(NEWTON, Iowa - July 13, 2012) - Cunningham Motorsports, the official driver development team for Penske Racing, has signed Austin Wayne Self of Austin, Texas to drive in at least five ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards short track races during the 2013 season. The 16-year-old development driver will team with veteran crew chief Paul Andrews in the No. 22 Dodge.
"We are very excited to have Austin joining our team next season," said Cunningham Motorsports co-owner Kerry Scherer. "He is a very talented and impactful driver with a great fan base. We are confident that he will be an asset to our organization both on and off the track. I think the hardest adjustment we will have to make as an organization is learning how to use Facebook so we can keep up with him."
Self is excited to compete in the ARCA Racing Series.
"The opportunity to drive for Cunningham with Penske support is so awesome," he said. "It's what we work so hard for every day. I have to thank God for giving me this opportunity and I want to thank Paul, Mr. Scherer, Mr. (Briggs) Cunningham, and the rest of the Cunningham Motorsports crew for having enough faith in me to let me drive for the 22 team. I also want to thank Andy Santerre and my whole Sellers Racing Team for helping me get to this point and making it all possible for me. This is also great news for our amazing fans and the amazing companies that have supported us. Their faith and support is what keeps it all going and I hope this makes them as happy as it makes me."
Behind the wheel since the age of four, Self has been competing this year in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, driving the No. 07 Sport Clips/Big Red Chevrolet Impala. He currently sits well inside the top 20 in the national standings.
"I have to agree with Austin on this one, it's pretty awesome," said Tim Self, president of AM Racing. "We are still building Austin's 2013 race schedule. So far we have at least five races with Cunningham and plans are under way to have five to six NASCAR K&N races on the 2013 schedule as well. The 18-year-old age limit ARCA imposes for one-mile or larger tracks makes it tough to fill out the ARCA side of the schedule, but hopefully we will be able to squeeze in a few more races with Cunningham. That's our goal."
"All in all, 2013 is going to be a very busy season for Austin as he races for three different teams in three different series with multiple sponsors. We are blessed to have this opportunity. It was completely unexpected. God may not be predictable but he is always dependable."
From Team Release