Austin Wayne Self and the Cunningham team will have more riding on their run at Kansas than expected after a tough run at Kentucky last weekend. All of the ARCA teams had a rough start to their race week when practice on Tuesday was canceled late in the afternoon due to poor track conditions. When the 22 team returned to track on Wednesday for the rescheduled practice sessions they had expected their day to run a little more smoothly.
“I knew the track was going to be a bit of a challenge after taking those first few laps on Tuesday in the ARCA trucks. It was my first time seeing the track and I knew it would take some getting used to but man, I didn’t expect to have as much trouble with it as we did.” – AWS
Self said, “It felt like I had racer’s block or something. We kept trying new ways of getting in and out of the corners, different lines, you name it and we just couldn’t find that extra second we needed.” By the end of practice the team ran their fastest lap and had more confidence that they would get the set up right by race time. Self was able to pick up another second come practice time on race day but many of the drivers including Self felt that Kentucky was a completely different track compared to what they had practiced on during the scheduled ARCA sessions on Wednesday. Self qualified in the 16th position. The team had started in worse positions and kept their determination to finish the race well. Unfortunately the team struggled to get the set up just right during the race.
“It was a rough weekend for the entire Cunningham team. After two top 5 finishes in Salem, leaving Kentucky with 2 finishes outside the top 10 definitely wasn’t what we were looking for and it’s not a good example of what our team is capable of.” Crew Chief Chad Bryant said. “We just have to put this weekend behind us and focus everything we have on our last race in Kansas to break into the top 5 in Season Points.”
Self thanked his fans and his sponsor Ultra One Cleaner and Degreaser for coming out to support him at the race. He was disappointed that he wasn’t able to give them a better show but looks forward to giving them one in Kansas.
Self finished in the 12th position and trails the 5th position in Season Point Standings by only 140 points. The team will be working even harder in the week prior to the race to get the car just right. Kansas is their final chance to gain enough points to push them into the top 5 for the season. A top 5 points finish paired with a possible Rookie of the Year Award would be a huge accomplishment for Self and the Cunningham team for their first full season together.
Kansas will be televised live on Fox Sports 2 at 7:30pm Central on Friday, October 3rd. Self and the 22 AM Technical Solutions Dodge are sure to be a top contender and it won’t be a race you want to miss. Help cheer the team on by following on Austin’s Facebook and Twitter pages.