Just days after racking in another solid NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) performance at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway to close his second season of competition, Austin Wayne Self (@AustinWSelf) has spent the last few days reflecting on a year filled with plenty of accomplishments and motivation.
The Austin, Texas native opened the year with a career-best runner-up performance at Daytona (Fla.) Speedway driving for AM Racing. Self was driving the team’s second truck as the Mooresville, N.C. organization debuted a second-truck for the event and tallied two top-10 efforts in the NextEra Energy Resources 250.
Despite the strong start to the year, Self’s schedule remained fluid for much of the opening races of the year until the driver partnered with Niece Motorsports and Martins Motorsports in a collaborative effort with Faith Motorsports to complete in a majority of the 2017 schedule.
From his debut at Kansas Speedway with Niece which kicked off with a solid top-15 performance to a 17th place result in the Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead with Martins Motorsports, the Texan showcased his talent and proved that that his sophomore season was no slump.
The 21-year-old would go on to race in four more races for AM Racing which ended with a ninth-place effort on the road course at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario.
In all, the former ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Rookie of the Year tallied one top-five, two top-10, eight top-15 and 13 top-20 finishes overall. Despite missing five races from February to Nov., Self still placed 15th overall in the championship standings.
“We certainly have a lot to be thankful for this season,” said Self. “To open our year up with a second-place finish at Daytona – almost a win. That’s pretty incredible. I was proud of that.
“We skipped a couple races and came back to Kansas with Niece and I think I proved to others that no matter what truck I’m in – I leave nothing on the table and work hard to develop the best finish possible week in and week out.”
Other highlights in the year included a 12th place result at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and the same at Texas Motor Speedway.
On his home turf at Texas Motor Speedway, Self saw the opportunity for at the time would have been his second top-10 finish of the season end in smoke and crunch after tangling with another truck on the last lap.
Still, despite the outcome, Self says it was one of the more pivotal races in 2017.
“When I look back at the spring in Texas, our truck was bad to the bone. We’re very grateful to have a truck that is backed with a lot of help from Texas-based partners and supporters and we were giving them a show.
“I was able to climb from the back and maintain a comfortable spot inside the top-10 until I spun on the last lap going for another position.
“I was pretty bummed afterwards, but my team rallied behind me and they told me they would rather me wreck a truck while going for seventh than bring home a truck hovering in 25th. I never forgot that and it was pretty much game on from there.”
With another solid effort to bring down the curtain to his sophomore season, Self says he’s eager to start working on next season – which was previously announced he’ll run for Niece Motorsports’ No. 22 Chevrolet truck for his junior year of competition.
“I’m ready to go,” Self added. “You know, I’m very fortunate. I have a lot of great partners that have allowed me to thrive this season and they’re all coming back next year.
“Without the support of Don’t mess with Texas, GO TEXAN, AM Technical Solutions and B&D Industries Inc. – there would be no Austin Wayne Self on the race track. We’re working hard on some awesome things both on and off the track next year and it’s hard to believe that Daytona will be here in less than 90 days.”
Additional marketing partnership(s) at Niece Motorsports for Self are forthcoming.
In 18 races this season driving for AM Racing, Martins Motorsports and Niece Motorsports, Self earned a career-best second place performance in the season-opening NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and earned an additional top-10 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, both finishes driving for AM Racing. Overall, Self earned one top-five, two top-10, eight top-15 and 13 top-20 finishes respectively en route to a 15th place finish in the championship standings.
AM Racing PR