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

Austin Wayne Self Buckled In for a Week of Racing Across America

On Monday September 1st, as America celebrated Labor Day, the ARCA Racing Series revved their engines on the dirt track at DuQuoin.  To mark his second start on dirt Austin Wayne Self qualified the 22 AM Technical Solutions Dodge10th for the race. During the pace laps Austin Wayne Self was forced to move to the back of the pack due to changing their wheel position.“I was penalized before the race even started because I stopped to fix my steering wheel, they made me start last which was a major obstacle to overcome. Before we even got after it, we had already hit a roadblock. But every time I have to start from the back I look at it like a challenge, I like having to really race.”-AWS

IMG_3266By the first caution Austin Wayne Self was running P19. On the restart the 22 made an aggressive advance towards the front of the field scoring the 17 spot. By lap 40 AWS had entered the top 15. “We did a good job staying out of trouble. We struggled trying to get the car off the corner but I learned a lot. I was happy to bring the car home in one piece. I learned the fundamentals of dirt racing and how to drive it in the corner and keep the momentum in the corner. I gained a grasp of what it feels like to be running good on dirt when we were making passes but mistakes were made outside the car which hurt us.”

The 22 team worked through 6 pit stops during the 100 lap race. “During one of our pit stops the pit crew made some big mistakes, we put rounds in the right rear and we were a little bit tight and didn’t loosen up till the end of the race. During the actual pit stop the jackman started lifting and we fell off. That didn’t help us but we were confident we could race it out.”

With only 3 laps to go Austin Wayne Self raced the 22 into top 10 contention and maintained the run to the checkered flag.  “I was just happy the race was over, It was a hard race on everyone. I am ready to get back to Salem, get into the car for testing and definitely excited to get back to my home track.”-AWS

With another top 10 in the books Austin Wayne Self is currently P6 in season points standings, leading the Scotts Rookie Challenge, and has racked 12 top 10 finishes in the 2014 racing season. “I can’t thank AM Technical Solutions, or Cunningham Racing enough. We still have a few races left, and the goal is always set to get that first win- but what we have done so far this season is a major accomplishment.

“The race at DuQuoin went well, we started it out strong and considering we had to start from the back- it shows what a good car we had. Austin is learning, he is learning how to race these tracks and he’s learning how to handle this kind of racing. That was a major accomplishment, and he did a good job saving his equipment.” – Chad Bryant Crew Chief

IMG_3318On Wednesday September 3rd Austin Wayne Self spent the day at Kansas Motor Speedway with the 22 AMTS Cunningham Dodge team. Their focus was to test their race setup for the final race of the 2014 ARCA season. “This track is fast, it will be a good track to race side by side on. I think once we work on our setup we will be a factor come race day. I watched old races before we got here and I had an idea of what we needed to do. I got some advice from Tom (Hessert) and I just tried to not overthink it. This is a fast big track. At the bigger tracks we race at it’s important to point and direct the car right. We have to arc into the corner and cut down to the bottom of the track. We ran in the top 5 for the majority of the day during our test.  I started to feel the motion and the momentum.”-AWS

“The testing at Kansas was fair. You could see Austin got the hang of it, and we have put together a really strong car for that race. The field running from Cunningham Motorsports for that Kansas race will be dominant there’s no doubt about that.”- Chad Bryant Crew Chief

As if he weren’t in the car enough, Austin Wayne Self will gain even more seat time this weekend as he returns to the great state of Texas. AWS will race in the Late Model this weekend at his home track Central Texas Speedway.

“I like getting back to my roots! I can have fun and race hard. I don’t have to worry about anything when I’m out there it’s just about winning, no points no pressure. I can’t wait to get back out there.”

On Monday Austin Wayne Self will visit Salem Speedway for another ARCA series test. That will make for 4 tracks, in 4 states, in 8 days. Salem is one of Austin Wayne Self’s best tracks, with their highest performance record. “There are major changes on the horizon that we will have to adjust quickly to. These next few weeks are really busy and we are trying to focus on adjusting quicky and efficiently between these races and tests. This final push is training me to be in the best driving condition of my life, and I’m really thankful I get to do what I love every day.” –AWS

 “Salem is one of our best tracks, we should be a threat for a win and our testing will only help us get there.” – Chad Bryant

For live race weekend updates and for behind the scenes photos check out the Austin Wayne Self Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/AustinWSelf and follow him on Twitter https://twitter.com/AustinWSelf