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Michael Self, Sinclair Capture Victory at Daytona

February 14, 2018
Michael Self, Sinclair Capture Victory at Daytona

 

Concord, North Carolina (February 14, 2018) – It’s the most highly anticipated event of the year playing out on racing’s biggest stage. On Saturday, 27-year old Michael Self claimed his place in history winning the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season opening Lucas Oil 200 Driven by General Tire at Daytona International Speedway.

Overcoming a mistake on pit road, brake issues and surviving two late multi-car crashes, Michael Self persevered, driving his No. 15 Venturini Motorsports’ prepared Sinclair Oil Toyota Camry to Daytona’s Gatorade Victory Lane giving him his second career series victory, and first at the World Center of Racing.

"To win at Daytona is an absolute dream come true,” said Self. “This race had caused me so much stress the past few weeks, because it's by far the type of racing in which I'm least comfortable and have the least amount of experience, so to overcome all that with a win is a huge deal personally.”

“I can't give enough credit to Kevin Reed and everyone at Venturini Motorsports for their support and belief in me throughout the entire weekend, even after I made mistakes during the race. After the effort those guys have put forth at the shop over the off-season, this is incredibly rewarding, and I'm so proud to have put Venturini Motorsports and Sinclair Oil in victory lane in our first race back together, and at Daytona of all places. I hope we can all take this as a huge momentum boost, and really enjoy this victory before we head to Nashville in a few weeks."

Self, a native of Park City, Utah, posted a fast lap of 50.075 (179.73 mph) during ARCA’s group qualifying effort placing him 13th on the starting grid for Saturday’s main event.

At the drop of the green flag, Self wasted no time, jumping out early placing his Sinclair Oil Toyota securely into the top-three running order during the early stages of the race.

Self’s security however, would be short-lived as he slid through his pit box, flat spotting his tires during the second caution flag of the night which would force him to come back to pit road for a third time. Giving up valuable track position to the leaders Self would restart the race deep in the field. Making matters worse, Self later radioed his crew informing them that his Sinclair Oil Camry had little to no brake pressure.

Working the draft, Self, used speed and guidance from his spotter, Mike Herman Jr., to race his way back through the heavily talented field.

Overcoming more issues, Self, vulnerable and racing mid-pack nearly missed two late-race multi-car crashes outside his windshield to get in position for the biggest win of his career.

Surviving the on-track chaos Self would take over the lead after the final caution flag and second race stoppage for debris cleanup. Taking the green-white flag Self flexed his muscles, catapulting his Toyota to a ten-length advantage - crossing the stripe and taking the checkered in dramatic fashion.

"Survived man… just survived," said Self in victory lane.

"I got really lucky. I made it through all the wrecks. This thing is rough… it's beat up. I made some mistakes, but we were able to overcome them. I had a lot of help on the radio… that's why we're here. This is especially great for Sinclair. It's insane how rewarding this feels. That company took a chance on me. They're from my home state, and that's really special."

With the leaders bunched up the entire way, even Self had no idea how he managed to drive away from the pack in the end.

"I have no idea how we got that big lead… I really don't. The car just took off. I was worried going down the backstretch… all those cars behind me with all that momentum. Those guys just seemed to stall each other out behind me.”

Self, who signed with Venturini Motorsports during the off-season, handed the longtime ARCA team it’s 45th overall team win and second at Daytona since 2012. The win marks Self’s second victory in a row, as his first career win came in the 2017 ARCA Racing Series season finale at Kansas Speedway.

Self and Sinclair Oil will go for their third consecutive series win when the ARCA Racing Series returns to action in the Music City 200 at the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville on Saturday, April 7.