Austin Wayne Self

Call him the bounty hunter: Chase Elliott beats Kyle Busch to win $100K

Leave a comment

Chase Elliott may have earned a new nickname Tuesday night: the Bounty Hunter.

By winning the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Elliott won a $100,000 “bounty” put up by Kevin Harvick and Gander RV & Outdoors CEO Marcus Lemonis to be a full-time Cup driver to beat Kyle Busch to the finish line, snapping Busch’s streak of seven consecutive Truck Series wins.

The money goes to a charity of Elliott’s choosing, benefitting COVID-19 relief.

“It was a lot of fun,” Elliott told FS1. “It’d been a long time. It doesn’t make up for Sunday (finished second in the Coca-Cola 600) but it was still a really good night. I’m glad to win and do some good for the relief efforts for this virus.”

Busch gave Elliott all he could handle in the last 15 laps, drawing closer seemingly on every lap, but ultimately couldn’t catch Elliott before the finish line.

“He was a little better than I was there at the end; I had gotten a little tight and I don’t think we adjusted enough on the last pit stop,” Elliott said of Busch. “Luckily, the right front stayed on it long enough to get to the end.

“To be able to come out and out-run him and him finish second, I’d rather have him finish second than wreck or something, so I feel like I did something right.”

MORE: Results, standings after Truck race at Charlotte

It was Elliott’s third win in 13 career Truck Series races.

Busch was frustrated with his truck all night.

“(The truck) just never was right, so we were out in left field the whole night, never had a real great feel for the truck, a great driving truck, so I just salvaged what I could,” Busch said in a post-race Zoom media conference call. “It was self-inflicted, threw it away. We had six months to prepare and screwed it all up.”

Chase Elliott celebrates after winning the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Trucks Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Busch chuckled when told that Elliott imitated Busch’s usual bow after each win he amasses.

“No, this is the first I’m hearing of it,” Busch said. “Imitation is the strongest form of flattery or I don’t know what it is. But that’s cute.”

Elliott

“It was just a spur of the moment thing,” Elliott said with a smile. “I thought we’ve had so much fun with it with Kevin (Harvick) and putting up the money, Kyle was a good sport about it.

“It was not a dig at anybody, just having fun with it. It was about beating him, so why not have some fun with it.”

Zane Smith finished third, followed by Brett Moffitt and Sheldon Creed.

John Hunter Nemechek finished sixth followed by Johnny Sauter, Ty Majeski, Austin Hill and Ben Rhodes.

Tuesday’s race was the first for the Truck Series since Busch won Feb. 21 at Las Vegas, just a couple of weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down NASCAR racing for more than two months.

It was Elliott’s first Truck race since 2017.

“It was about beating Kyle and we did that, so I guess I can quit now,” Elliott laughed.

Busch, meanwhile, saw his streak of winning the last seven Truck races he entered fall short of an eighth consecutive start and win.

Busch finished fourth in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600, won Monday’s Xfinity race and was runner-up in Tuesday’s race. He goes for another win in Wednesday’s Alsco Uniforms 500, which wraps up four races in as many days at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Ross Chastain (first stage win of season)

STAGE 2 WINNER: Chase Elliott

Who had a good race: Zane Smith was the highest finishing rookie driver, earning a career-best third-place finish. Smith has made just four starts in a Truck in his career but gave the front runners a formidable challenge, particularly in the final 15 laps. “I was so determined to get third,” the 20-year-old Smith said. “It was an awesome night.”

Who had a bad race: Brennan Poole was involved in two last segment incidents that prevented him from making his bid to collect the Harvick/Lemonis bounty. Poole finished 38th. … Matt Crafton suffered a broken track bar late in the race, ending his night prematurely. Crafton finished 35th.

Notable: Brett Moffitt continues to impress in his ongoing recovery from suffering two broken legs in mid-March. In the last five days, Moffitt has earned strong 11th (Darlington) and 6th (Charlotte) place finishes with a fourth-place finish in the Truck race.

