Already with two wins on the young ARCA Menard Series season, driver Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Oil Toyota) takes to the ultra-fast Talladega Superspeedway looking to make it three-in-a-row during this Friday’s 57th running of the General Tire 200 in Talladega, Alabama.
After getting caught up in a wreck on lap-3 in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway – resulting in a disappointing 31st place finish, Michael Self has been en fuego!
Self has rebounded in a big way winning back-to-back short track races at Five Flags Speedway and Salem Speedway. Hoisting the trophy in consecutive ARCA events Self has catapulted himself back into series’ driver championship contention discussions. He currently sits in the second position, five points out of the top spot behind series’ competitor Travis Braden.
“It’s tough to describe just how disappointing the start of our season was but I can’t express enough how excited I am by the way this 25 Sinclair Oil team has rebounded,” said Self. “We’ve had great cars at all three races this year, and I’m really focusing on racing smarter and with the big picture in mind, and fortunately that’s helped us get right back in the championship hunt.”
“Talladega was an up-and-down race for me last year, and fortunately ended positively overall, so maybe we can repeat that this year. I feel like I have the experience and knowledge to do well at Talladega, but there’s just so much that’s out of your hands at the superspeedway’s. I think we have to be smart the whole day, race around the right people, and focus on staying clean and being in position to be up front at the end.”
Self, 28, returns to Talladega after winning his first career pole award and finishing third in last year’s race with Venturini Motorsports (VMS). With four restrictor plate races to his credit, the Utah native found success last season when he added his name to the esteemed list of drivers who’ve won at Daytona.
“Obviously Daytona was the biggest win of my life, and we performed really well at both Daytona and Talladega last year, but I wouldn’t say I feel totally comfortable on the Superspeedway’s by any means. There’s so much that’s out of your hands as a driver, and you’re really at the mercy of everyone around you, so I think the most you can do is put yourself in a smart position around other drivers that you trust.”
“Going to the track with my team is just a fun experience all around right now. We have great chemistry, Shannon (Rursch) and I are really starting to mesh and understand each other, and that’s all really important to me on a race weekend. I think more than the wins and championship standings, I’m most excited about the team right now and knowing I’ve got 17 more races to develop those relationships and truly enjoy this season at the track.”
Self joins VMS teammates’ Christian Eckes and Brandon Lynn in search of delivering the team its first ARCA Menards Series win at Talladega. VMS has recorded 55 series’ wins since Bill Venturini captured his first at Spartan Speedway in 1985. Venturini still holds ARCA’s all-time qualifying speed record at Talladega Superspeedway with a speed of 205.432 mph set in 1987.
The 57th ARCA Menards Series event at Talladega Superspeedway, the General Tire 200, is scheduled for Friday, April 26, the opening event of the track’s 50thAnniversary season. Practice is scheduled for that morning at 9:30 am ET/8:30 am CT, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 3:35 pm ET/2:35 pm CT. The General Tire 200 will go green shortly after 6 pm ET/5 pm CT and will be televised live on FS1.