Austin Wayne Self will return to Mobile for the second race of the ARCA season on March 14, 2015. Last year, Self finished 12th at the half-mile oval race track in Mobile, AL. Self plans to improve upon his race results from last season. From lap one of last year’s race, Self was running with a broken right shock. Self said, “We got into a lot of people at Mobile just trying to make it around the track. We got into Grant, Thomas Praytor, and who knows who else. I was definitely an obstacle for cars to get around just because I couldn’t keep the car from running up the track.” This time Self plans to be a force to be reckoned with but for very different reasons.
The team’s latest trip to Mobile International Speedway had Self grinning from ear to ear. “We had some trouble at the first testing round of Mobile. We only had the car on track for a few hours before we had some mechanical issues. That put a damper on our weekend and we immediately made plans to return for the second round, and man am I glad we did,” Self explained. The #98 team tested with the new ARCA bodies and Ilmor motors and the car was bad fast!
“Even with the car trouble that I had at Mobile last year, I finished 12th. With all of my short track experience and a car like the one we’re rolling back into MIS with, I know we’re going to be up front giving the Alabama boys a run for their money at their home track.” – AWS
Speaking of short track experience, the ARCA Mobile 200 will mark the debut of a new Championship opportunity within the ARCA series, The Short Track Challenge. The Short Track Challenge will include 11 of the ARCA Racing series’ short track races (tracks with a distance of one mile or less). This Championship will create a whole new dynamic in the series. Many drivers will be competing for the dual championship, fighting to take home two trophies from the ARCA banquet at the end of the year and Austin Wayne Self is one of those drivers.
With his pre-ARCA career experience being primarily on short tracks, this challenge might as well have been made for the young driver. Self will stay on top of his short track game throughout the season with a 12-pack of Late Model races in his 2015 season schedule. There is no replacement for seat time and Self plans to have plenty of it. Self and the #98 AM Technical Solutions Ford team will take advantage of this double dipper opportunity to gain points towards the ARCA Championship and Short Track Challenge.
Another first to keep an eye on in Mobile: this will be the first short track race that the team uses the new ARCA car body for, so getting a handle on how the aerodynamics of the car will come into effect was crucial. Self’s Crew Chief, Matt Weber had this to say about their test at Mobile:
“Testing at Mobile went well, we threw a lot of changes at Austin to get his feedback about how the car responded and we feel we have created a very consistent car for when we come back for the race.“
“I’m really excited about the car we’re bringing to the race. I know the Alabama guys always feel confident here but I think we’re going to bring it to them this time. Someone’s got to keep Grant from repeating his win streak.” – AWS
Prior to race day on March 14th, Self will participate in several events during the ARCA Mobile 200 week in Mobile, Al. This list of events will include the autograph session in the USS Alabama Aircraft Pavillion on Thursday, March 12th. Haulers and cars will be on display along with a pit crew exhibit from the hours of 4:00 – 6:00pm. The Autograph session will take place from 5:00 – 6:00pm. Fans are encouraged to come by to meet the drivers and their team members. Tours of the USS Alabama battleship and submarine will also take place during this special event!
Practice will be held on Friday, March 13th from 2:30 – 3:15pm and from 4:15 – 5:00pm. Qualifying will begin at 7:00pm. This race will not be televised so fans are encouraged to follow the action on the ARCA website homepage where they will have access to live timing and scoring presented by Pirate Energy.
Self will be welcoming some new fans during the race weekend as well. “I’m really excited about our sponsor, Pirate Energy hosting some guests at this race too. We always love when we can introduce people to a new sport. It’s always fun to show them around the garage area, tell them about the car and how we prep for a race and then hopefully put on an awesome show later in the day or night with a great race.” – AWS
“Pirate Energy Shots are thrilled and honored to be a part of the AWS team for the Mobile Race! Along with our Pirate Energy sales team will be our guests – members of the Southeast Asian American Store Owners Association, including President Bharat Patel. We wish good luck to Austin and his entire race team!” – Jeff Carpenter, COO/SVP Blue Matrix Labs
Stay tuned this week for more updates from the AWS team including info about upcoming radio interviews and special events.