What’s next: Vet Tix Camping World 200, Saturday June 6 at 1 p.m. ET, Texas Motor Speedway.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

NASCAR’s updated entry lists for Dover

Getty Images
Leave a comment

All three of NASCAR’s national series will compete this weekend at Dover International Speedway. It’s the first time all three series have been in action since Texas Motor Speedway at the end of March.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for each race at the “Monster Mile.”

Cup – Gander RV 400 (2 p.m. ET Sunday on Fox Sports 1)

There are 37 cars entered for the race.

Quin Houff is entered in Spire Motorsports’ No. 77 Chevrolet for the fourth time.

Last year, Kevin Harvick won this race over Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez. Chase Elliott won the playoff race over Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano.

Click here for entry list

Xfinity – Allied Steel Buildings 200 (1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday on FS1)

There are 38 entries for the race, which is also the final Dash 4 Cash event of the year.

Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe and Gray Gaulding will compete for the $100,000 bonus.

Kaz Grala is entered in his third race driving Richard Childress Racing’s No. 21 Chevrolet.

Riley Herbst is entered in Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota.

Bayley Currey will drive Rick Ware Racing’s No. 17 Chevrolet.

Justin Allgaier won this race last year over Elliott Sadler and Daniel Hemric. Bell won the playoff race over Cole Custer and Allgaier.

Click here for the updated entry list.

Trucks – JEGS 200 (5 p.m. ET on Friday on FS1)

There are 32 trucks entered. Three entries have been withdrawn.

AM Racing’s No. 22 Chevrolet will be driven by Austin Wayne Self who will return to the truck after his suspension was lifted.

Ryan Sieg is entered in Reaume Brothers Racing’s No. 33 Chevrolet for his first Truck Series start since 2015.

Raphael Lessard is entered in Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 46 Toyota.

Brandon Jones is entered in KBM’s No. 51 Toyota.

Johnny Sauter has won the last two Truck Series races at Dover.

Click here for the updated entry list.

Austin Wayne Self suspension lifted after completion of Road to Recovery program

Getty Images
1 Comment

Austin Wayne Self‘s indefinite suspension has been lifted by NASCAR after he completed its Road to Recovery program.

NASCAR suspended Self on April 1 for a failed drug test that was taken during the Daytona race weekend.

NBC Sports has confirmed that Self will return to AM Racing’s No. 22 Chevrolet this weekend in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway.

Following the drug test at Daytona, Self competed in the first three races of the season. After NASCAR became aware of the positive result drug test, it asked him to “stand down” from competing at Martinsville (March 23) and Texas (March 29). Self was given the option of requesting additional testing on the initial sample or waive that and accept any penalty.

Bubba Wallace drove in Self’s place in each race and finished 10th and 20th.

This weekend’s race at Dover will be the first Truck Series event since Self’s suspension was announced.

 

Austin Wayne Self apologizes for failed drug test; NASCAR explains process

Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
2 Comments

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver Austin Wayne Self apologized Tuesday for failing a random drug test that led to NASCAR indefinitely suspending him Monday.

In a post on his official Twitter account, Self did not state what led to the failed drug test. Nor did NASCAR reveal what type of substance was found in his system.

Self said the drug test took place earlier this season at Daytona. He finished ninth at Daytona (Feb. 15) and was 27th at Atlanta (Feb. 23) and 15th at Las Vegas (March 1). AM Racing announced before the Martinsville race (March 23) that Self was being replaced by Bubba Wallace, who also drove for the team at Texas last weekend.

A NASCAR spokesperson told NBC Sports that once the sanctioning body became aware of a positive test from Self, he was asked to “stand down” from competing at Martinsville and Texas, and was given the option of requesting additional testing on the initial sample or waive that and accept any penalty.

Drug Free Sport in Kansas City, Missouri, collects the samples for NASCAR. Those samples are sent for testing to the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory (SMRTL) in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The NASCAR spokesperson explained the time gap from the initial test to the notification of Self through Monday’s suspension.

