SELF SWEPT UP IN BIG WRECK, DASHING HOPES FOR VICTORY AT DAYTONA

AUSTIN, Texas (Feb. 20, 2016)– At Daytona International Speedway, the line between putting oneself in strong position to challenge for possible race victory and being swept up in a mess not of one’s making is razor-thin, as rookie Austin Wayne Self discovered en route to a 19th place finish in the NCWTS NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday.

Self, a rookie who qualified 19th for the season-opening race in his No. 22 AM Technical Solutions/Black’s BBQ Toyota Tundra, displayed patience and poise in a steady progression toward the front of the pack, charging into the top-10 by the race’s halfway mark and to a 6th-place spot with just over thirty laps to go.

aws2Self maintained strong competitive position as the laps wound down and the pack tightened, running on the fringe of the top-10 with ten laps remaining. Then, the big-wreck bite for which Daytona is known reared its head, gobbling up sixteen trucks in twisted collision carnage, including Self’s, which sustained major left side damage. The pileup pulled Self from the lead pack and ended any shot at possible victory.

“We had a great run going all night with our No. 22 AM Technical Solutions /Black’s BBQ Toyota, and I’m so proud of our team for all of their hard work,” Self said. “We were running up there just outside the top-5 for a while, running with the leaders, but we just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when the wreck occurred. It was one of those things that was out of our control. It’s unfortunate, because our guys had worked so hard and given me a really strong truck to drive. I’m proud of their effort in getting the truck fixed so that I was able to get back out there and finish the race.”

Next up for Self and the No. 22 AM Technical Solutions/Black’s BBQ Toyota Tundra is the Great Clips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 27. The race will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 4:30pm EST. Race coverage may also be heard on MRN Radio.

Follow Austin Wayne Self on twitter at @AustinWSelf and on Facebook @ Austin Wayne Self.

Self and Team Reflect on Daytona Race, Plan Improvements for Talladega

Austin Wayne Self competed in this past weekend’s ARCA Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona International Speedway as part of the speedway’s Speedweeks program. Self arrived at track for the first time in the 98 AM Technical Solutions, Pirate Energy Ford. With experience and honors under their belts, such as 2014 ARCA Rookie of the Year and 2014 ARCA Championship, Self and the MMM team were confident in an impressive Daytona performance ahead.

AW_MM GarageWhile they were in fact confident, the 98 team experienced some difficulty in getting the car up to speed during the first practice rounds on Thursday. Self came away with a slower overall average time than what the team had been looking for. Because the team spent a lot of time in the garage, Self didn’t get hooked up with the larger groups during practice which affected his drafting strategy and lap times. The obstacles continued during Friday’s practice when the 98 AM Technical Solutions Ford spent some more time in the garage during open practice hours while the crew fixed a radiator issue. Self found himself in a slower qualifying group which would make qualifying with a top time a challenge. Self finished at the top of his qualifying group but the top time in that group only earned him a 27th starting position for the race.

“It would have been really easy to get discouraged after qualifying in the further half of the pack for our first race and I might have been a little more worried had this been one of the shorter tracks. But, at Super Speedways anything can happen. You see guys go from dead last to the top 10 in only a few laps. Daytona is all about air and finding the line with advantage so we were still confident in our ability to get to where we needed to be come race time.” – Austin Wayne Self

Daytona_3WideSelf definitely put on an exciting show making his way through the field throughout the race. Towards the second half of the race Self found himself in some bumpy situations and at one point, going four wide through a turn,

“We were already going three wide and we came up on a lap car that was at the bottom of the track going into the turn. All I could think was, ‘Ohhh man this ain’t good’ and the 69 car came up into me a little bit to make room to get around the lap car and I moved up into Tom then back down into the 69. I was like a pin ball being bumped back and forth!” – AWS

Self was finally able to get drafting help with about 12 laps remaining, following teammate Mason Mitchell up towards the front. With cars lined up behind him Self was able to get the push he needed, “Daytona is an air battle. You have to get positioned between other cars to get the air flow going just right to give yourself the push you need. Usually there are two lines and either line can get the advantage so whenever you choose a line to jump into you’re kind of gambling on which one you think will start to move more. Then if you get pushed out of the line or stuck in the middle you find yourself losing positions fast. That happened to a few guys at the end of the race including me. I was up to P6 and all of a sudden a new line formed and there wasn’t an opening for me so I just started floating backwards. Not much I could do.” –AWS

Daytona_4CarPackLeaderSelf’s Crew Chief, Ryan “Pickle” London has this to say about the team’s performance at Daytona, “I was very happy with the performance of the car. The guys worked extremely hard on getting a brand new car together for Daytona and it was fast. Daytona is all about drafting partners and when we got into the right group, we were one of the fast ones. Coming out of Daytona with a 15th finish was good. It was Austin’s first race there with a brand new car and motor package so I am pleased. Talladega will be even better I’m sure. You have to learn to plate-race and this was only Austin’s second plate-race so we will improve for sure.”

