Austin’s journey started when he was 4 years old and received a kart from his dad for his birthday. Austin’s dad had planned to teach his son how to drive as a hobby that the both of them could share as a bonding experience. The two raced together at a local track in San Marcos called Hill Country Kart Club. As Austin gained more experience and won more races, racing quickly became his passion and his talent continued to shine through.
Austin continued his journey and moved onto national karting through competing in the Florida Winter Tour (FWT), WKA Manufacturer’s Cup, Super Nationals in Las Vegas, and many other international karting series. In 2010 Austin won the FWT Championship and finished 3rd in the Super Nationals race in Vegas, the best finish at this event to be accomplished by an American driver. Austin still continues to race karts in order to keep his open wheel skills strong, visiting the GoPro Motorplex in North Carolina where he now resides when he gets the chance. Last year Austin competed in race events along with other NASCAR drivers such as Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, and Jamie McMurray and earned several top finishes. Though open wheel is where he got his start, Austin’s dream for a Sprint Cup ride kept calling and he had to answer.
In 2010 Austin Wayne Self made the switch from karts to stock cars at age 14. During his first season in a stock car, Austin won 3 TSRS Late Model races and placed 3rd overall in points earning the Rookie of the Year title. After such a successful first season in a late model, Austin became certified as a NASCAR Home Track driver and would race in the Whelen All-American Series. In 2011 Austin accomplished an unheard of feat when he placed 2nd in the Pro Modified class and less than 30 minutes after finishing that race, jumped into his late model to take the Checkered flag and celebrate his fifteenth birthday in Victory lane.
Over the next two years Austin signed and raced with Sellers Racing competing in 27 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series races, a widely regarded top Late Model team in the US, gained valuable experience behind the wheel of a stock car, and received an invitation to compete in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown where Austin took 19th place among Sprint Cup superstars like, Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, and Jeff Burton.
In 2013, Self signed with Cunningham Motorsports to run a split K&N Pro East and ARCA Racing Series season. Austin and the Cunningham team turned a lot of heads in the race world in their 6 starts in the ARCA series. They proved that they were a force to be reckoned with through their 5 top 10 finishes in those 6 starts. The team accomplished a 6th place finish in their ARCA Series debut and a second place finish at Winchester behind ARCA veteran Frank Kimmel.
This year Austin and the Cunningham team continue their journey to NASCAR through their first full ARCA Racing Series season. This year Austin and his team will compete for Rookie of the year as well as for the ARCA Championship. After their successful results in their 2013 season, the team has no doubt that the Championship is within their reach. Self is excited to continue his relationship with the team that he has grown so much with and can’t wait to help them bring home some hardware. Austin will also compete in the CRA Series as well as continue to travel back home to Texas for Whelen All-American races held at his home track, Central Texas Speedway. The 2014 season will be one of the most significant milestones in Austin’s trip down the road to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. With a full season of ARCA and scheduled appearances in the CRA and Whelen All-American series, it’s sure to be an exciting year for the young driver.
Be sure to follow Austin through his social media channels to get updates and to stay in touch with him by saying “hi” now and then. Fans can find Austin’s race schedule here as well as find which ARCA races will be televised. Race day updates will be posted through Facebook and Twitter during Austin’s races. Don’t miss out on this talented driver’s journey to NASCAR.