Austin Wayne Self finishes 13th at Phoenix

The 77 AM Technical Solutions Cunningham Dodge closed out the 2013 NASCAR season at the Arizona 50 KN West race on Saturday. In the short 50 lap race Austin Wayne Self exemplified strategic passing and racemanship! After qualifying 17th the team had a real race on their hands! After an early caution the 77 incurred slight damage and not only rebounded but made aggressive movement towards the front runners throughout the remaining race. AWS moved the car forward and continued to put pressure on the cars up front. Austin Wayne Self commented, “We just needed another 50 laps and we would have been a top 10 car easily, it was just a really short race. I like the challenge of passing cars and we just needed time.” This race serves as a building block to 2014 as AWS will be running full time in the ARCA series. The entire Cunningham team and Austin Wayne Self view Phoenix as another accomplishment and building block to their contention for the 2014 ARCA Championship.
For updates and photos from Phoenix race weekend follow Austin Wayne self on Twitter @AustinWSelf

Austin Wayne Self Returns to the WEST!

Better get ready because this weekend Austin Wayne Self revs back to the West Coast and is ready to hit the pavement in the wild wild West at Phoenix International Raceway! Austin Wayne Self will be driving the 77 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge on the PIR track on Saturday Novemeber 9th in the KNWest Casino Arizona 50.  Phoenix International Raceway is a one-mile, low-banked tri-oval race track located in Avondale, Arizona. The track opened in 1964 and currently hosts two NASCAR race weekends annually. This upcoming race will be the final stop in the NASCAR KNWest series. Austin says he is ready to hit the racetrack! “I feel really excited coming to Phoenix, a lot of my family will be there and I want to get a win in! We have also prepared by testing earlier in the week and feel like our setup and preparation will put us in a good position for this race!” The race will be broadcast Sunday, November 17, 2013 on Fox Sports 1 at 9:00am ET.  For live lap by lap updates follow Austin on Twitter @AustinWSelf

Austin Wayne Self Motors towards the Monster Mile

This weekend Austin Wayne Self and the 77 team will attempt to conquer the Monster Mile at Dover International Speedway! The Drive Sober 150 KN East race takes the green flag on Saturday at 4:45 pm ET. The race will be televised Sunday October 13th on Fox Sports 1. Dover winning crew chief Chad Bryant optimistically focuses the team’s efforts towards a track he has previously stolen a win at in the NASCAR Nationwide series. This confidence and experience will serve as a valuable asset for AWS as he races the one mile concrete surface in Dover, Delaware. “I have been told racing Dover, going into the turns is like dropping 3 stories! I have heard a lot about the track and am really looking forward to racing it for my first time!” -AWS This enthusiasm and ambition towards racing is what motivates the 77 AMTS Cunningham Racing Dodge.

Follow Austin Wayne Self on Twitter @AustinWSelf and on Facebook.com/AustinWSelf for updates all weekend long!

Austin Wayne Self to Race K&N Pro East at NHMS

September 21, 2013 Austin Wayne Self will take on New Hampshire Motor Speedway in the 22 AM Technical Solutions Cunningham Motorsports Dodge. The one mile asphalt oval located in Loudon, New Hampshire will be proving ground for the NASCAR K&N East series drivers in the North American Power 100. With only 1 degree of banking and a 65 ft. track width the racing will be unparalleled and Austin excitedly looks towards running this K&N East series race! “I am ready for Loudon, I really like short tracks and I think we have a good shot at taking home a win.” Ambition and drive are setting in as we approach New Hampshire Motor Speedway and the 22 team is looking to expand upon their ARCA experience with even more seat time against a new crop of drivers in the K&N East series. The race will be broadcasted Friday, October 4, 2013 on Fox Sports 1 at 11:30 ET.

You can follow Austin on twitter @AustinWSelf for even more updates throughout the entire race weekend.

