Broken Suspension and 14th Place Finish Delivers Blow to Self at Salem
Concord, NC (9/17/2019) - A night Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Oil Toyota) would rather soon forget, Saturday’s Fall Classic 200 at Salem Speedway delivered a low mark on what’s so far been a career season for the 28-year-old driver for Venturini Motorsports.
Self, who entered Salem as the defending race winner with a 70-point lead over teammate Christian Eckes in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings started fourth on the grid in his quest for a repeat victory. With a fast Sinclair Oil Toyota under his seat the current points leader would show speed driving up to the second spot early in the running behind eventual race winner Ty Gibbs.
Looking to have a dominant car as the race approached the halfway point, disaster hit for Self while running under caution after exiting the pits. Self, running second would radio in with a problem. Forced to pull off the track and drive his Sinclair Toyota behind the wall, the team quickly went to work to repair a broken suspension bolt which sidelined Self for 66 laps.
“Tonight was such a disappointing night for this entire team,” said a dejected Self after the race.
“I’m thankful to be here because Sinclair allows me this opportunity, and we come here to win, but unfortunately we’ve had a lot of mechanical issues this year that have stripped us of some solid finishes. When something like this happens it’s just such a letdown, especially when I feel like we had a car that could’ve easily finished in the top-three, and maybe competed for another win here at Salem. We have two races left. The only thing we can do now is move forward and try and win.”
With only two races remaining in the 2019 season the stakes are high for both Self and Eckes. Self takes his narrow 5-point margin series lead in the point standings to the Indianapolis-based Lucas Oil Raceway Park next.
The ARCA Menards Series will take two weekends off before returning to action on Saturday, October 5 with the Herr's Potato Chips 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway.