Regaining the ARCA Menards Series points lead on the strength of his fourth top five finish of the season last weekend in Toledo, Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Oil Toyota) hopes to keep the momentum rolling during tomorrow’s General Tire 150 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“I’ve been waiting for this point on the schedule the entire year,” says Self when asked about the next three races, and the transition from short tracks to intermediate speedways.
“I really enjoy racing on, and driving the bigger tracks. When I looked at the schedule, there weren’t many races within the first six that I really felt great about. There were a lot of short tracks and the two superspeedways, none of which I felt were really my strong suit. When we get to the tracks like Charlotte, that’s when I get excited because I genuinely enjoy driving at those places, even though Charlotte wasn’t a good race for me last year.”
Thursday’s prime time event marks the series’ seventh event of the season as well as Self’s second career start on Charlotte’s 1.5-mile surface. Last year in the series first appearance since 2005, Self qualified fifth and finished 21st after an incident on his second qualifying lap forced him to a backup car for the race.
Self, who now hold a 25-point advantage over Travis Braden for the top spot knows the importance of consistency during ARCA’s 20-race schedule.
“The points battle is so tight, I think everyone competing for it has to be conscious of the big picture and minimize mistakes. Everyone who has been the points leader up to this point has been plagued it seems. Christian got sick at Salem then had a wreck at Talladega, I got caught in a wreck at Nashville, and Travis got caught up in one at Toledo. I want to minimize those kinds of issues, and go out and have some fun and try to win on these tracks I really enjoy racing at.”
This week’s race will be the Utah driver’s 25th overall ARCA start since breaking into the series with Venturini Motorsports in 2014. Winning 20% of all races entered, Self looks to better his stats with his sixth career victory and fourth on an intermediate or superspeedway.
The ARCA Menards Series returns to Charlotte on Thursday, May 23 as part of a double header which features Pole Night for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600. Two hours of practice for the General Tire 150 is scheduled for 11:30 am ET, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 5 pm ET, and the race is set to go green shortly after 9 pm ET. The race will be televised live on FS1