Friendly Competition and Family Crowds in Store for Self’s Run at Salem Speedway in the ARCA Federated Auto Parts 200

Nashville_98 Car_ShortTrackSpotlightAustin Wayne Self heads to Salem Speedway for the Federated Auto Parts 200 this weekend with one goal in mind – winning. Self and the 98 AM Technical Solutions crew finished third behind Grant Enfinger and Matt Tifft in Nashville but this weekend they plan to make up those two spots. Self is a for sure threat at Salem Speedway, earning two top 5 finishes there in the 2014 season as well as Rookie of the Race awards for being the top performing rookie during the race. The driver is a fan of short tracks and he also draws a large crowd out to the Indiana short track. Self and his team drove out to Salem over the weekend to test the car and all were pleased with the driver and car performance. A little tweaking back at the shop throughout this week leading up to the race and the crew is sure to have a machine capable of a Victory Lane finish.

Self, who currently sits third in Championship Points, explained during the test that the team’s main focus was to get the car set up for the bumpy ride. They would try to get the 98 AM Technical Solutions car running as smoothly as possible over the track with it’s unique bumps and dips. The young driver also said that they would prepare for long, green runs due to their experience at the second Salem race of 2014, where teams went over 100 laps without a caution, “You never know what type of strategy you’re gong to need here. After the last run in 2014 I think the key is to make sure the car will be good during some really long runs. Matt Weber did an awesome job in Nashville with our pit strategy though so I’m confident we’ll have a solid one in Salem as well.”

Driver Intros_Nashville_ShortTrackSpotlight“Salem is one of my favorite tracks that we go to during the ARCA season. It has a different feel than any other place because of its history, the way it drives and of course, the fans that come out to support us. I don’t think they leave an empty seat in the house. A lot of my family from Indiana and Ohio comes out for this race too so that helps a lot!” – AWS

Self has strong ties to Southern Indiana and other surrounding areas. He spends a great deal of time on his Grandpa’s farm in French Lick, Indiana in-between races over the summer and visits family in surrounding areas such as Dubois, Paoli, Mooresville and Indianapolis. “Most of my family on my dad’s side lives somewhere in Southern Indiana or close to it. That makes our races in Indiana some of the biggest ones as far as AWS fan attendance goes. It always pushes me harder I think because I want to make them proud. Getting the Self family celebrating in Victory Lane for my first win this weekend would really mean a lot to me,” explained Self.

Nashville_2Wide_ShortTrackSpotlightThe team will be racing the new 2015 ARCA composite body Ford Fusion at Salem Speedway. This will be the second short track appearance for the new 98 car and hopefully the first Victory Lane appearance. When asked about how he felt about veteran driver, Grant Enfinger taking the first three races of the season, Self responded, “I like Grant a lot. I’ve talked with him a few times in the garage and before our races. He’s a really great guy, very talented and he knows everything there is to know about the cars but… I gotta beat him. When I congratulated him in Nashville I told him that I would be coming for him at Salem. I was joking around but I was also kind of serious. He’s the guy to beat right now and I’m going for it. Nothing wrong with some friendly competition.”

This weekend’s Federated Auto Parts 200 will be broadcast live on the ARCA Racing homepage. Timing and scoring presented by Austin’s sponsor Pirate Energy will be available throughout practice, qualifying and during the race. You can keep up with Austin and his crew through Facebook and Twitter as well for behind the scenes pictures and videos.

www.facebook.com/AustinWSelf

@AustinWSelf

*photos by Short Track Spotlight

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.

AWS Boasts a 30-Race Schedule for 2015

Mooresville, NC – Starting with the ARCA/CRA Super Series SpeedFest at Watermelon Capital Speedway this month and ending with a Pro Late Model Race at Central Texas Speedway in November, Self will be running a full 20 race ARCA Season with as many Super Late Model and Pro Late Model Races as he can manage. As of now Austin Wayne Self has 35 races booked for 2015.

