The ARCA Racing Series has issued a fine and a penalty following the altercation at Salem Speedway
Michael Self: “He got his retaliation in a big way.”
The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic 200 at Salem Speedway brought the ARCA Racing Series and the fireworks to the show. The September 15th program featured a Saturday night short track race under the lights at the .555-mile high banked oval.
Early in the race, Zane Smith turned Michael Self while racing for position.
“Going into one, I put my hand out the window. Coming off the corner, he hit me,” Zane Smith explains to the YouTube outlet Racing News Now that he was trying to let him go. “So, the same amount that he hit me off the corner, I hit him.”
“I’ll shoulder some blame right off the bat. I was racing really hard Saturday night,” Michael Self detailed to Racing News Now on the first incident. “But, it was a respectful hard. You could lean on each other loose off the corners and set yourself up for a pass.”
“There’s a lot of people that reached out and said I was racing too aggressively. There’s truth to that. I was racing racing aggressively,” Self continued.
However, Self detailed the story a bit different. He admitted to getting into Smith. But, he says he was pointed by after the contact. As Self went by, that’s when Smith put the bumper to him. So, according to Self he was waved by then he was turned.
Self went around and brought out the caution. Self had zero damage as he didn’t make any contact with the wall or other competitors.
“If you want to get me back and get me a little bit loose. But, there’s a difference between getting someone loose and pushing through their rear bumper after you let them by,” Self explained.
“There’s not a situation wrecking is right. When it’s done intentional,” Self continued.
Second contact (Retaliation vol. 1)
Laps later, Zane Smith and Michael Self tangled once again. Smith was running 3rd and Self was 5th, nose to tail on the inside lane. The inside lane stacked up.
Self explained, “I saw him get loose and I didn’t back off. Because, I was frustrated with what had happened before. I didn’t go into the corner full blown trying to get payback.”
“But, once I got him a little bit loose, I tagged him again. I spun him around. In hindsight, that’s not the right thing to do.” Self detailed.
“I got dumped coming off the corner,” Smith explained.
This time, Smith suffered damage against the inside retaining wall. He hit the garage area with a hole in his radiator. Smith is in a championship battle. At this point, he felt he had been taken out of that battle.
Third contact (Retaliation vol. 2)
From this moment, scenes of Days of Thunder surface. “Change my tires.” MDM Motorsports got it fixed up and Smith returned to the race track with minor damage.
Smith coasted around the track. Self entered turn one in 3rd, racing for 2nd and drove by on the outside of Smith’s lap car. Smith gassed it and took a shot off turn two, he missed.
Heading into turn three, Self opened up a two car length gap to the trailing car of Smith. Under braking, the gap evaporated.
Zane Smith drove directly into the back of Michael Self in the middle of turns 3-4. Self was spun backwards on impact. Smith was collected into the spinning car and they both went up the banking and collected the outside wall.
“He didn’t miss on that one. He got his retaliation in a big way,” Self says with a light laugh.
“We fixed it. I went back out there and got payback,” Zane Smith explained.
Retaliation was sent. But, both cars received heavy damage.
Smith was able to drive away from the accident in turn four. He went around a lap and went right back to the pit area. His mission was accomplished.
Meanwhile, smoke was billowing out from the hood of Michael Self. He remained in the race car for about a minute. He climbed aggressively from the race car in anger and walked to the pit exit entrance.
Pit area altercation
The two met for an exchange of words in the pit area. The crews had surrounded the car of Smith. Self grabbed Smith by the face mask while Smith was still sitting in his car. He grabbed him back.
“Nothing productive was said. It was pretty much just yelling. And as soon as it started I was getting dragged back off of him,” Self explained
According to Smith, he had a conversation with Self after the race. Smith told him, “You have to realize that I’m racing for a championship.” To which Self responded, “You have to realize that I’m not racing for a championship.”
“He apologized to me and I apologized to him. Then, there’s Billy Venturini and Kevin Venturini who can’t control their emotions. They’re all talk and how I’m going to get a hans check in the next two races.”
After the race, Zane Smith expressed some of his emotions and actions in a series of twitter posts.
Love me or hate me I did what I had to do, I come to the race track to win the race not take ? especially when chasing a championship. We will move on to @LucasOilRaceway and go chase another Win.
— Zane Smith (@zanesmith41) September 16, 2018
Yes. We were already junked after he wrecked us. Enough to not keep going so we decided to fix it enough and get back out there for a lap??
— Zane Smith (@zanesmith41) September 17, 2018
“You gotta take it as a learning lesson and not something to be proud of,” Self concludes.
On Tuesday, the ARCA Racing Series announced a penalty and a fine following the on-track altercation at Salem Speedway.
“ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver Zane Smith (No. 41 LaPaz Margarita Mix/ICON Vehicle Dynamics Toyota) and team owner Doug Fuller have been penalized as a result of Smith’s actions while driving in Saturday’s Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic 200 at Salem Speedway.”
“Zane Smith has been fined $5,000, and he and team owner Doug Fuller have been penalized with the loss of 100 championship points (Driver, Owner, Short Track Challenge) as well as corresponding special awards points.”
“The penalty was issued for violation of 2018 ARCA Rulebook Section 4, items 5 and 10, which reference unsportsmanlike conduct and conduct detrimental to the sport of auto racing, specifically retaliation for an on-track altercation earlier in the event.”
Zane Smith is currently 2nd in ARCA Racing Series standings. He’s picked up four wins in 2018, the most of all drivers. Self on the other hand has run 8 of the scheduled 18 races thus far.