Austin Wayne Self and the Cunningham team return from Toledo with a tough battle behind them, but not without reward. Though the race hadn’t turned out as they had planned the team and driver continue to grow in their experience together which will ultimately make them stronger down the road.
The team had high hopes for Toledo Speedway where Austin made is ARCA debut with Cunningham Motorsports last year in May. They had qualified the #22 AMTS Dodge P10 and finished the race in P6 giving Austin his first top 10 finish. With a year of experience under their belts together, Cunningham Motorsports and Self planned to improve upon those results but, it would seem that that wasn’t in the cards for them from the beginning. Crew Chief, Chad Bryant described the weekend as a character build for the entire team, “Our team had an uphill battle all weekend starting with practice and ending with the race. I am proud of everyone on the 22 team for their diligent efforts to overcome that battle. Our driver never gave up on us and made the very best of the situation. We were able to come out of a bad weekend with a decent finish that earned us some points so everyone’s hard work was in no way all for nothing.”
The number 22 team has been making a strong effort this season to come together under one goal. These efforts were undoubtedly apparent in Talladega where both the 22 and the 77 of Cunningham Motorsports came together for a fantastic finish. While Toledo’s outcome was much different it was still another important step to them realizing this goal.
“We have all been working really hard as a team to become better each and every week. This race wasn’t our best performance but it was clear that we are working as a team. This will pay dividends down the road as we hit out stride and peak performance. As a whole, I think this weekend will increase our efforts to become better and perform at the level we all expect as a unified team with one common goal” – Crew Chief, Chad Bryant.
After his 8th place finish, a fourth consecutive top ten for the young driver, Self described the weekend and the race much like his Crew Chief, “We struggled quite a bit this weekend getting the car to work the way we wanted it to starting with some tough practice rounds. The team worked extremely hard to get the car back on track but we ended up fighting with it throughout the race. With the right adjustments made during the race we were able to stick it out until the end and gain another top 10 finish, which will ultimately really help us in points. If we can turn a rough weekend like this into a top 10 then we came out alright” – AWS
Self and the 22 team will now turn their focus to their next scheduled race at New Jersey Motorsports Park. This race will take place on June 1, 2014. Stay tuned for more information leading up to race day and follow Austin on Facebook and Twitter for behind the scenes pictures, videos and other updates.