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Self is Talladega Bound Looking to Close the Gap On the Points Leader

98Crowd_ShortTrackSpotlight Ain’t no party like a Talladega party, and that’s exactly what Austin Wayne Self and the 98 AM Technical Solutions Ford crew hope to be doing this Friday in Victory Lane! The race team is coming off of it’s third consecutive top five finish of the season. After four races complete in 2015 the young driver and the 98 machine are knocking on the door of Championship points leader, Grant Enfinger, trailing by only 95 points. With Self’s success as a Rookie at Talladega last year, a first win here isn’t out of the question,

Wall Shot“I’m really excited to get back to Talladega. I had an awesome first time experience here earning a third place finish and a Rookie of the Race award during our first go-round. I’m even more confident heading to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 race this weekend. The new Ilmor motors made Daytona a little more interesting so I’m ready to see what they’ll do at ‘Dega. I think we have our Superspeedway program down and the boys at the 98 shop are itching to get the AM Technical Solutions beast down to ‘Dega.” – Austin Wayne Self

Last year Self impressed with a third place finish in his Superspeedway debut when he pushed then teammate, Tom Hessert, to the win and just missed second place. “Even though it was a little nerve wrecking at first being on my first Superspeedway, this actually ended up being one of my favorite tracks that we came to last season. There was a lot of competing for positions throughout the race last year and you have to make sure you’re near the front of the pack when that last final push begins at the end. The atmosphere is unreal here and the fans are some of the most dedicated race fans I’ve ever met. We got to visit the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind during our stay here too and that made it even more meaningful,” explained the young driver. He will have another busy Talladega trip ahead of him during the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 race weekend as he will return to AIDB during his quick trip and will also be hosting a dinner with his sponsor, Pirate Energy.

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Pirate Energy is no stranger to a wild and crazy atmosphere. Pirate Energy shots, accompanied by the Pirate Energy girls, have recently attended events such as Austin’s SXSW, the Larry Joe Taylor Festival, and West Campus’ Pool Party and Crawfish Boil in downtown Austin, TX to energize festival and party goers. This weekend they’ll be energizing race fans! Fans in need of a boost are encouraged to stop by Austin’s hauler during the open garage hours on Friday, May 1st (prior to the race) for some Pirate Energy shots. An energy boost, an autograph and a picture with the young driver – not a bad deal. Pirate Energy is ready to party in Talladega and you can bet that a trip to Victory Lane is what the driver, crew and sponsors are all hunting for.

Don’t forget to tune in live to Fox Sports 1 on Friday, May 1st to catch all of the racing action on TV if you are not able to attend the International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200. The race broadcast will begin at 5:00PM Central. You can also follow along on the ARCA homepage with live timing and scoring presented by Austin’s sponsor, Pirate Energy.

Self Takes Over the Second Championship Points Spot with Third Consecutive Top Five Finish in Federated Auto Parts 200

Salem_ShortTrackSpotlightSalem, IN — Self and the number 98 AM Technical Solutions Ford Fusion earned their third consecutive top 5 finish this weekend at the Federated Auto Parts 200 at Salem Speedway. Self and his team rolled into Salem with a car setup and strategy that they were confident would keep them running in the front of the pack. A few incidents early on and throughout the race gave the team a few challenges to overcome in order to stay in the top but, they were able to make it through those obstacles to finished in the fifth position.

“When we came to Salem Speedway to test last weekend we decided to set the car up for really long runs due to the 100 plus lap green run we experienced last season at this track. An early incident in the first few laps turned us around and gave us our first challenge. And then a few cautions throughout the race broke up the long runs. When we got into some good green runs we made our way up the field pretty good. I think if the flag count had been a little different we could have finished on top,” Self explained.

98Pass_ShortTrackSpotlightThe weekend began on Saturday with poor weather conditions. The scheduled practice sessions and qualifying were canceled due to the consistent rainfall. The starting lineup for Sunday’s Federated Auto Parts 200 was determined by 2014 season owner’s points putting Self and the 98 AM Technical Solutions Ford in the pole position. Self would lead the pack to the start of the weekend’s big race for the second time this season. Contact competition started early and Self found himself spinning on the fifth lap around. Several cars were involved in the incident that drew the first caution of the race. Self reported some chatter in the right front and took a quick trip to the pits. Self restarted the race in the thirteenth position minus a right front shock. He had some work ahead of him to make it back up towards the front of the pack. With a few longer green runs and some intense and exciting side-by-side racing, Self made his way back up to the top 6. Announcers and fans were on their feet as Self battled and went three wide on the backstretch to overtake the 4th position with under 50 laps to go.

