Michael Self Reels in Runner-Up Finish at Madison
Concord, North Carolina (June 17, 2019) – Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Oil Toyota) turned in another strong performance over the weekend finishing second behind teammate Chandler Smith in a thrilling race at Madison International Speedway. With another stellar performance Self increased his series’ lead in the point standings over Bret Holmes.
Making his first ever start at the Wisconsin short track, Self qualified fifth for the Shore Lunch 200 before going on to earn his seventh top-five finish of the season. Losing a few spots at the onset of Friday’s feature he would ride inside the top-ten during the first quarter of the race before making his move.
Proving to have a strong Sinclair Oil machine the 28-year-old driver moved up to third by the halfway point and set his focus on the leader. After 150 laps a light rain would force ARCA officials to temporarily pause the race.
With 31 laps to go when the race resumed, VMS teammates lined up first, fourth, fifth and sixth – Chandler Smith out front, Michael Self and Christian Eckes in the middle and Hailie Deegan in pursuit.
Launching on the restart, Self bolted to the front taking the lead away from Smith. With a fierce battle brewing Eckes joined the party as the top-three VMS cars raced side-by-side for the lead coming out of turn four with less than 20 circuits remaining. Racing hard in the second position Eckes attempted to drive under Self on the front stretch but made contact and spun going for the lead.
Self would lead for 20 laps until a second race stoppage would restack the field for a final shootout with five laps remaining. Leading and taking the final green flag with five laps to go, Self was moved out of the way by teammate Chandler Smith as the two drivers raced for the win. Smith would maintain the top spot with Self taking the checkered flag in the second position.
“That was a tough day for me,” said Self post-race. “I had a hard time figuring this place out. It definitely punishes my driving style, which is typically over-driving the corners, and it took a lot of discipline for me to realize just how much I needed to back everything up. Around lap 60 I felt like I started to get the hang of things and our Sinclair Oil Toyota was really strong at that point. I was pumped that I was able to drive back up in to the top-three, then hang on throughout pit stops and the red flag in the middle of the race to take the lead on the outside. That was pretty cool. We just needed an adjustment to be better on the short runs to hang on for the win, but all-in-all a solid day for our team.”
Next up for the ARCA Menards Series is the Day to Day Coffee 150 at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway coming up on Saturday, June 22.