“World’s Fastest Half Mile” is Scene of Self’s First Points NASCAR K&N Series Race

March 18, 2013 – Bristol, TN – Austin Wayne Self and his Cunningham Motorsports team tackled the fast high-banked Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday, in his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE) point’s race, the DRIVE4COPD125.

After making his K&N Series debut in the non-points inaugural UNOH Battle of the Beach at Daytona International Speedway, Self needed to change his driving style for the .533-mile Bristol track.  With guidance from car chief/NASCAR driver, Tim Andrews and spotter, Richard Coleman, Self made major adjustments in how he drove the corners in the high banking.  In comparison-at the flat .444-mile track at Daytona, Self couldn’t find enough brakes; whereas, at Bristol, Andrews and Coleman coached Self on the use of little to no brakes as the preferred method there.

Austin1Self proved to be a quick learner as he made adjustments to his driving style, posting the 20th speed on the timing charts in the first practice session.  With changes made by the crew, Self felt more comfortable when the second 75 minute practice session began.  Within 15 minutes Self found himself smacking the wall after sliding in oil when a competitor lost his oil pan. The crew worked feverishly to complete repairs in time to send Self back out before practice was over.  Those plans were quickly abandoned when crew chief, Paul Andrews, determined it was more important to get the car right for his young rookie in preparation for qualifying.

After the crew worked until the final moment to make it through technical inspection, Self took to the track for his qualifying run…clocking the 15th quickest speed.

Self lost a few positions at the drop of the green flag, but quickly figured out which line worked best for his AM Technical Solutions Dodge. Austin had taken over the 14th spot on lap 68, just prior to another competitor getting into Self’s right rear quarter panel.  The contact caused a tire rub on the #77.  With a couple of laps before the competition halfway break, Self hung onto the ill-handling Dodge until the yellow flew.  With all competitors in the pits, the crew examined the damage done by the contact. During the 5 minute recess the crew repaired the right rear damage, pulling the sheet metal off of the tire, adjusted the track bar and added half a can of fuel.

Austin2On the restart on lap 73, Self lined up 23rd and got right to work, picking up three spots in 4 laps.  During the remaining laps, Self had the front row seat on three wrecks, narrowly missing all three.  In spite of all of the cautions in the final 50 laps, Self continued to pick off positions, telling Andrews, “The car is feeling real good now.”  By lap 102 Austin had made it back to 14th, where he was prior to the right rear contact. With sprinkles hitting the track, Self took the checkered flag in 12th.

After climbing from the #77 Self commented, “The team worked super hard this weekend at Bristol. Even when we struggled the team gave 100%.  We made the best of what we were given!”

Next on Self’s schedule with his Cunningham Motorsports team will be the Richmond NKNPSE race on April 25 at the .75-mile Richmond International Raceway

Austin Wayne Self has Real Battle at the UNOH NASCAR Beach Race

Gained Valuable Experience in Both Inaugural Late Model and K&N Pro East Races at Daytona International Speedway

It was a long three days down in Daytona, but Self was able to gain a lot of learning.  Fortunately there were no points involved in what was billed as two “all-star” races, so Austin and his teams could really focus on getting to know one another and get some valuable experience working together.

AMTS-OTX-daytonaSunday was spent getting the OTX Late Model Car and the AM Technical Solutions K&N Pro East car ready to race and through NASCAR tech inspection. All told, it was a fun and relaxing day hanging out with the crews, fans and other drivers.

Monday was a different story with 3 hours of LMSC Practice, 2 hours of K&N Pro Practice, 1 hour of pictures, 1 hour of Autographs, a 25-lap heat race and then a ride in the ambulance following a crash in the LMSC 150 Lap Monday Feature Race.

