After a weekend off, allowing Austin Wayne Self (@AustinWSelf) and his Niece Motorsports team to charge their batteries, the group heads to Kentucky Speedway determined to score their first top-10 of the year in Thursday night’s Buckle Up In Your Truck 225.
Matching a season-high 13th place run at Chicagoland Speedway two weeks ago, Self and his No. 22 GO TEXAN Chevrolet team plan to use that momentum to their advantage for their second straight mile-and-a-half intermediate track.
“I’m ready to go,” said Self who sits 14th in the championship standings. “The break was nice to allow us to catch up a little bit and spend some time with family and friends, but it will be nice to get back in the saddle at Kentucky Speedway.”
The 22-year-old Self has four combined starts at the Northern Kentucky race track between the ARCA Racing Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. While Self has been a fan of the high-speed and finesse of intermediate racing, he’s never been able to secure the finishes he’s hoped for at Kentucky.
“I’ve always enjoyed racing at Kentucky even though my finishes don’t show that,” explained Self who holds a track best finish of 11th in ARCA competition in 2015.
“Kentucky is a very weather sensitive track and even though it’s been repaved a couple years ago, I’ve heard the track is still getting rougher. The rougher the track is, the better racing it can produce, but it also creates a challenge for us when it comes to handling.
“We’ll work through that though. It’s a one-day show, so we need to make sure we have our No. 22 GO TEXAN | AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet Silverado dialed in as best as we can and then turn our concentration towards the race. It’s another event where we practice and qualify during the day and then race at night – so keeping up with the changes will be critical.”
At Chicagoland, the teams went through a similar pattern where they practiced and qualified during the day – then raced for 150 laps at night. Self’s truck was solid from the moment they unloaded until they took the checkered flag – but the Austin, Texas native says the team isn’t completely satisfied yet.
“Our effort at Chicagoland was something to be proud of for sure,” added Self. “The Niece Motorsports team has really been thrashing to make sure our trucks are as competitive as possible, and I think Chicagoland was a small victory for us. We carried the speed from practice to qualifying and then worked on it for the race.
“But, we just want a little more.
“Hopefully we can keep going in that right direction and have an opportunity for a top-10 finish on Thursday night, I feel like we certainly deserve it.”
At the halfway point of the season, Self says he’s thankful for the commitment from his Niece Motorsports teams in the first 11 races of 2018 – but offers there’s still plenty left to be accomplished.
“We’ve had some good runs and a lot of speed, but we want some better finishes to show off all of that,” added Self. “We have six top-17 finishes in the last seven races and that’s something to build on.
“I feel like our team is very capable of running in the top-10, we just need to keep working hard and hope a little luck comes our way too. I’m looking forward to the second half.”
After 11 races, Self sits 14th in the series’ standings. He carries an average finish of 17.6 entering Kentucky.
Like last year, the Texas Department of Agriculture’s GO TEXAN program and AM Technical Solutions will also support Self in his 52nd 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 12th race of the year.
In 51 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 18.6 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.