Michael Self and Hailie Deegan each look to continue their ARCA Menards Series season top-10 streak in Saturday’s General Tire 150 at Kentucky Speedway (MRN, 2:30 p.m. ET).
The two drivers are the only to finish in the top 10 in each of the five races held so far in 2020. The strong performances have placed them at the top of the standings with Self holding a 12-point lead over Deegan.
Self, who won the season-opener at Daytona, saw his top-five streak come to an end last weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway. He finished eighth in the race after cutting a left-rear tire while running third in the closing laps.
"I think all in all things have been pretty solid," Self told MRN. "I think Kevin (Reed) and I have been working really well together with changes and setup stuff.
"Hopefully we can continue to get back to the top five and hopefully a couple wins at these tracks that I really enjoy – some of these intermediates coming up."
See Also: General Tire 150 Entry List
The first intermediate comes this weekend at Kentucky, which the series returns to for the first time since 2017. Two of Self’s eight career ARCA wins have come at 1.5-mile tracks – Kansas in 2017 and Chicagoland in 2018.
Deegan has finished seventh or better in her first five starts this season with DGR-Crosley and is coming off a third-place run at Lucas Oil Raceway. This weekend will mark just her second start on a 1.5-mile track. Last October, Deegan finished eighth at Kansas.
"It’s going to be fun," Deegan said. "I haven’t really raced at a mile-and-half track with this new team, new crew guys. It’s all going to be a learning curve. I’ve seen their past equipment on these kinds of tracks. I think we’ll be pretty good.
"Hopefully we can go out there and have another good finish and have another good points day and keep truckin’ along."
Since the return to racing drivers have had limited practice time, something Self doesn’t mind.
"I find that sometimes I tend to over think things if we get too much practice," said Self, who has made 44 ARCA starts. "With all the experience that I have basically everywhere except Kentucky. Venturini has a vast notebook at these places. Setup wise we feel like we are in pretty good shape."
As for Deegan she misses the extra track time as she is still young into her stock car career.
"It makes it really hard as a new developing driver to tune on your car," Deegan said. "I’m still trying to learn setups and what I like let alone having the crew guys figure out what I like with no practice. I know everyone has been trying to come to the track with the best things possible so we can have the best run and develop me."
In the meantime, Deegan is spending as much time in the Ford Performance simulator to make up for the lost on-track time.
"I already really valued it a lot before the whole pandemic deal whenever we get no practice," Deegan said. "Now we are going to the simulator not only for me to just get comfortable at these tracks, but now we are running setups and so many things trying to get prepared."
ARCA teams will get 45 minutes of practice on Saturday before the General Tire 150.
You can hear more from MRN’s conversations with both Self and Deegan on Saturday’s broadcast from Kentucky starting at 2:30 p.m. ET.