Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Austin Wayne Self pushing Donald Trump, importance of voting with truck logos

5 Comments

TALLADEGA, Ala. – Austin Wayne Self will carry a noticeable message on his truck Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.

Self’s No. 22 is an endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence. The Toyota is decked out in “Trump/Pence 2016” logos as well as Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.”

For Self, it’s his way of reminding everyone about the importance of voting in the upcoming Nov. 8 election.

“There’s no endorsements, no money coming in,” Self told NBC Sports about the truck’s logos. “It was between me, my father (who owns the truck), and the race team. I think it’s a really important election, probably the most important one we’ve seen in a long time, so that was really the main goal. Putting Trump on the truck was our opinion, that’s who we support. A lot of people agree with that, some people don’t, but at the end of the day, it’s been getting a lot of attention and it’s been fun to watch. And I think on both sides it’s made them realize how important it is to vote.”

Self is the latest driver to endorse Trump. In March, NASCAR CEO Brian France faced backlash after appearing and endorsing Trump at a rally in Georiga. He was joined by Bill and Chase Elliott, Ryan Newman, and David Ragan.

Self’s team has gone all out with their endorsement. Special fan autograph cards were made and there are plans to turn the truck into a die-cast collectible.

There have been numerous posts on social media about the logos, and Self will appear on “Fox & Friends” Saturday morning to discuss the truck. He’s also heard all of the positive and negative feedback, which he says doesn’t bother him because he respects the differing opinions.

“That’s the country we live in, we can speak up with our opinions,” he said. “I’ve definitely seen a lot about (the truck). I’ve seen some negative stuff but it doesn’t hurt my feelings at all; I enjoy seeing that. It kind of humbles me a little bit that they feel free to express their opinion.”

Self hopes this weekend will have a lasting effect.

“I think it’s opened up doors for me to express myself and what I stand for,” Self said. “It’s been exciting and, hopefully, it creates new opportunities for me because I’ve definitely enjoyed this.”

Follow @KellyCrandall

Kyle Larson fastest in final practice for Coca-Cola 600

Getty Images
Leave a comment

CONCORD, N.C. — Kyle Larson topped the final practice session for Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 with a speed at 186.400 mph.

The Cup points leader, Larson will start 39th in the race because his No. 42 Chevrolet didn’t clear inspection in time to qualify.

Ryan Blaney (185.861), Matt Kenseth (185.046), Kurt Busch (184.856) and Erik Jones (184.818) rounded out the top five.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was seventh fastest at 184.433 mph. Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick was 20th fastest at 182.648 mph.

Jimmie Johnson recorded the most laps in the session with 47.

Jamie McMurray had the best 10-lap average at 180.914 mph.

The session was stopped for a caution once after Brad Keselowski spun exiting Turn 4.

Click here for the full practice report.

Justin Allgaier wins pole for Charlotte Xfinity race

Getty Images
Leave a comment

CONCORD, N.C. — Justin Allgaier won the pole for the Xfinity Series’ Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

With a speed at 182.488 mph, Allgaier earned his fifth Xfinity pole and his first since the March 2013 race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Allgaier is joined on the front row by Austin Dillon (181.519).

The top five was completed by Ryan Blaney (181.378), Daniel Hemric (181.324) and Kevin Harvick (181.245).

Christopher Bell will start seventh in his first Xfinity race.

Brad Keselowski and Dakoda Armstrong will start from the rear after not passing inspection in time to qualify.

Click here for full qualifying results.

Ryan Blaney leads second Coke 600 practice

Getty Images
Leave a comment

CONCORD, N.C. — Ryan Blaney posted the top speed in the second practice session for the Coca-Cola 600.

Blaney’s No. 21 Ford produced a speed of 188.055 mph Saturday morning around Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The top five was filled out by Erik Jones (187.598 mph), Martin Truex Jr. (187.084), Daniel Suarez (186.838) and Trevor Bayne (186.239).

Pole-sitter Kevin Harvick was ninth fastest at 185.567 mph. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 14th quickest at 185.141 mph.

Kyle Busch recorded the most laps in the session with 48.

Click here for the full practice report.

Eight teams lose 15 minutes of Coke 600 practice for failing pre-qualifying inspection

Getty Images
Leave a comment

CONCORD, N.C. — Eight Cup teams were held 15 minutes during Coca-Cola 600 practice today for failing pre-qualifying inspection on Thursday

Drivers include Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, David Ragan, Kurt Busch, Kyle Larson, Corey LaJoie and Chris Buescher.

Buescher’s team also loses pit selection for Sunday’s race because it failed inspection three times.

Larson and LaJoie’s loss of practice time comes after neither qualified Thuraday because their cars didn’t clear inspection in time.