The last three races have seen some stress and struggle for Michael Self and the No. 55 Sinclair Oil Toyota team, and unfortunately things weren’t meant to turn around on Saturday night’s Shore Lodge 200 make-up event at Lucas Oil Raceway Park.

The ARCA Racing Series returned to the track with a one-and-a-half hour practice session to start the day. After a positive test day several weeks earlier, Self was only able to deliver the 13th-quickest time of the session. The team found a mechanical issue in the left rear shock that they determined was the cause of the lack of speed, and rebounded slightly with an 11th-place qualifying run.

“Practice and qualifying were frustrating to say the least,” said Self. “We were horribly tight in practice and the car wasn’t responding to any changes we were making, then we found the shock issue after practice which gave us some hope as to why we were struggling, but that effectively made the practice session useless and we didn’t really know where we were at for qualifying.”

Despite the uncertainty, Self was able to rally at the drop of the green-flag, making moves toward the front of the field and settling in to the sixth-position at the lap-35 mark, but more mechanical woes would follow. The right-front tire and brake cooling fans were struck by debris around lap 40, rendering them useless, which resulted in that tire overheating throughout the remainder of the race. Self would ultimately cross the finish line in the 11th-position, two laps down.

“We’ve had a lot of speed at times these last three races, but haven’t been able to bring home any solid finishes,” said Self post-race. “It’s really disappointing.  We’ve honestly had great speed every race this year, we just haven’t been able to capitalize on it all the time, and that’s something both myself, and the team can work on to get better. We’ve got one more shot at Kansas which is a track I really enjoy, so hopeful we can rebound there and end the year on a strong run like we did last year.”