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Michael Self Rebounds from Daytona Disappointment with Five Flags Checkered Flag

After a short night in the season opener at Daytona, Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) rebounded in the second race of the ARCA Menards Series season with a dominant win in the ARCA Pensacola 200 presented by Inspectra Thermal Solutions at Five Flags Speedway.

Self led 39 laps midway through the race and retook the lead from Kaden Honeycutt (No. 38 Kaden Honeycutt Racing Ford) with 29 laps remaining to score his fourth career series win and his first ever series short track victory.

“This is a big deal for me,” Self said. “A short track in ARCA has eluded me. Even though I don’t think I am a great short track racer, I have had some success in the K&N Series on short tracks. For some reason is just hasn’t translated over here. Maybe this will kick start it.

“I had a lot of confidence in our car. The Venturini Motorsports team as a whole is really good. Whenever we go to one of these short tracks the rest of the year we should be in good shape. I wouldn’t want to be racing against them right now because I am not sure I would be able to beat them.”

Self finished ahead of Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Monster Energy/ORCA Coolers/Advance Auto Parts Toyota), who finished second in his ARCA Menards Series debut. He passed Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) for the second position in the final turn of the final lap.

“I am really happy with finishing second in my first race, but I really think we had the car to beat,” Gibbs said. “I let the car roll off the jack a little on the last stop and it cost us a little time on pit road. I think that cost us the race, but we learned a lot and I am ready to get to the next race at Salem.”

Eckes held on for third, albeit with damage to the nose of his racecar.

“It happened early in the race and I didn’t think it really effected the way the car ran then, but looking at it now I am not so sure,” Eckes said. “It would have been nice to hold Ty off for second but we’ll take third. I think we come out of here with the points lead so it’s a great night for the Venturini team.”

Chandler Smith (No. 20 Craftsman/828 Logistics Toyota) led the first 38 laps after starting from the General Tire Pole. He crossed the line in fourth, just in front of Corey Heim (No. 22 Speedway Children’s Charities Ford) who finished fifth in his series debut.

The race was only slowed twice by caution flags, each for debris. The race took just one hour, 12 minutes, and 23 seconds and was completed at an average speed of 82.802 miles per hour, a record pace for a 200-lap race at Five Flags. The previous record, 75.205 miles per hour, was set by Gary Bradberry in 1994.

Self’s official margin of victory was 1.506 seconds over Gibbs.

Unoffically, Eckes leads the ARCA Menards Series championship standings with 435 points. Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Healthcare/Liberty Village Ford), who finished tenth, sits second at 370, sixth place finisher Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation/Southern States Bank Chevrolet) is third with 340, Self is fourth with 315, and eleventh-place finisher Joe Graf, Jr. (No. 77 Ford) is fifth with 300.

The next race for the ARCA Menards Series is the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 at Salem Speedway on April 14. The race will be televised live on MAVTV starting at 2 pm Eastern. will have free live timing & scoring, track updates, and user chat for ARCA for Me members; new members can register at


Madsen Dominates World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Cars in Tulare


TULARE, CA – March 9 – Last year’s World of Outlaws NOS® Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Ian Madsen claims one of his weak points has been short tracks.

Not anymore.

The Australian won everything there was to win at the third-mile Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., Saturday night. Not even a couple of rain showers could slow him down.

His team has been working hard to get the KCP Racing car better on the California short tracks, and “it showed tonight,” said Madsen, as he earned his first victory of the season with championship leader Daryn Pittman second and Sheldon Haudenschild in third.

Madsen, who hails from St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia, started the night fastest in practice — three tenths faster than second fastest Donny Schatz. He followed that up by claiming his second pole of the season.

Then he dominated the first Heat race of the night, crossing the line about one second ahead of second place Tim Kaeding. That led to him being the first driver to draw for the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash and leaving seven other drivers disappointed by drawing the pole.

A heavy rain shower lingered over the track for about 15 minutes in between Madsen’s Heat and the Dash. It only made him faster. Again, in dominating fashion, he led every lap of the Dash, this time finishing close to two seconds ahead of second-place Pittman.

While he already dominated everything up to the Feature, Madsen showed his true speed in the final 35 laps of the night. He pulled away to an early lead, but “The Steel City Outlaw” Tim Shaffer showed muscle early on, keeping pace with Madsen. It didn’t last though.

By lap 10, Pittman slid his way underneath Shaffer for second and began to hunt Madsen. Pittman, coming off a heartbreaking runner-up finish in Las Vegas, looked to be the only driver all night who could contend with Madsen. While Madsen battled lap traffic, Pittman closed the gap between them to about a couple of car lengths.

And that was as close as he was going to get to the #18’s bumper. Madsen found his rhythm in lap traffic, pulling away to about a four second lead over Pittman, whose #83 Roth Motorsports car was able to close on Madsen again, but only to a second-and-a-half gap.

“Ian was good. We just got beat,” said Pittman, of Owasso, Okla. “I liked the track conditions before it rained, but it is what it is.”

