Charging to a top-15 finish this past weekend at Iowa Speedway, Austin Wayne Self and his Niece Motorsports team head to Gateway (Ill.) Motorsports Park hoping to turn up the heat and deliver a strong performance in Saturday night’s Villa Lighting delivers the Eaton 200.
Scoring his fourth top-20 finish in the last five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) races, Self sees Saturday night’s race at Gateway as the perfect opportunity to maneuver his first top-10 run of the year in the No. 22 GO TEXAN | AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet Silverado.
We're closing on the end of this four-race stretch, and I really want to go out on a high mark this weekend at Gateway and next weekend at Chicagoland," said Self, a native Austin, Texas.
"The guys on our No. 22 Niece Motorsports team have worked diligently to put competitive race trucks on the track each week, and I want to show them my appreciation with a top-10 run that we all know we're capable of.
We've shown that we've had speed but for one reason or another, we haven't had the luck or breaks to put us inside the top-10 when the checkered flag waves. We showcased our capabilities again at Iowa, but came up a little short. This weekend at Gateway, I'm hoping everything (finally) comes together."
This weekend at Gateway, the Truck Series will endure three practice sessions on Friday afternoon, with the intent to give the teams ample time to dial in their machines. For Self, he sees the extra practice session as a perfect opportunity to simulate what his truck will do in race conditions.
“That final practice session on Friday afternoon is close to when we’ll be racing on Saturday night, so we’ll plan to use most of that time to our advantage,” mentioned Self. “It’s going to be another hot weekend, and I think Gateway will be one of those extremely temperature sensitive tracks.
“That extra 55-minutes could also help us from a handling standpoint and inch us closer, not only for our race day setup, but a qualifying setup too. I learned here a couple years ago at Gateway that track position is so important – so we’ll keep that in mind too.
“One thing is for sure, we’re going to make it a fun weekend too.”
In the 22-year-old’s lone Truck Series start at the 1.25-mile oval, he finished 28th after being involved in an accident 42 laps from the finish.
“I learned a lot that night, but I believe I’m a better race car driver than I was in 2016. I’ve been fortunate enough to be around good people who believe in me and give me the equipment to do my job and prove that I’m a better driver.
"When it comes to Gateway, I feel like it's a place that I'm owed some redemption. I hope that redemption comes with our GO TEXAN | AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet."
After nine races, Self sits 13th in the series’ standings. He carries an average finish of 18.3 entering Gateway.
Like last year, the Texas Department of Agriculture’s GO TEXAN program and AM Technical Solutions will also support Self in his 50th career start.
GO TEXAN represents Texas agri-business on state, national and international levels by building recognition with the GO TEXAN mark.
Along with its signature mark in the shape of Texas, GO TEXAN celebrates, promotes and supports the business savvy and plainspoken grit Texas agriculture is known throughout the world.
Don’t mess with Texas, CForce Bottling Company, Flying Circle and Kreuz Market will serve as associate partners in the 10th race of the year.
In 49 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.
For more on Austin Wayne Self, like his Facebook page (Austin Wayne Self) or follow him on Twitter @AustinWSelf.
For additional information on CForce premium artesian water, please visit cforce.com.
For more on Flying Circle, please visit flyingcirclegear.com, like them on Facebook (FlyingCircleGear) and follow them on Instagram (@flyingcirclegear) and Twitter (@flyingcircle_). Also connect with Flying Circle on Pinterest and YouTube.
For more on Niece Motorsports, please visit niecemotorsports.com.