptable.
“I feel I’ve grown as a driver over the past year and I think that has shown with our finishes this year. I know when I can push the truck and when I can’t. I know when to makes moves and when to back off and try again later. That said, I feel like the more experience I have returning to Las Vegas will be a big plus for us.
“Of course, anything can happen in the race, but I feel like we have a good enough team where we have the capabilities of finishing better if everything works out. I feel like it’s going to be a fast-paced race on Saturday night, so we’ll just have to see what happens.”
Before Self turns his attention towards Las Vegas, he’ll detour to Dallas, Texas where he’ll help kickoff the start of the Texas State Fair with partner GO TEXAN.
The State Fair begins September 29 and runs through October 22 at the Fair Park in Dallas.
“I’m very excited to come back home and attend the State Fair of Texas,” said Self who recorded a career-best second place NASCAR finish at Daytona International Speedway earlier this season.
“The atmosphere, events, rides, games, food and all really do a good job at showcasing the pride that Texans have at this fair and I’m looking forward to spending some time there over the next couple of weeks.”
In addition to AM Technical Solutions, Don’t Mess with Texas will serve as an associate marketing partner for Self’s 35th career NCWTS race.
Self, 21, is scheduled to remain the primary driver for the No. 44 Chevrolet Silverado for the remainder of the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. Industry veteran Kevin Eagle will continue his role as crew chief.
In 12 races this season driving for AM Racing, Martins Motorsports and Niece Motorsports, Self earned a career-best second place performance in the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and earned an additional top-10 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, both finishes driving for AM Racing. Overall, Self has earned one top-five, two top-10, seven top-15 and nine top-20 finishes respectively.
The Las Vegas 350 (146 laps / 219 miles) is the 18th of 23 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races on the 2017 schedule. Practice begins on Sat, Sept. 30 from 8:30 a.m. – 9:25 a.m., with a final practice session is set for 10:00 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. Qualifying is set for later in the day beginning at 3:10 p.m. The 32-truck field will take the green flag shortly after 5:00 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90). All times are local (Pacific).
For more on the Texas State Fair including discounted tickets, hours of operation and more, please log onto bigtex.com/bigtexinsider.
For more information on Don’t mess with Texas and how you can become involved in the program, visit dontmesswithtexas.org.
To learn more information on AM Racing please visit amracingteam.com.
About Don’t mess with Texas:
TxDOT’s Don’t mess with Texas litter prevention campaign has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. For more information, visit dontmesswithtexas.org. Don’t mess with Texas is a registered trademark and service mark owned by the Texas Department of Transportation.
About the No. 44 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team:
The No. 44 NASCAR Camping World Truck fielded by Martins Motorsports is a marketing and brand collaboration effort with Faith Motorsports owned by Shane Lamb