Because (SMRTL) tests athletes in Major League Baseball, the NFL and a number of other sports and clients, there’s an expected amount of time from sample collection to actual results; it’s not instantaneous and we know that,” the NASCAR spokesperson said. “Ideally, it would be great to get a confirmed test result within 24 hours, but that’s just not realistic. We’re very happy with our partners, SMRTL and Drug Free Sport. They’re the best in the business as far as we’re concerned, they do a good job for us and there’s a reason why just about all the professional sports leagues use them.”

Dr. Doug Aukerman, NASCAR’s Medical Review Officer, informed both NASCAR and Self of the initial positive test result prior to the Martinsville race. Upon being told, Self was given 72 hours to decide to have another test from the remaining sample or to waive that option.

The NASCAR spokesperson said the 23-year-old driver has entered NASCAR’s “Road To Recovery” program of mandatory follow-up testing and education. The spokesperson also said those who have entered the Road To Recovery have returned to the sport in as little as six weeks.

“Once (the Road To Recovery administrator has) determined that the individual has sufficiently recovered from the situation and is confident that he or she will be able to perform without fear of getting involved with the substance again, they notify us and the competitor is allowed to request reinstatement,” the NASCAR spokesperson told NBC Sports. “We’re very happy with our policy, we believe our policy is fair to competitors and creates an environment that keeps the safety of competitors and everyone first and foremost. As important, if we do have someone who has an issue, we do provide a path back to the sport for them.”

Here is Self’s apology that he posted on social media:

To each of my fans, team partners, crew members, and fellow NASCAR members, I ask for your grace and understanding in this difficult season of adversity, and ask that you would accept my apology for what has happened. It is an honor to be involved in a premier sport so great as ours, and I am truly crushed for what has happened.

It has been incredibly disheartening since learning of the results from the random drug test taken earlier this season at Daytona, through our sanctioning body, and for the news announced (Monday).

The news and positive results have caught me as a surprise. Being a driver, I am expected to be a steward for our sport – someone who pays attention to even the most minute of details, just as our race team does with our trucks in competition. Moving forward I promise to those who will follow this journey, that I will aim to the utmost of my ability to do a better job at paying close attention to what I consume, and allow into my body, as an athlete.

I will work closely with NASCAR through this process to learn more about what has happened, and to ensure that I am able to return to competition as quickly as possible.

Moving forward, I would be grateful to have your prayers as I prepare for the days ahead. I take comfort in knowing that God has a plan for the through this, and that as 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 explains, will come through this stronger ready to tackle what lies ahead. Thank you for your support and understanding.”

Shortly after Self’s suspension was announced Monday, the team said it was working on finding a replacement in Self’s absence. The next Truck Series race is May 3 at Dover International Speedway.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Truck Series driver Austin Wayne Self suspended indefinitely

Getty Images
Leave a comment

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver Austin Wayne Self has been suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for violating the sport’s Substance Abuse Penalty (SAP) policy, covered in the Behavior category of Sections 12.1 and 19 of the NASCAR Rule Book.

The 23-year-old Austin, Texas native has 66 career starts in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, with a career-best finish of second place in the 2017 season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway.

Self competed in three races this season, with his last start being a 15th place finish at Las Vegas. Bubba Wallace drove for Self in the last two Truck Series races (Martinsville and Texas).

Austin Wayne Self drives for his family’s team, AM Racing, owned by his father Tim Self.

A team spokesman issued the following statement:

“AM Racing respects NASCAR’s decision and will follow their direction. We expect Austin Wayne Self to return to the seat as quickly as possible. AM Racing will continue to operate as normal with a determination of a driver lineup set in the coming weeks. We expect to emerge from this challenge as a stronger team.”

Self issued the following statement a day after the announcement:

There was one other penalty issued unrelated to Self: John Klausmeier, crew chief for Aric Almirola in the No. 10 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford in the Cup Series, has been fined $10,000 for violating Sections 10.9.10.4: Tires and Wheels — Lug nut(s) not properly installed..

Follow @JerryBonkowski