98PitStop_ShortTrackSpotlight“If those final few cautions hadn’t come out and we would have been able to stay under green then the finish would have been a different story. We took a chance on our setup and unfortunately the flags just didn’t fall our way. I’m really proud of my team and crew though. We went from starting in the front, all the way back to 13th within the first few laps, and ended it in the top 5. The best part is that this weekend allowed us to take over second place in the point standings and we’re only 95 points behind the leader. We’re on the climb and we’re making awesome progress” – Austin Wayne Self

Self made three pit stops throughout the race during the caution flags with the final pit stop being the most important. The pit crew was able to give him four fresh tires and make an air pressure adjustment to send him on his way for the final few laps of the race. Self lost one position during the final pit stop but was able to make it up in the final sprint to the finish. The team’s 5th place finish earned them the second spot in the Championship Points race. They now only sit 95 points behind points leader Grant Enfinger. Can Self pass Enfinger with his run at Talladega? Find out this weekend. The Talladega race will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 on Friday, May 1st at 5:00pm Central. Don’t miss the race and Austin’s chase for the first spot!

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

Self Inches Closer to Points Leader With Third Place Finish at Troop Aid 200

Nashville QualifyingAustin Wayne Self and the 98 team celebrated a third place finish at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Saturday, April 11th. Self started the Troop Aid 200 in the 13th position and put on quite the show during the 200-lap race as he and the AM Technical Solutions Ford made their way through the field. The team’s car set up and Crew Chief, Matt Weber’s pit strategies put the team in top contention. Ten more laps and they may have had their first win of the season. Self really enjoyed the Fairgrounds racetrack. He said it was an honor for him to participate in the first ARCA race at the track in over 20 years and he can’t wait to return. The 98 team got off to a rocky start but their hard work and determination earned them a well-deserved podium finish.

After the first practice session Self said they struggled with the rear end being loose. The crew made several adjustments during the two practice rounds including a blind adjustment at the conclusion of practice. “We won’t know how that last change will affect the car until we get out on the track for qualifying,” explained Self. The track temperature was about 114 degrees during practice. The 98 crew believed that the track would cool down to well under 100 degrees when the green flag dropped. The team set the car up a little on the loose side thinking that that would put them closer to where they needed to be on the cooler track.

Self started in P13 and made his way up to the ninth spot during the first twenty laps of the Troop Aid 200. With only six tires to use throughout the race, pit strategies were crucial. The first caution came out on lap 42, prompting the first pitting opportunity under caution. The majority of the field stayed out but Self brought the AM Technical Solutions Ford to pit road and took two right side tires. He lost one spot coming to pit road and restarted in the eleventh spot. The two new tires gave Self the momentum he needed to start making his way back up through the field. He quickly made 4 passes in the first few laps following the restart. He made a fast pass on the outside to take over P10, two inside passes for P9 and P8 and then another outside pass putting him in the seventh position. Self continued to fly and made his way up to P4 in the next five laps. The young driver raced nice and clean; didn’t touch anything but the gas pedal.

Podium_NashvilleAnother caution on lap 70 brought the leaders to pit road while Self stayed out scoring him as the leader on the restart. Self and the second place driver got the jump on the field at the green flag but then Self began to fall back. He lost a few more spots as drivers with fresher tires gained momentum ending him up in P5. The final caution of the race came out on lap 155. All cars came to pit road. Self and 98, AM Technical Solutions Ford took four tires and no fuel for the last 30 laps of the Troop Aid 200. Self quickly made his first pass at the restart. With less than 30 to go he and the driver of the 6 car raced side-by-side for he third spot. After picking up the third position Self tried to run down the leaders. He came within inches of the second spot and with one more lap would have had it. It made for an exciting finish with loud yelling and cheers coming from the packed stands. The team was all smiles and celebrated the finish on the track and in victory lane with the race winner. From position thirteen to three, the young driver displayed his talent and love for coming from the back of the field. It was a heck of a race and the fans couldn’t have been happier about ARCA’s first race back at the Fairgrounds Speedway.

“Taking the two tires earlier in the race under the first caution really helped us gain momentum. We started out pretty loose but we got the car where it needed to be and never gave up. We just kept pushing to put ourselves in a better position. The set up and the pit strategies that Matt (Weber) came up with really paid off and I know we were all excited about a top 3 finish after starting 13th. I really like this track and I had a lot of fun driving it tonight. We sure went flying after those pit stops!” – Austin Wayne Self

Self will be scored third in the unofficial point standings. Official standings will be released Monday, April 13th. This was the second short track race of the Short Track Challenge in which Self was scored fourth prior to the Troop Aid 200. He is expected to move into the third or second position with points gained from the race in Nashville. From here the 98 crew will head to Salem Speedway for the Federated Auto Parts 200. This will be another race towards the dual championship, as the points will count towards the Championship and the Short Track Challenge. Salem always draws a crowd for Austin Wayne Self with large groups of family and friends traveling from nearby towns to watch their favorite driver compete. He finished in the third position at his last visit to Salem. This time he’ll be looking for his first win.

