Podium finish begins title run for Golden Gate Racing
AZ - After having the biggest victory of his life taken away
by a collision on the last lap at Daytona, Richard Childress
Development Driver Michael Self and the Golden Gate Racing
Team rallied back to action like true soldiers for the NASCAR
K&N Pro Series West opener last weekend in Avondale, Arizona.
For the first time in his young NASCAR racing career, Self is
amidst the top three point rankings in the championship series
following his podium finish at Phoenix International Raceway.
never started a season off sitting third in the points, so
this is really pretty comforting," said Self. "We really
wanted to go back to back after our win in November but
Cameron Hayley and Greg Pursley were just wicked fast all
weekend. We still had a little work to do and unfortunately
just couldnít get the car going on the restarts like they were
able to but I couldn't be happier with this Golden Gate Racing
Team and Richard Childress Racing for all their hard work and
support. This is a great way to start the season."
After three victories last year, 22 year old Self has become a
driver to beat in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. He came
within half a lap of winning in Daytona two weeks ago in the
non-points Battle at the Beach and only lost the event after
being spun on the last lap and came into Phoenix carrying the
momentum of a victory in the desert at the conclusion of last
"We came into this season with some great momentum and we were
right there in Daytona," said Self. "We've got the team and
we've got the momentum and we are focused on this championship
this year. We know exactly what we need to do with this Golden
Gate Meats, Bay Bio Diesel, Rockwell Watches Chevrolet. We
aren't necessarily focused on winning races as much as we are
consistent, top five finishes. Thatís what is takes to win a
For Self, the weekend at Phoenix International was moderately
strong from the start. Although crew led by former driver and
veteran crew chief Steve Portenga fought their battles to
perfect the car in practice they produced a machine that kept
Self in the top five for the entire event.
practice, Self was the sixth fastest driver in competition
with a top speed of 131.334 miles per hour. In Coors Light
qualifying, the Park City Utah resident was the fifth fastest
driver on the grid, throttling his way to a best speed of
132.173, putting him on the inside of row three for the
Talking Stick Resorts 60, the first of 15 events in the 2013
NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship campaign.
With 20 laps complete, Self drove the Richard Childress Racing
supported GGRT #21 Chevrolet into podium contention as he
moved into the third position where he later battled with
front runners Greg Pursley and Cameron Hayley. At the
checkered flag Self trailed the defending champion and the
Daytona winner with an impressive third place run in the
series opener, impressing all members of the GGRT/RCR team,
including Richard Childress himself who has watched The Golden
Gate Racing Team during the last three races first hand as
they have competed in conjunction with NASCAR Sprint Cup
"Again I was pleased with Jimi Z's Golden Gate Racing Team in
Phoenix," said Childress. "I watched Michael and Steven (Portenga)
work together during the race and the communication between
them is really jelling. I told Michael after the race that he
is the most improved driver out there now. "
Much like Childress, team owner Jimi Z. was pleased with the
performance of his entire team from unloading the hauler to
the checkered flag in Phoenix. After decades of top finishes,
the San Francisco based time is now poised as a championship
contender in one of NASCAR's most competitive campaigns.
"What a way to start the season, " he commented. "Michael,
Steven and everyone on this team have worked so hard and done
all of their jobs so well that we are looking perfect right
now when it comes to competing for the championship. Patti and
myself couldn't be happier. I am proud of all of these guys
and proud to own such an amazing team. "
Currently, Michael Self is third in the championship point
standings. He sits seven points behind leader Pursley. The
team will now head to Stockton 99 Speedway in Stockton,
California on Saturday night, May 4th.
The Golden Gate Racing Team carries the support of the San
Francisco based Golden Gate Meat Company, Rockwell Watches and
Bay Bio Diesel, owned by longtime GGRT supporter and
additional driver Pat O'Keefe.
Additional supporters include Richard Childress Racing Driver
Development, Dr. Michael Self Plastic Surgery, the Richard
Childress Institute for Pediatric Trauma, RCR Street
Performance, Hill Meat Company, Corte Madera Tow, Harraka
Racing Equipment Sales, Foodcomm International, Signco,
For an in-depth
look at the Golden Gate Racing Team or to inquire about
sponsorship opportunities for the 2013 series, visit their
official website at
To follow Michael Self on twitter you can find him @mself-21.
Publicity and media relations for the Golden Gate Racing Team
is provided by Bill Sullivan, Sullivan Images Media.