Self Makes Up For Last Year With Late Pass On Final Restart To Win ARCA Race In Chicagoland Speedway

JOLIET, Ill – Last year, Michael Self was at the Chicagoland Speedway with Mason Mitchell Motorsports and was in prime position to earn his first career ARCA Racing Series victory. Unfortunately, with 10 laps-to-go, Self had a right front tire go down and would bring out the final caution of the night. Despite leading 29 laps, he’d finish a disappointing 17th. Christopher Bell would win as a result of that.

In the offseason, Self joined Venturini Motorsports, the same team that Bell drove for in that race last year and walks by that trophy every time he’s in the shop. It still eats at him as that was one that got away. 

Fast forward to Thursday night’s return to the 1.5-mile track, Self found himself up front on the final restart with two laps-to-go. This time, he was taking back what was his.

Self, made a three-wide move on the restart and took over the lead. He’d never look back and win the SCOTT 150 for his third career victory and second of the 2018 season. He also won the season opener at Daytona back in February.

“Every time I went into the Venturini shop I saw that trophy from last year that should have been ours,” Self said on the Chicagoland race of last year. “It was great motivation for us. I owe it all to Billy (Venturini) and the team. They gave me a great car and all I had to do was drive it.”

Self, credits his calmness in such a high stress situation on the final restart to how he got the job done in his No. 15 Toyota.

“It was pretty easy actually,” Self continued who led a race-high 63 laps under the lights on Thursday. “It’s just another race when you’re strapped in the seat. You can’t let yourself get too excited about it. I knew we had fresher tires than the guys in front of me. I just had to stay calm and let it play out.”

Points leader Sheldon Creed started the race on the pole but didn’t actually lead a single lap. He’d finish runner-up to Self by just 0.155-seconds.

Todd Gilliland led 28 laps but finished third. Despite that top three finish, he leaves Thursday night’s race upset. The race was his to lose until Leilani Munter spun on Lap 95 on the backstretch bringing out that final caution.

“It’s disappointing a car not involved in the race for the win brought out that caution that changed the complexion of the race,” Gilliland said. “We’re here to win so anything less than that is always disappointing, but a third-place run is good for the DGR-Crosley team at the same time. I learned a lot about the racetrack which hopefully will help me in the Truck race here tomorrow night.”

Zane Smith finished fourth while Chase Purdy rounded out the top five.

SCOTT 150 Results

  1. 15 Self
  2. 28 Creed
  3. 54 Gilliland
  4. 41 Smith
  5.  8 Purdy
  6. 18 Herbst
  7. 27 Braden
  8.   7 Rohrbaugh
  9. 52 Rodgers
  10. 12 Hill
  11. 98 Perkins -1
  12. 25 Decker -1
  13. 77 Graf Jr. -1
  14. 11 Ralston -2
  15. 69 Kimmel -2
  16. 32 Dean -3
  17. 78 Tullman -3
  18. 55 Breidinger -5
  19. 10 Berte -5
  20. 20 Munter -6
  21.  2 Caudell 14
  22. 48 Smith -17
  23. 06 Nicolopoulos OUT
  24. 34 Basham OUT
  25.  9 Iwuji OUT
  26.  0 Muenier OUT
  27. 23 Peterson OUT

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