With three straight top-20 finish in the books to open the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season, Austin Wayne Self and his Niece Motorsports team had to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway looking for their first top-10 of the year in Saturday afternoon’s Alpha Energy Resources 250.
Returning to the famed paperclip short track, the Austin, Texas native, has two prior starts at Martinsville, including a strong 15th-place showing in the spring of 2016.
Rejuvenated after a two-week break, Self is ready to get back down to business in the first short track race of the year.
“Martinsville is one of those places you either love or hate,” said Self who sits 18th in Truck Series points. “It’s not an easy place to navigate. You must hit your marks every single lap. Truth has usually been told though, if you keep your nose clean you’re going to find yourself in a good position to have a good finish.
“That’s our goal for Saturday afternoon.”
Knowing that track position is crucial at a place like Martinsville, Self expects he and crew chief Joey Cohen to have an emphasis on qualifying, something Self admits he’s struggled at in the past at Martinsville.
“I haven’t been the greatest qualifier at Martinsville, but that’s something I’m looking to change this weekend,” Self chuckled. “We have three practice sessions on Friday and I think that will help a bunch. If we can get ourselves in a good race pace trim, we can turn some of our attention towards qualifying. With the weather looking iffy this weekend – it’s important to know how balanced our truck will be with different setups.”
Announced last week, Kreuz Market will support the No. 22 Chevrolet in the fourth race of the season.
With its landmark servings offering sausage and BBQ, without sauce or forks, in a sprawling, rustic cafeteria-like setting, Kreuz Market is set to embark on its journey into NASCAR with Self, a Texas-based driver.
In addition to its laid-back country-like atmosphere, Kreuz Market also smokes and ships Texas barbecue brisket, ribs, sausage and pork, which Niece Motorsports will receive throughout the year to serve up at the track as the team’s pre-race meal.
“I am thrilled to be partnered with another proud Texas company,” added Self. “I’m excited to have a taste of home each weekend at the track, and there’s no doubt we’ll have some of the best eating of anyone in the garage thanks to Kreuz Market.”
Kreuz Market is equally excited to enter their first foray into NASCAR with Self.
"We are excited to join Austin Wayne Self and the NASCAR Don't mess with Texas truck series team. It means a lot to all of us at Kreuz to join a team that has such strong Texas pride,” said Weston Black, catering manager for Kreuz Market.
“We are looking forward to sharing our original Kreuz Market barbecue with the team and spreading the message that anyone in the US can buy our authentic Texas Barbecue and have it shipped right to their doorstep year-round."
Like last year, the Don’t mess with Texas campaign and AM Technical Solutions will also support Self in his 44th career start.
The Don’t mess with Texas campaign is part of the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) litter prevention program, which includes Don’t mess with Texas, Adopt-a-Highway, and a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful.
For more than 30 years, Don’t mess with Texas has made tremendous progress educating Texans about the impact of littering on the state’s economy, environment and physical landscape.
In 43 NCWTS races, the 2015 ARCA Racing Series rookie of the year has one top-five (second at Daytona 2017) and three top-10 finishes. The Texan maintains an average finish of 18.8 during his three years of competition.
To order your next pre-race meal and show your support for Austin Wayne Self and Kreuz Market, visit kreuzmarket.com. Also check out its social media platforms on Facebook
For more on Niece Motorsports, please visit niecemotorsports.com.
For more on Austin Wayne Self, like his Facebook page (Austin Wayne Self) or follow him on Twitter @AustinWSelf.