Photo courtesy of Barry Cantrell, Short Track Spotlight

Concord, North Carolina (April 30, 2018) – The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards made the season’s fourth tour stop last Friday invading Talladega Superspeedway for the 56th running of the General Tire 200.

Looking forward to his first start at the 2.66-mile superspeedway that’s just 45 minutes outside of his birth city of Birmingham, was Michael Self. Self started the day strong for Venturini Motorsports in the No. 15 Sinclair Oil Toyota when he qualified on the pole position. This first place starting spot was the first ARCA Racing Series pole award for Self in 12 career starts.

Self’s pole award marked Venturini Motorsports 50th all-time in series competition and is the fourth consecutive Pole to start the season by VMS drivers, joining Daytona Pole Award winner Natalie Decker and 15-year old Chandler Smith who went back-to-back winning the award at Nashville and Salem.

Self, this year’s Daytona winner, was on full display in the race leading early for a total of 21 laps before falling back in the field after getting caught entering pit road while attempting a green flag pit stop just as an untimely caution flag flew ruining the 15-team’s strategy. Restarting from the tail end of the lead lap cars, the 27-year old driver navigated his way through the draft returning to the front and challenged for the win on the final lap.

“Winning the pole was awesome,” said Self. “Qualifying has never been particularly easy for me for some reason, so to come here and get one, even though you just hold the gas pedal to the floor, is really special. It speaks a tremendous amount to the quality of cars the VMS guys are bringing to the track every week. We started the race out strong and had a car that was capable of running out front and we got to do some really good, hard racing in the first stint, but when it came time for pit stops we just didn’t have a lot of luck with our whole scenario. I made some inexcusable mistakes that cost us track position, and I’ve got to get better there, but we were able to rebound and drive from the back of the field to the front and be in contention for another win with just a few laps to go. That’s all you can really ask for at these superspeedway races. Everything is just a matter of circumstance.”

Off to a hot start, Self has yet to finish outside the top-4 positions in three attempts on the season. In 12-series starts since 2014, Self now has eight top-five finishes to go along with two victories and one pole award. Self will miss the next series event at Toledo Speedway, but will be back in the seat of the No. 15 Sinclair Oil Toyota at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24th.