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ARCA

Apr 27 - 2020
Read Time 3 Min

10 Questions with Michael Self

Michael Self takes his Camry through Daytona’s high banking before driving to victory.10 Questions with Michael Self

What series and car are you currently in?

ARCA Menards Series, #25 Sinclair Oil Toyota

Describe your first win.

My first real stock car win came in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at Brainerd International Raceway in 2012. It was a road course, which was fitting because I’d always felt like I excelled at road racing from doing so much karting when I was young.

Throughout the race weekend, it was the first time in my stock car career that I had felt totally in control of the results from start to finish. We were way faster than everyone in practice, but we didn’t get to qualify due to rain, so I had to start ninth. I remember my crew chief and spotter helping me come up with a plan before the race to save tires, because that track was super abrasive.

The race only had one caution, early on. With two laps to go I was running second but still about two seconds behind the leader, but gaining on him fast. Coming to the white flag I specifically remember coming in to the long carousel corner, which was three corners before start/finish, and the watched the leader wheel-hop and shoot wide, and I was able to get by him. My dad was spotting that corner for me that day, and it was his first time ever spotting at all. I took the white flag, and a few seconds later I remember my crew chief coming over the radio and saying “He went off! Just take it easy the rest of the lap.” The car I had just passed for the lead had gone off-track in turn one, and I had a huge gap to the next car, so I was able to drive an easy lap and finish it off. It was an unbelievable feeling to have things happen that way with my dad being involved, and the win coming on a road course.

Michael Self goes through preseason photo shoots focused on the title.

What is your favorite workout at the gym?

Definitely chest or arm day. Not leg day. I hate leg day.

What is your most memorable birthday gift?

My wife took me on a zip-lining tour and to a bunch of breweries in Asheville last year, I had a blast doing that.

What is your go-to karaoke song?

All the Small Things by Blink-182

What TV show are you binge watching right now? 

We watch a lot of Superstore and The League, but also keep up with Manifest, Prodigal Son, and Outlander.

Besides racing, what activity do you enjoy doing?

I love road biking. When I lived in Salt Lake City it was the most amazing place to get out and ride, because I could safely go anywhere. There were tons of canyons to climb, or flat roads to do intervals on. I still bike quite a bit in Charlotte, but it isn’t quite the same.

Who is your racing idol?

Ayrton Senna. The guy was such a raw driver. Arguably the most talented driver of all time, and he worked hard for his opportunities.

What sports teams are you a fan of?

The Carolina Panthers, but I’m not a fan of their current “rebuild.”

If you weren’t a race car driver, what would you be doing? 

Extreme meteorology. I’m fascinated by the weather, especially extreme weather.