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Austin Wayne Self has Real Battle at the UNOH NASCAR Beach Race

Gained Valuable Experience in Both Inaugural Late Model and K&N Pro East Races at Daytona International Speedway

It was a long three days down in Daytona, but Self was able to gain a lot of learning.  Fortunately there were no points involved in what was billed as two “all-star” races, so Austin and his teams could really focus on getting to know one another and get some valuable experience working together.

AMTS-OTX-daytonaSunday was spent getting the OTX Late Model Car and the AM Technical Solutions K&N Pro East car ready to race and through NASCAR tech inspection. All told, it was a fun and relaxing day hanging out with the crews, fans and other drivers.

Monday was a different story with 3 hours of LMSC Practice, 2 hours of K&N Pro Practice, 1 hour of pictures, 1 hour of Autographs, a 25-lap heat race and then a ride in the ambulance following a crash in the LMSC 150 Lap Monday Feature Race.

“I don’t think I have had such a busy day of racing since the last time we raced karts at the Las Vegas Super Nationals,” says Austin. “I just wish we hadn’t gotten collected in that crash on lap 32 and could have gone on to race the full 150.  I saw the 01 car spin to the outside in turn 4 as we were coming into 3. Richard – my spotter – was saying stay low and I was thinking no problem, as I’ll just continue to run the inside race line. Then I felt the 30 car turning in on my right quarter panel as he was trying to keep from getting collected and it just pushed me straight into the 01. I felt terrible for our sponsors and the crew because they had done a great job getting the car to work on this flat, I mean very flat track. We were on the move. We started 18th and we were passing the 30 car to take over the 9th spot when it happened. I really think we had a chance at a top 5. I’m not sure we had anything for C.E. and Kyle but for sure we could have driven into the top 5.”

Then Tuesday it was another 2 hours of K&N Practice, a qualifying crash, another ride in the ambulance and then a 150 Lap feature without brakes.

“Holy cow. I thought Monday was a tough day. We missed our sticker run in the final minutes of practice when NASCAR closed the pits, our qualifying session got cut short by 4 laps when a coupling on the steering shaft broke and we ended up in the wall. Then it was a super long bus ride to the infield care center. I have had my vitals checked more in the last two day than I have my whole life. I did become good friends with the EMS crew, they text me a lot now to make sure I’m still ok. But nothing compared to having to drive 100+ laps without brakes last night,” says Self.

daytona-strategy-paul-and-tim-andrews“You have to use brakes a lot with these cars on this track and expect glowing rotors, brake fade, boiling fluid and an a lot of pedal pumping. So when we first lost them, Paul [Andrews, Crew Chief] keeps is telling me to pump the pedal and I’m telling him I’m pumping but still don’t have brakes. They never did come back. If anyone tells you how hard this track is drive with one of these cars, ask them how they would like to drive it for 120 laps without brakes. It was tough to stay out there and run 2 seconds off the pace. But finishing was our 1st priority and getting a 17th place finish with no brakes made for a pretty good ending.” says Self.

“I would really like to thank OTX, AMTS, Sellers and Cunningham for their support and hard work and all my friends and family back home for watching. Especially like to thank all the folks that posted words of encouragement on my Facebook and Twitter pages. Their support really helps get through these tough races,” says Self.

Self will now prepare for his next NASCAR K&N Pro East race at the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway on 3/16.

Austin Wayne Self has Real Battle at the UNOH NASCAR Beach Race

Gained Valuable Experience in Both Inaugural Late Model and K&N Pro East Races at Daytona International Speedway

It was a long three days down in Daytona, but Self was able to gain a lot of learning.  Fortunately there were no points involved in what was billed as two “all-star” races, so Austin and his teams could really focus on getting to know one another and get some valuable experience working together.

AMTS-OTX-daytonaSunday was spent getting the OTX Late Model Car and the AM Technical Solutions K&N Pro East car ready to race and through NASCAR tech inspection. All told, it was a fun and relaxing day hanging out with the crews, fans and other drivers.

Monday was a different story with 3 hours of LMSC Practice, 2 hours of K&N Pro Practice, 1 hour of pictures, 1 hour of Autographs, a 25-lap heat race and then a ride in the ambulance following a crash in the LMSC 150 Lap Monday Feature Race.

“I don’t think I have had such a busy day of racing since the last time we raced karts at the Las Vegas Super Nationals,” says Austin. “I just wish we hadn’t gotten collected in that crash on lap 32 and could have gone on to race the full 150.  I saw the 01 car spin to the outside in turn 4 as we were coming into 3. Richard – my spotter – was saying stay low and I was thinking no problem, as I’ll just continue to run the inside race line. Then I felt the 30 car turning in on my right quarter panel as he was trying to keep from getting collected and it just pushed me straight into the 01. I felt terrible for our sponsors and the crew because they had done a great job getting the car to work on this flat, I mean very flat track. We were on the move. We started 18th and we were passing the 30 car to take over the 9th spot when it happened. I really think we had a chance at a top 5. I’m not sure we had anything for C.E. and Kyle but for sure we could have driven into the top 5.”

Then Tuesday it was another 2 hours of K&N Practice, a qualifying crash, another ride in the ambulance and then a 150 Lap feature without brakes.

