After a long offseason highlighted by the announcement of Michael Self’s return to the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards the stage is set for the series’ opening event at Daytona International Speedway.
Self, 28, the defending Daytona race winner, will kick off his season pursuit of an ARCA championship driving Venturini Motorsports’ flagship No. 25 Sinclair Oil Toyota. Returning to the series for his first full season effort, the Utah native has notched three wins in just 19-career ARCA starts since 2015. The championship contender will be paired with veteran crew chief Shannon Rursch for the upcoming 2019 campaign.
“This is the start of our championship effort, so while winning again at Daytona would be incredible, we have to focus on the big picture starting on lap one,” says Self. “There are going to be days where we’re in position to win, and days when we aren’t, and it’s up to me to be smarter than I’ve been in the past and always finish no matter what type of day it’s going to be.”
“I honestly just can’t wait to get this season started. My family and I have put in so much hard work for so many years trying to build the opportunity to race for an ARCA championship, and it’s finally happening with the best sponsor we could ask for behind us. Sinclair has been so incredible to work with and we have so many exciting things planned around this season, I’m just ready to get to the track and kick everything off.”
“I feel better about superspeedway racing than I ever have after the successful races we had last year, but I’m definitely not an expert,” Self says. “I think if anything, I just know that I can’t go in with any expectations because things can change in a heartbeat in this race. You just have to be prepared and know that the race isn’t over until it’s over. I know how critical working with my spotter (Brandon Benesch) will be, and feel like experience is on my side, and those are great tools to have at Daytona.”
The first official track activity of the season will come on Thursday, February 7 when the teams receive two hours of practice starting at 4 pm ET. There will be another hour of practice on Friday, February 8 starting at 9:30 am ET followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 3:30 pm ET.
FOX Sports 1 will air the race live starting with green flag coverage of the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire at 4:30 pm ET on Saturday, February 9.