Self Carries Cautious Confidence to Atlanta
Austin Wayne Self enters the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Great Clips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday with cautious confidence gained from his debut NCWTS performance at Daytona last weekend.
Self, rookie driver of the No. 22 AM Technical Solutions Toyota Tundra, finished 19th at Daytona, due in large part to an eighteen-truck wreck in which he was swept up with 8 laps left in the race. Self was running on the fringe of the top-10 when the pileup occurred. He had surged to a 6th place spot a bit earlier in the race, and appeared to be in position to challenge the leaders until ‘The Big One’ reared its ugly head, pulling Self from any possible victory contention.
“Daytona was a great learning experience for me, “Self said. “I learned a lot about these trucks, and how the air moves around them in traffic. We had a strong run going until the wreck happened, and there was nothing we could do.”
Self’s learning curve continues at Atlanta, a wicked-fast, high-banked track that many veteran drivers consider perhaps the NCWTS circuit’s toughest.
“Atlanta is a whole different animal, in terms of the way the tires wear so quickly and trucks will slide around,” Self said. He tested at Atlanta with a handful of other rookies prior to the season. “Our testing was all single-truck runs, but I was able to gain some familiarity with the truck and the track.”
According to Self, potential success at Atlanta on Saturday will require him to be a quick study.
“The key for me there will be trying to learn fast while staying out of trouble,” he said. “It will be a balance of continuing to understand how these trucks work, and pushing myself out of any comfort zone to stay hammer-down and try to compete with the big guys. Our focus is on continuing to learn and get better. We’ll be ready to go, and hopefully we can put our No. 22 AM Technical Solutions Toyota Tundra in position for a strong finish.”
Among Self’s supporters at Atlanta will be Brian Koster, the VP of Digital Technologies at Stanley Black & Decker. Koster is a Texas native who now lives in Atlanta. “I’m looking forward to seeing Austin in action here in my new hometown of Atlanta as he represents the great state of Texas,” Koster said.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Great Clips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be televised live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 4:30pm EST on Saturday. Live coverage of the race may also be heard on MRN Radio.
Follow Austin Wayne Self on twitter at @AustinWSelf and on Facebook @ Austin Wayne Self.
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