Austin Self scores Las Vegas “Super Nationals” podium finish, International Karting world impressed

Austin, Texas (November 30, 2010) – When the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix™ roars into Central Texas in 2012, it won’t be the first time Austin rocks the global racing community.

Another “Austin,” Vandergrift High School’s Austin Wayne Self, set the international Karting world abuzz after a fantastic week in Las Vegas where he earned a podium finish for the USA behind Brazil and Norway during the annual Las Vegas Super Nationals.

Considered by most to be the World Championships of Karting, the event attracts the best drivers, factories and Karting teams from around the world. Notable drivers include world champions from Formula 1 and Indy Car – Michael Schumacher and Dan Wheldon to name but a couple. Many of the Junior Drivers (under 16) are part of the Formula 1 Ladder System that takes them from karts to GP3, GP2 and then on to Formula 1.

Understandably, it was somewhat surprising to the European crowd that a young American driver rooted in NASCAR-style stock car racing took them to task during every session of the five-day event held at the Rio Casino.

Karting is a fundamental component of European and South American Racing. Their single-minded focus in Open Wheel racing is not diluted by Stock Car or Sprint Racing like it is here in the United States. Naturally, they didn’t expect Americans to be competitive in this venue, let alone a teenager from Texas. Their perspective is entirely logical since no American has been successful in Formula 1 Racing since Mario Andretti raced the F1 circuit in the 70’s.

“It was really cool to watch Austin keep pace with these guys session after session,” said Tim Self, Austin’s dad. “In fact, he had just as much chance of winning the Championship finale as any of the top 3 competitors. Only three-tenths of a second separated the top three karts at the finish line. Not only did Austin turn the fastest lap of the race, but he did it on the last lap. Had the race gone one more lap we may have seen a different outcome.”

But the real story is that unlike his competitors in Las Vegas, Austin is not focused on Karting or Open Wheel racing. The youngster made his Late Model Stock Car debut last season at Thunderhill Raceway, an ASA-sanctioned, 3/8-mile paved oval right here in central Texas, and impressed many by winning three races against some of the toughest stock car drivers in Texas – and took home Rookie of the Year honors as well.

Austin is under contract to run a full slate of National Kart Racing events for the 2011 season, but he also plans to campaign his AM Technical Solutions Late Model Chevy in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Thunderhill Raceway.

“We look forward to racing NASCAR at Thunderhill Raceway in Kyle this 2011 season,“ Austin said. “We have a lot of fans here in Central Texas and the energy at that track is fantastic.”

Racing at Thunderhill Raceway takes the green flag on March 5, 2011.

Austin Self does the USA Proud at the Vegas Super Nationals

In what most consider the World Championships of Karting, Austin Wayne Self drove to a solid 3rd place finish to represent the USA as the 1st American driver on the podium in a race full of Factory Teams and the best drivers and teams from around the world.

Joao Vieira of Brazil and Dennis Olsen of Norway would take home the top two spots respectively in the 14th Annual Las Vegas SuperNationals.

“The 07 KartSport Arrow car was near perfect. I think if we had a little less gear or just a little more power we would have pulled off the win” says Austin. The amazing consistency of his KartSport Arrow chassis was proven as Austin set fast lap time for the session on the last lap of the race.

“When Austin took the lead the 1st time on lap 6 only to get passed back on the back straight, it was clear that he wouldn’t be able to hold the lead without help from another driver,” said Michael Ramirez, Austin’s Crew Chief. But it became clear that there would be no working together as an early 3 car break away turned into a six car fist fight around lap 15 as the battle to keep or take the lead continued every single lap.

“I am very happy with Austin’s performance and the overall performance of the KartSport/ Arrow Team,” said Eric Jones, Owner and Manager of KartSport Team Arrow Racing. “This was Austin’s 1st race in an Arrow Kart and he was at the top of the speed charts all week and then set fast time in the main and almost brought home a win. We will be racing Daytona next month and I can’t wait to see what happens then.”

Austin’s next Race will be the WKA Man Cup Season opener at Daytona International Speedway December 29th and 30th.

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