Michael Self kicked off a new season with Saturday’s start in the ARCA Racing Series season opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Self, coming off a third-place finish at Kansas Speedway last season, was excited to get back on track in his No. 28 Sinclair Oil Toyota Camry.

 

Self came out strong for group qualifying and earned an eighth-place starting position. Despite the good qualifying efforts, the team had to make repairs to the damaged bumper on the No. 28, and start at the back of the field. When the green flag dropped, Self steadily drove his way through the field. With 24 laps remaining, he had worked his way up to 11th position. As the laps wound down, the action picked up and a wreck developed right in front of him. Self tried his best to avoid the crash- including a move to the grass- but ultimately he was collected. A leaking radiator sent the No. 28 Sinclair Oil Toyota to the garage for the remainder of the event, resulting in a 27th-place finish.

 

“To start, I really can’t thank everyone at MDM Motorsports enough for their hard work this week,” Self said. “We weren’t where wanted to be in practice on Thursday, and the guys worked hard throughout the night and all day on Friday to give me a Sinclair Oil Toyota that really came to life in qualifying. Qualifying eighth was a big confidence boost, but when we were forced to start at the rear, I knew that was going to be tough to overcome. We went in with a game plan of just being patient, and working our way up bit by bit, which I still think was the right thing to do, but we just couldn’t seem to get paired up with the right cars. Once we finally cracked the top-10 I felt like we were in a pretty good spot to keep pushing forward until the finish, but a few guys in front of us were just too impatient as the laps wound down, and we got caught in someone else’s mess. All in all, it was a great day of learning, and I couldn’t have been more proud to represent Sinclair Oil on oval racing’s biggest stage. I’m looking forward to getting back to work, and figuring out when we’ll be back on track.”

 

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