“I don’t think I have had such a busy day of racing since the last time we raced karts at the Las Vegas Super Nationals,” says Austin. “I just wish we hadn’t gotten collected in that crash on lap 32 and could have gone on to race the full 150.  I saw the 01 car spin to the outside in turn 4 as we were coming into 3. Richard – my spotter – was saying stay low and I was thinking no problem, as I’ll just continue to run the inside race line. Then I felt the 30 car turning in on my right quarter panel as he was trying to keep from getting collected and it just pushed me straight into the 01. I felt terrible for our sponsors and the crew because they had done a great job getting the car to work on this flat, I mean very flat track. We were on the move. We started 18th and we were passing the 30 car to take over the 9th spot when it happened. I really think we had a chance at a top 5. I’m not sure we had anything for C.E. and Kyle but for sure we could have driven into the top 5.”

Then Tuesday it was another 2 hours of K&N Practice, a qualifying crash, another ride in the ambulance and then a 150 Lap feature without brakes.

“Holy cow. I thought Monday was a tough day. We missed our sticker run in the final minutes of practice when NASCAR closed the pits, our qualifying session got cut short by 4 laps when a coupling on the steering shaft broke and we ended up in the wall. Then it was a super long bus ride to the infield care center. I have had my vitals checked more in the last two day than I have my whole life. I did become good friends with the EMS crew, they text me a lot now to make sure I’m still ok. But nothing compared to having to drive 100+ laps without brakes last night,” says Self.

daytona-strategy-paul-and-tim-andrews“You have to use brakes a lot with these cars on this track and expect glowing rotors, brake fade, boiling fluid and an a lot of pedal pumping. So when we first lost them, Paul [Andrews, Crew Chief] keeps is telling me to pump the pedal and I’m telling him I’m pumping but still don’t have brakes. They never did come back. If anyone tells you how hard this track is drive with one of these cars, ask them how they would like to drive it for 120 laps without brakes. It was tough to stay out there and run 2 seconds off the pace. But finishing was our 1st priority and getting a 17th place finish with no brakes made for a pretty good ending.” says Self.

“I would really like to thank OTX, AMTS, Sellers and Cunningham for their support and hard work and all my friends and family back home for watching. Especially like to thank all the folks that posted words of encouragement on my Facebook and Twitter pages. Their support really helps get through these tough races,” says Self.

Self will now prepare for his next NASCAR K&N Pro East race at the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway on 3/16.

Austin Wayne Self Prepares for Busy Double Header in Daytona

Whelen All-American Late Model Race on Monday and K&N Pro East Race on Tuesday

Austin Wayne Self will begin his 2013 season as part of a new tradition during the UNOH Battle at the Beach on Feb 18-19, the preview to the Daytona Speedweeks.

On Monday, Self re-joins his team from the 2012 season, Sellers Racing, for an exciting 150-lap, 60-mile NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race.  Self will drive the #07 Chevrolet during the debut of Daytona’s new 0.4-mile short-track oval.

UNOH

“It was nice to have a short break back in Texas with my friends and family.  But I’m ready to get back to racing!  It will be fun to work with the Sellers team again.  I’m familiar with the car and the crew and I just can’t wait to be in Daytona during the beginning of Speedweeks.  This has always been one of my dreams,” says Self.

As if Monday wasn’t exciting enough, on Tuesday Self will run his inaugural NASCAR K&N Pro East Series race with Cunningham Race Team in the #77 Dodge.  It will be another 150-lap, 60-mile race on the 0.4-mile short-track oval.

“2012 was about training for the next level of competition.  We wanted to experience as many tracks as we could and just drive against the country’s top Late Model talent.  Monday will give me a great opportunity to get back behind the wheel for some experience on this new track.  Then we will put everything we worked on since last season to the test on Tuesday night in the K&N race.”

“I’m also looking forward to our first race with the Cunningham team.  It’s all I’ve been able to think about since my last race in November. We got the new K&N car out for the very first time in Rockingham last week for a shakedown. The race car handled better than anything I have ever driven.  Daytona will be the first K&N Race for the Cunningham Team as well as me.  Paul is a great Crew Chief and smart guy so I feel really good about this race.  I’m prepared to learn a lot.”