Austin Wayne Self and his AM Racing team continued their NASCAR Camping World Truck Series initiation at Atlanta on Friday evening, as the rookie driver battled to a 16th place finish in the Great Clips 200.
Self, who was making just his second NCWTS start, qualified 20th for the race in his No. 22 AM Technical Solutions Toyota Tundra and was running 14th prior to the final restart. He finished on the lead lap at a track many veteran drivers consider perhaps the series’ toughest. Self was coming off a season-opening performance at Daytona last week in which he ran as high as 6th and on the fringe of the top-10 for much of the race, giving early indication that the team from Texas has the goods to be a NCWTS contender.
“Atlanta was a great learning experience for me, in terms of figuring out how the air impacts these trucks and the way the trucks handle in race conditions,” Self said. “I certainly could have been more aggressive, but my mission was to learn, stay out of trouble and try to finish the race on the lead lap, and we were able to do that.”
Self is in 17th place in the NCWTS driver standings following the first two races of the season. AM Racing is also 17th in Owner Points. As a new team this season, AM Racing has no guaranteed starting position and must qualify for each race. AM Racing owner Tim Self says so far, so good this season where the team’s competitive plan is concerned.
“Our goal as a team in these first few races is to race clean, make no mistakes and try to earn the respect of NASCAR and our competitors in the NCWTS,” Tim Self said. “As a new team without the benefit of previous points, we’re not guaranteed a starting spot. So for us at this point, making the race, finishing the race and bringing our trucks back in one piece is a win. We’re building a solid foundation that will enable continuous improvement and better performance as the season progresses.”
Crew Chief Marc Browning believes there’s no reason the first-year team can’t be a contender in the first-ever NCWTS Chase for the Championship. “We intend to put ourselves in position to make the Chase, and consistency and calculated caution are key to making it happen,” Browning said. “We expect to continue to get better each week. Our guys have great attitudes and are working hard, and they’re all-in with their commitment. As a Texas team, we’re getting great support from our fans and partners there, and we’re thankful to our partners Black’s Barbecue, Texas Tea, Beanitos and Rick’s Salsa for keeping us well-fed during the long days and nights at the race track and shop.”
Next up on the NCWTS schedule for Austin Wayne Self and the AM Racing team is the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville on Saturday, April 2. Televised coverage of the race begins at 2pm EST on Fox Sports 1. Live coverage of the race may also be heard on MRN Radio.
Prior to that, however, Self and his AM Racing teammates will return to the Lone Star State for some late model racing at the season-opener at Central Texas Speedway, Self’s home track.
Follow Austin Wayne Self on twitter at @AustinWSelf and on Facebook @ Austin Wayne Self.
AM Racing PR