 

 

Self Continues Southern Short Track Racing Streak, Heads to Music City

AWS Music CitySelf continues a southern short track race streak this weekend at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. This will be the third straight short track race Self will compete in since the race season began. The first race of this streak was the ARCA Mobile 200 in Mobile, AL where Self finished 4th moving him into the third place position in Championship points. Following Mobile Self returned to Texas for some Pro Late Model racing at his home track. This weekend Self will be a top competitor in the first ARCA race at the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in over 20 years.

DMWT_AWS15Self heads to the second Short Track Challenge race coming off of two top five finishes. The young driver is no stranger to short track racing and has proven to be one of the top short track drivers in the series. Many of Self’s top five finishes in his Rookie Championship season came at short tracks such as, Berlin Raceway, Lucas Oil Raceway and Salem Speedway. Not only did Self excel at these ARCA Racing Series short tracks but, he also gained short track seat time during the Pro Late Model races that were added to his 2014 season race schedule. Though the Nashville track is new to the driver, his experience will ensure that he will be a force to be reckoned with on Saturday.

Since the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway hasn’t seen an ARCA race in over 20 years, the track will be new for many drivers and ARCA fans. Here are some things Austin found during the test he had a few weeks back and some general facts about the track: Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in an eighteen degree banked oval track. The track converted to a half-mile paved oval in 1957 when it became a NASCAR series track. The track was later extended in 1969 and is currently 0.596-miles in distance.

“I really like the race track. It’s a race track that you have to search for the line a lot on. It’s really unique and reminds me a lot of the old short track in San Antonio that we used to race Pro Late Models at. The 98 AM Technical Solutions Ford was working really well at the test. It’s a new track for us but it’s also a new track for everyone else in ARCA. Might have to make a few adjustments here and there. I know Matt Weber and the 98 crew has worked really hard since Mobile to prepare for this race and I know we’ll have a great car to work with when we show up Saturday!” – Austin Wayne Self

AWS_98CamoFans will have the chance to meet Austin during the on track autograph session from 5:15 – 5:45 pm CDT. Nashville will mark the final race with a Special Edition AWS Hero Card. The 98 AM Technical Solutions Ford Fusion will also be sporting some new graphics in honor of the troops. Fans are encouraged to stop by for pictures with Self and the 98 car, and to get a hold of the limited Special Edition Hero Cards during the autograph session.

The Troop Aid 200 begins at 8:00pm CDT and will be broadcast live on arcaracing.com via a new pay-per-view program. Live timing and scoring presented by Pirate Energy will also be available at arcaracing.com. Tune into Self’s Facebook and twitter for behind the scenes updates throughout the race weekend.

Austin Wayne Self Back at the Home Track

Austin Wayne Self returned to his home track for the first time since moving to Mooresville, NC to further pursue a professional racing career. The 2014 ARCA Rookie of the Year competed in the Pro late Model race at Central Texas Speedway on Saturday, March 28th. This was the young driver’s first time back in a Late model since the beginning of the ARCA Racing season. Self was excited to be home and back at CTS where his stock car career took flight. He even pulled off a top-five finish.

AWS_Dont' Mess with TXSelf’s return to the local Austin area race track attracted long-time fans and sponsors to the race event on Saturday. Among those supporting the young driver were the owners and guests of the popular energy shot drink, Pirate Energy. The Pirate Energy group cheered Self on as he piloted the #07 Pirate Energy Pro Late Model and even hosted an after-party after the race action to celebrate the team’s top 5 finish.

The fourth place finish wasn’t so easily earned however. Self struggled with mechanical issues throughout the day. “The last time this Pro late model saw a track was at the race in Georgia that we competed at a few months ago. With ARCA testing in Nashville making my late model practice schedule tight, I don’t think we really had a chance to work out all the kinks. The team worked extremely hard to repair damage taken on in Georgia and I know with a little more track time before, we would have had the best car out there. We still did a great job and I know we all had fun and that’s what’s most important to us for these CTS races,” explained Self.

Stands_SunsetDespite having trouble getting through turns during the race Self was able to pick up positions during the race and put on a show for the crowd. Starting in the 7th position Self quickly took the #07 Pirate Energy car to the top. Charging forward and taking on other drivers on the inside Self battled to the second position and remained there for the majority of he race. A late caution came out causing the rest of the pack to catch back up with the leaders. Some shuffling during the restart put Self back in the fourth position with only a few laps to go. Even without the win the #07 team received praises for the exciting racing they displayed from fans and partners. Newcomers to the track became race fans for life and that really is what the sport is all about.

The next race that Self and the #07 Pirate Energy car will compete in will be Saturday, April 4th at the Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville. Fans can follow Austin on Facebook and Twitter to catch announcements about live broadcasting for this event and for behind the scenes photos and videos.

www.facebook.com/AustinWSelf

@AustinWSelf