“Holy cow. I thought Monday was a tough day. We missed our sticker run in the final minutes of practice when NASCAR closed the pits, our qualifying session got cut short by 4 laps when a coupling on the steering shaft broke and we ended up in the wall. Then it was a super long bus ride to the infield care center. I have had my vitals checked more in the last two day than I have my whole life. I did become good friends with the EMS crew, they text me a lot now to make sure I’m still ok. But nothing compared to having to drive 100+ laps without brakes last night,” says Self.

daytona-strategy-paul-and-tim-andrews“You have to use brakes a lot with these cars on this track and expect glowing rotors, brake fade, boiling fluid and an a lot of pedal pumping. So when we first lost them, Paul [Andrews, Crew Chief] keeps is telling me to pump the pedal and I’m telling him I’m pumping but still don’t have brakes. They never did come back. If anyone tells you how hard this track is drive with one of these cars, ask them how they would like to drive it for 120 laps without brakes. It was tough to stay out there and run 2 seconds off the pace. But finishing was our 1st priority and getting a 17th place finish with no brakes made for a pretty good ending.” says Self.

“I would really like to thank OTX, AMTS, Sellers and Cunningham for their support and hard work and all my friends and family back home for watching. Especially like to thank all the folks that posted words of encouragement on my Facebook and Twitter pages. Their support really helps get through these tough races,” says Self.

Self will now prepare for his next NASCAR K&N Pro East race at the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway on 3/16.

Austin Wayne Self Prepares for Busy Double Header in Daytona

Whelen All-American Late Model Race on Monday and K&N Pro East Race on Tuesday

Austin Wayne Self will begin his 2013 season as part of a new tradition during the UNOH Battle at the Beach on Feb 18-19, the preview to the Daytona Speedweeks.

On Monday, Self re-joins his team from the 2012 season, Sellers Racing, for an exciting 150-lap, 60-mile NASCAR Whelen All-American Series race.  Self will drive the #07 Chevrolet during the debut of Daytona’s new 0.4-mile short-track oval.

UNOH

“It was nice to have a short break back in Texas with my friends and family.  But I’m ready to get back to racing!  It will be fun to work with the Sellers team again.  I’m familiar with the car and the crew and I just can’t wait to be in Daytona during the beginning of Speedweeks.  This has always been one of my dreams,” says Self.

As if Monday wasn’t exciting enough, on Tuesday Self will run his inaugural NASCAR K&N Pro East Series race with Cunningham Race Team in the #77 Dodge.  It will be another 150-lap, 60-mile race on the 0.4-mile short-track oval.

“2012 was about training for the next level of competition.  We wanted to experience as many tracks as we could and just drive against the country’s top Late Model talent.  Monday will give me a great opportunity to get back behind the wheel for some experience on this new track.  Then we will put everything we worked on since last season to the test on Tuesday night in the K&N race.”

“I’m also looking forward to our first race with the Cunningham team.  It’s all I’ve been able to think about since my last race in November. We got the new K&N car out for the very first time in Rockingham last week for a shakedown. The race car handled better than anything I have ever driven.  Daytona will be the first K&N Race for the Cunningham Team as well as me.  Paul is a great Crew Chief and smart guy so I feel really good about this race.  I’m prepared to learn a lot.”

Self Recaps a Successful 2012 Season and Looks Ahead to 2013

Prepares for ARCA and NASCAR K&N Pro East with Cunningham Motorsports

In February 2012, Austin Wayne Self moved from Austin, Texas to Huntersville, North Carolina.  At age 16, he left his friends and the only city he had ever lived in to race with Sellers Racing in order to gain experience at some of country’s most celebrated NASCAR short tracks.

In all, he raced at eight different tracks and earned 1 Checkered Flag, 13 Top 5’s and 25 Top 10 finishes.

We recently spoke with Austin to get some of his thoughts about the 2012 season and also look ahead to the 2013 season, which starts with two races at the UNOH Battle at the Beach in Daytona on February 18-19.

2012 Season Recap

What was it like to work with the Sellers team?
I feel very blessed to be able to work with the guys at Sellers.  They are one of the top Late Model team in the country.  At first I didn’t know what to expect, but they were very easy to work with.  I think they helped me turn into a better driver and a better person.

What’s the most important thing you learned from those guys?
I learned the importance of saving tires and about being patient and waiting for your opportunities in a race.

What was your favorite track you got to experience?
My favorite track was Southern National in Kenly.  We did a lot of races there, so I got some good experience and had my best finishes there.

What do you think was your best race?
I’d have to say the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at Richmond.  That race really sticks out the most because we all had to work with some new things from the Goodyear tires to the track to the level of competition.  We worked really hard together (Sellers and Austin) throughout that week and got a Top 20 finish.  That felt like a huge accomplishment.  It really taught me that I’m capable of working with a top team and racing against the best and holding my own.

Did you accomplish everything you set out to accomplish in 2012?
For the most part yes.  But I always want to win more.  I’m just competitive, so I do like to win.  But one of our goals was just to get a lot of experience at different tracks and to learn a lot from the Sellers team.  I know I learned a lot for sure.

Looking Ahead to 2013

So you join the Cunningham team this year in both ARCA and K&N Pro East races.  How excited were you to sign with Cunningham?
It’s still sinking in.  I’m very excited about getting to work with Cunningham and Paul Andrews.  He’s been a part of Sprint Cup Championship teams and I can’t wait to get to work with him.  Cunningham is one of the best ARCA teams, they are good guys and I’m just very grateful to be with them.  I’d rather be with them than any other team out there.

What are you most looking forward to this season?
I’m just happy that I get to keep doing what I love so much for another season.  I’m looking forward to racing faster and bigger cars and to drive on some more of the top ARCA and K&N Pro East tracks.

Any one track in particular you can’t wait to race at?
All of them!  Richmond, the new short track at Daytona, Bristol, Road America, Dover and more. 

What’s something you’re working to improve?
I want to work on my personal strength and getting into the gym more.  It will help with my endurance and the longer races.

What’s your main goal for this season?
First and foremost I want to finish every race.  It would also be great to get a lot of Top 5 finishes and to get a win in ARCA and K&N too.