Michael Self is our next radio guest on Fan4Racing NASCAR Weekend Preview at 9 pm ET on Thursday, February 7, 2019. Call 929-477-1790 or tweet @Fan4RacingSite with any questions or comments during our LIVE broadcast.
The long wait is over and the ARCA Racing Series is back at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway for their season opener. The Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire is on Saturday afternoon and the defending winner, Michael Self is looking for his second consecutive victory with some tough competition on his heels.
Boosting Self’s confidence is that he’s not only in pursuit of another win at Daytona, he’s racing full-time this season with Venturini Motorsports and is chasing his first ARCA championship title. Another win at Daytona is the first step toward that goal.
Michael Self, Driver of the No. 25 for Venturini Motorsports
“As we focus on a championship for the first time, it’s really important that we get things right and are as prepared as possible for Daytona. If we can go in and win again, obviously that’s the best scenario for many reasons but ultimately this year is about the championship so coming out of Daytona clean with a solid finish is important on its own.”
The competition for Self begins with his Venturini teammates. They recently took part in a productive test in January at Daytona with the Venturini group topping the leaderboard over two days – Self was fourth quickest within the organization.
“All four of our Venturini cars were really strong, but individually our car was a little bit off of where we want to be. We got stuck in a spot that no matter what change we made we weren’t able to pick up speed.”Michael Self on his January Daytona Test Results
Since then, Self’s team has focused
In the wings though is the No. 3 car of Willie Mullins who is also looking to improve his second-place finish from last year after coming into the event as an underdog.
Adding to Mullins confidence is his new crew chief, NASCAR veteran Tony Furr who is a former Daytona winning crew chief with John Andretti in July of 1997.
“The main thing is the knowledge Tony brings. He’s such a large wealth of knowledge andWillie Mullins on his new Crew Chief Tony Furr
we’reable to tap into that. He’s spent so much time in the wind tunnel with Hendrick, and we’re going to use a lot of that knowledge to find speed with our car.”
With the success of his run last season and with a veteran calling
“There is a lot of excitement this year. Last year we had the unknown of the new body and this year we have the excitement of going back with a second-place finish and knowing we have a fast car now. Now we’ve got to turn that excitement into a result. We’re very much looking forward to going back and having a lot of our crew back with us this year and hopefully, we can try and come out of there with a good result again.Willie Mullins on competing at Daytona this weekend.
Other ARCA competitors to watch this weekend are Brett Holmes in the No. 23, Travis Braden in the No. 27, Joe Graf Jr in the No. 77, Riley Herbst in the No. 18, and last year’s pole winner, Natalie Decker in the No. 54. The total Daytona field is expected to be around 40 entries.
ARCA on-track events start Thursday, February 7th with two hours of practice at 4 pm ET. On Friday, February 8th, another hour of practice starts at 9:30 am ET with Pole Qualifying starting at 3:30 pm ET. The green flag will wave on Saturday, February 9th at 4:30 pm ET with FOX Sports 1 live coverage. Timing and scoring along with