Like Madsen, Pittman was unsure how he would perform at the Tulare short track, coming off strong performances at half-mile speedways.

“We were kind of curious how our car was going to shake out at a smaller place,” he said. “We kind of got both spectrums there of super dry early in the night and pretty wet after the rain and the car was really good.”

Both Madsen and Pittman drive a KPC Chassis, which is located nearby in Fresno, Calif.

Aside from leading every lap, Madsen’s dominance was showcased by him lapping the field up to 11th-place and catching 10th-place Donny Schatz toward the end of the race.

“It was just unreal,” Madsen said in almost disbelief, standing on the front stretch podium. “To get the clean sweep tonight is pretty awesome.”

Madsen’s best finish at Thunderbowl Raceway had been 12th. Of his previous three wins, the smallest track he had won at is the 3/8th-mile Deer Creek Speedway in Minnesota.

“I feel like we’ve been working hard toward this for the last two years,” Madsen said. “It’s really good to see some good results pay off.”

While Pittman finished second, he said he won’t hang his head on the finish. He continues to lead the Series’ championship standings over second-place Donny Schatz — adding 16 points to his cushion between the 10-time Series champion. This is the first time in the storied history of the California-based Roth Motorsports team it continues to lead the points through the Series month-long California swing.

The Series continues its trek through California next weekend on Friday, March 15, at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif., and March 16 at the Stockton Dirt Track in Stockton, Calif.

Even though Madsen began the California tour dominating Thunderbowl Raceway, to him there is still a question on how he’ll perform at the upcoming races.

“We ran good at Stockton last year and Chico we’ve been hit or miss, so we’ll see what happens,” Madsen said. “Hopefully we can keep it (momentum) going through the Cali-swing.”

As always, you can catch all the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series action on

World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series Race Report

NOS Energy Drink Feature (35 Laps) — 1. 18-Ian Madsen [1][$10,000]; 2. 83-Daryn Pittman [2][$5,500]; 3. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [4][$3,200]; 4. 49-Brad Sweet [5][$2,800]; 5. 49X-Tim Shaffer [3][$2,500]; 6. 5-Shane Stewart [10][$2,300]; 7. 26-Cory Eliason [11][$2,200]; 8. 2-Carson Macedo [7][$2,100]; 9. 87-Aaron Reutzel [14][$2,050]; 10. 15-Donny Schatz [9][$2,000]; 11. O-Bud Kaeding [15][$1,500]; 12. 41-David Gravel [12][$1,200]; 13. 9-Kasey Kahne [8][$1,100]; 14. 4-Terry McCarl [16][$1,050]; 15. 41S-Dominic Scelzi [22][$1,000]; 16. 45-Chad Kemenah [24][$900]; 17. 68-Chase Johnson [17][$800]; 18. 19-Brent Marks [20][$800]; 19. 1S-Logan Schuchart [25][$]; 20. 7S-Tim Kaeding [6][$800]; 21. 17W-Shane Golobic [13][$800]; 22. 83JR-Giovanni Scelzi [23][$800]; 23. 88N-DJ Netto [19][$800]; 24. 11K-Kraig Kinser [21][$800]; 25. 16A-Colby Copeland [18][$800]; Lap Leaders: Ian Madsen 1-35; KSE Hard Charger Award: 45-Chad Kemenah[+8]


Qualifying — 1. 18-Ian Madsen, 14.404; 2. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild, 14.467; 3. 49X-Tim Shaffer, 14.488; 4. 2-Carson Macedo, 14.532; 5. 15-Donny Schatz, 14.532; 6. 83-Daryn Pittman, 14.539; 7. 49-Brad Sweet, 14.559; 8. 9-Kasey Kahne, 14.561; 9. 7S-Tim Kaeding, 14.571; 10. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 14.572; 11. 26-Cory Eliason, 14.575; 12. 41-David Gravel, 14.576; 13. 41S-Dominic Scelzi, 14.592; 14. 5-Shane Stewart, 14.605; 15. O-Bud Kaeding, 14.61; 16. 4-Terry McCarl, 14.612; 17. 17W-Shane Golobic, 14.613; 18. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 14.663; 19. 88N-DJ Netto, 14.667; 20. 19-Brent Marks, 14.675; 21. 83JR-Giovanni Scelzi, 14.714; 22. W20-Greg Wilson, 14.715; 23. 45-Chad Kemenah, 14.775; 24. 71P-Parker Price-Miller, 14.777; 25. 24-Rico Abreu, 14.835; 26. 7-Jason Sides, 14.913; 27. 33M-Mason Daniel, 14.93; 28. 29-Willie Croft, 14.964; 29. 68-Chase Johnson, 15.054; 30. 16A-Colby Copeland, 15.067; 31. 21-Brian Brown, 15.128; 32. 1S-Logan Schuchart, 15.18; 33. 1A-Jacob Allen, 15.187

Contact: Nick Graziano, World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series PR Coordinator