Self Hopes to Parlay Daytona Success Into More Races
Austin Wayne Self originally wasn’t supposed to be running the truck series season opener at Daytona International Speedway, though found himself behind the wheel of the No. 32 AM Technical Solutions Toyota in a series of events.
He made the most of the opportunity, as he posted his first career series top-five with a second place finish.
“We were just trying to stay out of trouble for the first two segments and really just get ourselves in the best position for the third one. And we did,” Self said. “We started, I think, 13th, 12th or 13th, and got a good run on the outside. Then got stuck in the middle and got an opening down on the bottom, took that, and I think that’s what really put us in the position to be the runner-up there.
“It got wild. We all knew it was. The whole race was really wild. It was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time, and fortunately, I was able to find the right place and be there at the right time, and that’s why we came home second.”
Now with a solid finish on paper, Self is hoping that he can run more races this season, as he currently has “four or five races scheduled,” with hopes of adding Texas Motor Speedway, Eldora Raceway and Canadian Tire Motorsports Park to his schedule this season. Everything is dependent on sponsorship, though, which he feels Daytona should help in generating.
“I think that brings more value to finding sponsors, looking for somebody that wants to get on board with us and be a partner with us,” he said. “I think that goes a longer way than the money does because we all know in this sport it takes a lot of money to run up front, and it’s never going to be enough to do that.”
Unfortunately, this weekend’s event at Atlanta Motor Speedway is not on the schedule currently, but Self feels if given a chance, he feels he has something to prove after learning a lot last year en route to a 16th place finish.
Notably, Justin Fontaine was originally scheduled to run the truck at Daytona but was forced to sit out after sustaining a back injury in the ARCA race a week before. Fontaine was at the track with the team to support Self.
“He was out here supporting us, and it’s just really cool to see him bounce back, be at a racetrack so fast after an injury like that,” Self said. “Really that’s a big thanks to NASCAR and what everybody has done to make our sport a lot safer, to be able to see a guy take a hit like that and turn over and be at the racetrack the next week. That’s pretty cool.”
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