For the first time since February, Michael Self and Dino took to the track on Friday to once again compete in the ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards, this time at Pocono Raceway in the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200. As Dino’s tend to do, they made some noise.

Self made his on-track debut in the No. 28 Sinclair Oil Chevrolet with Mason Mitchell Motorsports on Wednesday for the open test at Pocono Raceway.

“We were definitely not where we wanted to be throughout the day on Wednesday” said Self. “I was having a bit of a hard time figuring the track out, and the car was just way, way too tight. At the end of the day Mason and all the guys on our No. 28 Sinclair Oil team made some big swings, and got the car the best it had been, so it gave us a lot to think about and work on throughout the day off on Thursday to be ready for Friday.”

The changes the team made combined with time for Self to think about the track were a clear success as Self timed in third quickest right off in the bat in Friday’s sole practice session. Unfortunately, after just three laps, the No. 28 suffered a mechanical issue as the motor stopped running, with the culprit eventually being found as a blown head gasket. The team was forced to swap motors in the No. 28, ending their practice session early and with qualifying following closely after practice, Self was unable to make a qualifying lap leaving him to start last in the 34 car field for the race. At the drop off the green flag, the efforts of the Mason Mitchell Motorsports crew became clear, as Self and Dino showed no hesitation in storming through the field. By lap 6, Self had moved in to the 12th position, and on lap 17, he obtained the lead. Self led for two laps before a cut left tire forced him to pit off-cycle, and a slow stop sent him all the way back to 21st position. Self and Dino stayed consistent, though, driving through the field when on lap 39 the first and only caution of the race flew, the No. 28 had moved back in to the top-five, and a speedy four-tire pit stop allowed Self to restart in fourth for what would be the final half of the race. Self slotted in to the third position on the restart, but the Dino car would ultimately be too tight in the dirty air of the front two cars for Self to challenge for the lead. He settled for a third place finish, tying his ARCA career best, in four starts.

“Friday was such an eventful day. Way more than I had hoped for,” Self said. “We had definitely made progress with the car, and it felt great those first few laps of practice, but I was hoping for more time to get acclimated with it and practice what I’d learned about the track. Everyone at Mason Mitchell Motorsports chipped in to help get the motor swapped out, and I can’t thank those guys enough. A lot of people would’ve gotten frustrated and beat down but those guys worked hard, and it paid off. We definitely had the fastest car the first half of the race, but once we started racing in the top three the air just became too big of a factor and I wasn’t able to get by the front two. I can’t thank everyone from Sinclair and Sapp Brothers enough for coming out and supporting us the whole weekend. Even when we were fighting issues, having those guys around made it a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to Iowa with Mason Mitchell Motorsports. I’ve always loved that track, and think we can build on what we did at Pocono.”