Finding Victory Lane with Venturini Motorsports: Michael Self

During my time hosting Speedway Digest Thursday Night Thunder, I have had the chance to speak with many different drivers from varied backgrounds. All of them have had a story to tell, and each one, in their own way, have given us a glimpse into the minds of racing professionals. Since the first season, we have had the chance to work with Venturini Motorsports and talk with some of the finest drivers in the ARCA series.

My co-host, Mykkal Mulalley, and myself have been grateful to the teams and racers that we have spoken with on the program, and during this unparalleled lull in the racing season, we hope to provide you, our readers, listeners, and fans, a little snippet into some of the people who make this the greatest sport in the world.

Today, we are pleased to bring you a little insight into the mind of Michael Self. 


How are you spending your off time? Lots of schoolwork. Trying to wrap up this semester at a leisurely pace since I don’t have to worry about not having time to do my work on the weekends due to traveling. Also doing a lot of house projects, and have been taking some courses and learning a lot about investing and the stock market.


What is your favorite car number? 25! I’ve really been proud to drive the 25 car as the “flagship” number for VMS. It carries a little extra significance, especially when paired with Sinclair Oil as the Venturini family has history with the brand.


Do you prefer a loose race car, or a tight race car? That depends on the track, but I feel like I’m usually able to make more out of a situation where a car is tight vs. loose.


What’s the most complicated part about driving in the series? Probably the difference in tracks. Going from Daytona, to Phoenix, to Salem, to Talladega requires significantly different mindsets and driving styles. You have to be on top of things physically and mentally to adapt to the drastically different tracks.


With the changes in the racing schedule due to Covid19, do you think that ARCA will have any events without fans in the stands? If so, how do you feel about that? I do, personally. I just don’t think it’s realistic for us to get back to racing at a point where we can still manage to get in a 20-race schedule if we’re waiting for a time when crowds of 1,000+ people are approved. I know that’s a tough situation for the tracks, but personally I don’t have a problem with it. Obviously I want fans in the stands, but if they aren’t there, they’re probably watching on tv, and larger viewership numbers are good for the team and driver sponsors.


Was racing always your dream? Not always. When I was really young I dreamed of being an actor.


What’s the toughest part of a race weekend? For me it’s eating on race day. I get nerves that make it hard to consume a full meal, but if I don’t eat I get hungry during the race and my energy level starts to drain.


Would you ever own your own racetrack? Unless I was ultra-rich and could build a road course to have fun on, I would not. That seems like an incredibly difficult business to sustain.


What racing series or style do you follow the most? The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series is my favorite form of racing to watch. The races are a good length, I know a lot of the drivers, and the racing is usually really good.


Growing up, who was your racing idol? I was a cliché Earnhardt, Gordon, and Schumacher fan.


What is your ultimate racing goal? I would love to run a full season of one of the national NASCAR touring series in a competitive ride. Particularly trucks. I just think that would be a lot of fun.


We’d like to thank Michael Self for taking the time out of his busy schedule. Stay tuned for the next installment of this continuing series.


Adam Sinclair