Story By: DAVEY SEGAL / ARCA – DAYTONA BEACH, FL – Michael Self’s 2019 season ended one spot short of a championship.
In the 2020 season opener, he made sure to put the field on notice, dominating from the pole to win the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire for the second time in the last three years.
“It’s unbelievable. I can tell you the second time is every bit as sweet as the first,” he said. “And to do it with this group of people around me. Sinclair Oil, Toyota, my family here, a bunch of my friends here. It’s no secret, it’s a little extra special to come to Daytona. And to do it here with these guys makes it more special on top of that. Just a truly amazing day for us a little bit surreal.”
The victory is the third straight Daytona win for Venturini Motorsports (Self in 2018, Harrison Burton in 2019) and fourth overall for the organization.
In her DGR-Crosley and Ford debut, Hailie Deegan drove her way to a runner-up finish, her best career result and tying the best result for a female in the ARCA Menards Series.
“Pretty much at the end there, all I wanted to do was finish,” she said. “My goal for this race was top three to top-five was a victory for me. I was totally fine finishing second. I wasn’t going to try to do anything to Michael. It is a long season and I have to race against these guys week in and week out. It is best to stay on good terms with them.”
Self’s Venturini teammate, Drew Dollar, finished third in his first career series start, with Sean Corr and Thad Moffitt rounding out the top five.
Jason White scored a career-best finish of sixth, with Riley Herbst, Willie Mullins, Bret Holmes and Scott Melton completing the top 10.
Next up for the ARCA Menards Series is a trip to Phoenix Raceway on March 6. It will also be the first race of the 10-race Sioux Chief Showdown.