April 3, 2016 (Austin, Texas) – In his first career start at Martinsville Speedway, Austin Wayne Self, driver of the AM Technical Solutions-Black’s Barbeque Toyota Tundra, turned weekend adversity into a career best 15th place finish in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Alpha Energy Solutions 250.
Despite chasing speed and failing to qualify his familiar No.22 Toyota Tundra, Self was given reprieve after stepping in for fellow series competitor, Tommy Joe Martin, who damaged his No.44 truck during group qualifying and was unable to start the race. Martin, without a backup truck was credited with a qualifying lap good enough for 24th on the starting grid. At this point Self and his AM Technical Solutions team worked out a deal to re-enter the starting field under the Martin Motorsports No.44 team banner.
“I’m glad that we got to race today in the Alpha Energy 250. Thank you to Thomas Joe Martin and Martin Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to race. It was a lot of fun out there. Not a bad day for my first time at Martinsville Speedway. I am proud of my entire team for all of their hard work and not giving up all day,” said Self.
Self, who made the most of his opportunity, was credited with a 24th spot starting position but had to take the green flag from the rear of the field (32nd) due to NASCAR’s driver/car change rule.
At the onset, Self was forced to battle an ill-handling truck as he navigated around the demanding half-mile track. Going down as many as 2-laps to the leaders, Self-stayed poised while his crew made changes throughout the 250-lap overtime event. Battling, the 20-year old rookie driver inched his way up through the field.
After running mid-pack most of the afternoon, Self was able to break inside the top-20 during the late stages of the race. After several late race cautions the No.44 AM Technical Solutions Toyota took advantage of strong re-starts ultimately finishing in the 15th place position.
After three NCWTS season events Self currently occupies the fifteenth position in the overall driver point standings. The series schedule resumes at Kansas Speedway (May 6) for the running of the Toyota Tundra 250.