Austin Wayne Self Records Third Top-Five in Front of Big Home Crowdby Kyle Pokrefky April 28, 2015 0 comments
SALEM, In. — 2014 ARCA Racing Series rookie of the year Austin Wayne Self may call Austin, Texas home, but you wouldn’t have known it based off of the cheers he received at Salem Speedway on Sunday.
Receiving a loud ovation ahead of the Federated Auto Parts 200, Self entered Salem third in points with his sights set on earning his maiden ARCA victory in what was his 29th start in front of a crowd filled with members of his family.
Self’s chances for victory were on the rocks early in the race as, after starting from P1 by virtue of qualifying being washed out, the driver of the No. 98 AM Technical Solutions Ford went for a spin in Turn 2 on the fifth lap of the race, dropping Self down the running order.
The early caution wouldn’t keep Self down as he sliced and diced his way back through the field with moves that brought sections of the Salem grandstands to their feet. As the dust settled at the half-mile oval just northwest of Louisville, Ky., Self found himself in possession of a fifth-place finish – his third top-five of the year.
When speaking to The Fourth Turn about what it was like to rebound and turn in a strong finish in front of a home crowd, Self labelled it as an awesome affair.
“It’s really cool, every time I come to Indiana [I’ve always] got the family out here,” Self said post-race in the middle of a crowd centered around him. “It’s pretty cool, they hung out, cooked out and got to watch me race here.
“We had a really good race car early today and I had a little mishap for the first few laps of the race. I kind of lost power on the front stretch and getting into Turn 1 the tires locked up. We worked around that and did what we could. Also, I think we had a shock failure, I just couldn’t put any wheel into the car.”
Departing Salem, Self packs up for this week’s International Motorsports Hall of Fame 200 at Talladega Superspeedway and heads to a track that he earned a third-place finish on last season in his rookie year aiming for his first series win.
“Overall, it was a pretty good day,” Self stated. “When you’re finishing top-five and you’re struggling that’s usually a good sign. I think good things are to come here.
“I’m pretty happy with my AMTS Mason Mitchell Ford here tonight and we’ll go to Talladega next. I finished third there last year and I think we can get a win.”
Heading to Talladega, the 19-year-old now sits second in points with a 95-point deficit to leader Grant Enfinger.
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky
Photo credit: ARCAracing.com