Austin Wayne Self is set to embark on his third season of competition in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, though with a new team. After success with AM Racing, he will make the move to Niece Motorsports in 2018.
Popular Speed’s Ashley McCubbin recently caught up with the 21-year-old to get his thoughts on the year ahead, and this past season.
POPULAR SPEED: What are your thoughts on the opportunity for 2018?
AUSTIN WAYNE SELF: I’m very excited for it. I’ve ran for Niece Motorsports a few times, and next year I think we’ll be prepared to go and hopefully run for points.
PS: What are your goals and expectations?
AWS: I think my goal is to run for the playoffs, and try to get a spot in the playoffs. I’ll get a better picture of it early in the season with how everything is going, but my goal right now is to be better than I have been the past two years. So I think making the playoffs would be a realistic goal for us.
PS: What track are you most excited to get to?
AWS: I’m excited about Texas every time I go there, being my home track, but that one and Canada (Canadian Tire Motorsports Park), and Eldora are always tracks that I like to pick out from the others. They’re unique for me and I enjoy them, too.
PS: How would you characterize this past season?
AWS: It was a great year with the second-place finish at Daytona. That was awesome. We had a good run at Texas, and I got to run with a few different teams to feel out some different programs to see how things work. I got to spend a lot of time working on myself also. I thought we had some really great runs overall, and being able to pull off 15th in points not running all the races is pretty cool, too.
PS: What’s the biggest thing you learned this past year?
AWS: Just being consistent, as far as where we are on the track. There’s times where you may have a bed segment or run, and the next segment you do really well. So for me, it’s just being consistent and making sure to keep going back and forth with my crew chief and working on the truck and building that relationship.
PS: NASCAR just got done the first year of stage racing. What are your reflections?
AWS: I thought it was great. I enjoyed it in all three series. I thought it added a pretty neat aspect to the race. The drivers in each segment raced hard as it means so much more with the points. It made it pretty interesting to watch, and I’ve enjoyed it.
PS: What are your plans for the off-season?
AWS: To get prepared. Niece is moving shops, so we’re going to moving some stuff over there and getting settled in before next season.
The 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season kicks off with the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway on February 16.
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