Mason_AWS
Austin Wayne Self with MMM owner, Mason Mitchell

“We had a bunch of fun running our 1st Super Late Model Race with DLP Motorsports at Southern National at the end of last season and think we just might have a competitive SLM program. We will race as many of the ARCA/CRA Super Series races as our schedule allows and will run the Pro Late Model at all the SLM companion races. Six races at Central Texas Speedway will make up the balance of our Pro Late Model races. We are all business with the ARCA series and it is our primary focus, though these Late Model races give us the chance to have a little more fun and gain valuable seat time. Terry and Colt James along with Matt Maynard will make up our 100% Texan crew. David Pletcher and DLP Motorsports of Mooresville, NC will be providing the race cars.” – Austin Wayne Self

“Really excited to work with Austin some this year. He has come a long way in the 5 years I have known him. We had a good first showing at southern national at the end of last season. Hopefully that can carry over to this year and give Austin a shot to win some of these races.” –Late Model Crew Chief, Colt James

 

Austin Wayne Self’s priority ride this year is the 98 car out of Mason Mitchell Motorsports and the ARCA Series is his #1 focus. “I can’t wait to run in the ARCA series this season, I feel like we did a lot of learning last year and it’s going to pay off ten fold this year!”– Austin Wayne Self

AWS_98
Austin Wayne Self hopping into the 98 AM Technical Solutions Ford during Daytona testing

“Im ecstatic to have Austin driving for “MMM” this upcoming season. Austin has a lot of ability and more confidence than ever stepping into this position. As Austin plans to compete in other races other than ARCA, that will make him that much better behind the wheel. There is no replacement for ‘Seat Time'”. –Owner of Mason Mitchell Motorsports, Mason Mitchell

After winning Rookie of the Year for the 2014 ARCA Racing Series and finishing 6th in championship points Austin feels ready and prepared to tackle the loaded schedule in 2015.

“The late model races give me another opportunity to continue learning, gain seat time, and of course win. Late model racing is a different kind of racing it’s where I started so it’s where I come from, I can race without the pressure of points which gives our team a great advantage. I can try out strategies that are a little risky and race hard without worrying about the points repercussions, it makes me a better driver and makes us a fiercely competitive team.”- Austin Wayne Self

If it proves that the team has the juice to run up front, AWS will also add the 2015 Snowball Derby to his schedule making it a stacked year of all out racing. The AWS Racing effort will kickoff at the ARCA/CRA Speedfest Jan 24th and 25th. “I am ready to get back in the car and behind the wheel, it’s definitely time to start this season!” –Austin Wayne Self

 

Stay up to date with Austin Wayne Self on Facebook: Facebook.Com/AustinWSelf

and Twitter: Twitter.com/AustinWSelf

 

 

About Austin Wayne Self Racing

Austin Wayne Self has been racing since he was five years old. He began his racing career in go karts at a local track near his hometown, Austin, TX. During his karting career Self raced across the U.S. competing for regional and national titles. Between the ages of 11 and 14, Self won 11 WKA National Cups, the WKA Grand National Championship, the TAG World Championship and the Rock Island Grand Prix Championship. In 2010 Self won the Florida Winter Tour Championship and finished 3rd in the Super Nationals in Las Vegas (the highest finished ever accomplished by an American driver in that competition). In that same year Self made his first start in a TSRS Late Model. During the 2010 season Self placed 3rd overall and won the Rookie of the Year Award. In 2011 Self signed with Sellers Racing to compete in 27 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races. Self’s performance in the series gave him the ability to move into partial seasons for the K&N Pro East and ARCA Racing Series. In 24 starts in multiple racing series Self achieved ten top 5 finishes and fourteen top 10 finishes. In 2014 Austin Wayne Self signed with Cunningham Motorsports for his first full ARCA season where he finished 6th overall in points and won the most SCOTT Rookie of the Race Challenges than any other Rookie driver.

For more information about AWS Racing please visit our website: www.awsracing.com