Concord, North Carolina (March 7, 2019) – Michael Self, driver of the No. 25 Sinclair Oil Toyota for Venturini Motorsports will make his first ever start at Five Flags Speedway when the ARCA Menards Series (ARCA) returns to action under the lights Saturday night in Pensacola, FL.
This weekend’s event marks the first time the ARCA series has competed on the half-mile short track since 1996. Looking to gain pre-race experience and shake down a new car, Self and his Sinclair Oil team visited the gulf coast last week and tested with his Venturini Motorsports teammates.
“After a month layoff I’m excited to get back in the car,” Self said. “This will be my first time racing in Pensacola. We went down last week with a new car and had a very productive afternoon of testing.”
A three-time ARCA Series winner, Self, 27, is in the midst of running his first full season schedule.
“Never having been to Five Flags before, I turned a lot of laps which really helped me figure out the track and get comfortable. We were able to try a lot of different things with our setups on the car. I feel like we ultimately ended up in a decent spot and have a good idea of which direction we need to go this weekend for the race. It was also another great opportunity for me to build chemistry with the new team, and kind of figure out how Shannon Rursch (crew chief) does things outside a superspeedway environment – which was really helpful.”
During the season opening event at Daytona International Speedway, Self was wrapped up in an early race accident and credited with a disappointing 31st place result. Despite his Daytona finish, the series’ championship contender remains optimistic going into round two.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed about the points situation after Daytona,” Self said. “Wrecking out early put us in a huge deficit, and definitely a position I didn’t want to be in, but here we are. Thankfully we’ve got 19 races to make up ground. I feel as good about our Sinclair Oil Toyota team as I’ve ever felt about a team. This is a group of guys I’m really excited about going to the track with this year. That’s really important to me, and something that will hopefully play to our advantage. We have to be smart both on and off the track to finish races and put ourselves in position to win, and that lies on me as much as anyone.”
The ARCA Menards Series takes to the half-mile Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida on Saturday, March 9. Practice starts at 1:00 pm; General Tire Pole Qualifying is set for 4:30 pm; and the green flag will drop at 8:00 pm. All times EST. The race will be aired LIVE on MAVTV.
Credit: Venturini Motorsports