Though he experienced some bad luck towards the end of the race Self was still able to finish the race in one piece and with a top 20 finish. Not to mention he put on one exciting show going three and four wide through the turns during several laps. A fifteenth place finish is a position to be proud of for a first time run at the challenging Daytona Speedway but, this driver knows that he can do better. Fifteenth is not where the team or driver wants their 98 car to be and they are coming to Mobile hungry for a “W”.

The Daytona, Lucas Oil 200 will re-air TONIGHT at 9:00PM Eastern on Fox Sports 2. Don’t miss the exciting beginning to the 2015 ARCA season!

 

Other re-airing dates for the Daytona, Lucas Oil 200 presented by Menard’s will be: Wednesday, February 18th at 10:00am eastern on Fox Sports 2 and Thursday, February 19th at 10:00am eastern on Fox Sports 1.

Self Heads to Daytona for First Race of the 2015 ARCA Season

Austin Wayne Self will compete in his first ARCA Racing Series race of the 2015 season this Saturday at Daytona International Speedway. Coincidentally, the first race of the IMG_8096ARCA-Daytona Test 12-19-20-14season will also be Self’s first race on the Daytona track. While Self has practiced on the speedway in the past, he was unable to compete in last year’s race because he did not meet the ARCA age limit required to compete on speedways and race tracks that are over one mile long. Another accomplishment Self will be able to check off his list once the race is completed will be his first race with his new race team, Mason Mitchell Motorsports.

Not only will the Lucas Oil 200 presented by Menard’s mark many firsts for Self, but it will also mark his final “Rookie” race. The 2014 SCOTT Rookie of the Year will be considered a rookie for one last time since he has yet to compete at Daytona. Self will look to win one more SCOTT Rookie Challenge as well as gain his first ARCA Series win to put him in the lead for the season championship points early.

“I’m really excited for this weekend’s race at Daytona. We’ve worked really hard during the off-season to get to this point. I think everyone will be looking at the MMM team to see what we’ve got. When you have the 2014 ARCA Rookie of the Year and 2014 ARCA Champion racing and working together as a team, you’re definitely a threat in the competition. We ran really well during the Daytona practice session in December and January. It’s time to take what we learned during those sessions and apply them during the race. It will be my first time racing Daytona so a few nerves here and there but, I’m excited to get back in the 98 AM Technical Solutions Ford and work with my teammate to the finish.” – Austin Wayne Self

Fans can expect to see a lot of Austin around the track as he will participate in several public IMG_8610 ARCA Daytona Test 1-16-15appearances and special events during the Lucas Oil 200 and NASCAR Speedweeks weekend. Self plans to exchange Valentine’s Day cards with his young fans during the Open ARCA garage hours and autograph sessions, as well as special edition Hero Cards during an appearance at the Ford Racing display. Fans that are unable to attend the race this Saturday in Daytona will gain an all-access pass through Self’s Facebook and Twitter page. Behind the scenes pictures and videos will be shared regularly through both platforms throughout the race weekend.

The all-access pass continues through Live timing and scoring presented by Self’s sponsor, Pirate Energy on the ARCA Racing Series’ website homepage. Keep up with practice and qualifying times and of course, with live race updates. Fans that want an up close look of the Daytona race can tune in to FOX Sports 1 at 4:00PM est to watch the race LIVE. Self will be one of a handful of drivers sporting an in-car camera and roof-cam. This will be a race that fans won’t want to miss!

For more updates and news out of the AWS Racing camp, please visit the AWS website as well as Facebook and Twitter pages:

 

www.facebook.com/AustinWSelf

@AustinWSelf

Austin Wayne Self Heads to Daytona International Speedway

The ARCA Racing Series has been racing at Daytona since 1964. The annual event has helped launch the careers of some of the biggest names in the sport, including drivers like 1969 winner Benny Parsons, 1979 winner Kyle Petty and 2004 winner Kyle Busch. This year a new name will debut their first full season of racing- and that name is Austin Wayne Self.


AWS will be piloting the 72 (the 22 will be back in Mobile) Cunningham Motorsports AM Technical Solutions Dodge throughout practice. Due to racing regulations, Austin’s age restricts him from qualifying and running the full race, although his season will kickoff with practice on the legendary racetrack famed for its role in the history of American auto racing. “Obviously we want to be out racing with everyone, but the rule is consistent with the entire field and I understand the policy. I will definitely not be taking it easy in practice though! I am going to put everything I can into turning heads and putting our best foot forward for the 2014 season. Daytona may not be the track that I can take home a win at, but if we can run in the top 10 that will speak volumes to the strength of our team this year.” AWS also added, “I am just thankful for the chance to show everyone how hard we have worked in the off-season, and even practicing at Daytona is a dream come true thanks to AMTS and Cunningham.”

Practice for the Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real at Daytona International Speedway begins Thursday February 13th. The 51st ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race at Daytona International Speedway has a start time of 4:15 p.m. for Saturday, Feb. 15. The Lucas Oil 200 Presented by American Real MAV TV, will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1. You can follow all the action with live updates, photos and videos on Twitter @AustinWSelf and Facebook.com/AustinWSelf.