FORT KENT, Maine – Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine, continued his roll as one of the hottest drivers on the ACT Late Model Tour with a second-place finish in the Q 97.9 FM 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine, on Saturday, August 20. It was Theriault's third straight Top-5 finish in ACT competition and matched his previous career-best finish of second, which he also achieved at New Hampshire Motor Speedway one week earlier. After winning the pole for the rain-hampered event at Oxford, the 17-year-old driver held onto fifth in the overall series standings. He now heads to Riverside Speedway in St. Croix, Que., an oddly-shaped .625-mile triangular oval, for the Can-Am 200 on Saturday, August 27. It is a combination race for the ACT Late Model Tour and ACT Castrol Series.
WHO: Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, Maine
TEAM: AT Racing No. 57 Varney Insurance Ford
CREW CHIEF: Mickey Green, West Paris, Maine
WHAT: ACT Late Model Tour Q 97.9 FM 150
WHERE: Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Maine (.375-mile oval)
LAPS LED: 1 time for 1 lap
BEST CAREER RIVERSIDE SPEEDWAY FINISH: 6th (August 2010)
LAST RACE AT RIVERSIDE SPEEDWAY: 6th (August 2010)
WHAT: ACT Late Model Tour Can-Am 200
WHERE: Riverside Speedway, St. Croix, Quebec (.625-mile triangular oval)
WHEN: 6 p.m., Saturday, August 27
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
LAST RACE: August 20, Q 97.9 FM 150, Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Maine (2nd)
NEXT RACE: September 4, Labor Day Classic 200, Thunder Road Int'l Speedbowl, Barre, Vt. (.25-mile oval)
POINTS POSITION: 5th
DID YOU KNOW?
- Austin Theriault has not finished worse than fifth in any start since becoming the youngest podium finisher in the history of the TD Bank Oxford 250 on July 24.
- Austin Theriault has advanced two spots in the ACT standings to fifth in the span of three races, including a fifth at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway and back-to-back seconds at New Hampshire and Oxford.
- Austin Theriault, 17, started his senior year of high school last week at Fort Kent Community High School.
- In his first trip to Riverside Speedway in St. Croix, Que., Austin Theriault finished sixth after starting deep in the field in the 20th spot on the fast, flat, triangular-shaped track.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
AUSTIN THERIAULT, Driver of the No. 57 Varney Insurance Ford, On his strong run at Oxford Plains Speedway last weekend: “We definitely had a fast car. Once again, the guys gave me great car I could run up front with. We'e been able to do that the last month or so, and it's just so good to be able to go in each week and feel confident and expect to run up front. We know we can do it.
“The track (at Oxford) was different than it was in the '250' (last month). A lot of the traction compound had been raced off or washed away, and the bottom (groove) was probably the better place to be come race time. I ventured out to see how top was, but it wasn't any better. It was single-file racing more than the '250' was, so track position was everything all night.”
On whether he felt like he had a shot at the win in the closing laps: “Jeff White and Jeff Taylor, both of those guys had really good cars. Looking back, I might have pushed too hard too early. It did work out – we got a decent finish – but by the end of the race I was pretty well used up. I had nothing for Jeff (Taylor). At end of the race, I was kind of playing defense and maintaining the track position we had fought to get.”
On returning to Riverside Speedway this weekend: “I kind of remember what the track was like, but this is only our second time there. We've learned some stuff (last year), and hopefully it will apply. It's a flat track, but you carry a lot of speed into the corners. It's going to be a little interesting now that we have the Ford and only have the one car to run, now that that they're going to handicap the Ford (engines). We'll have to see what we can do.
“Me, the car, the motor – we've got to be ready. There's only so many adjustments you can make come race day.”
On how well the team has been running the last month: “It definitely puts us up there. I'm still amazed at how much we've been able to accomplish in a small amount of time, not having a lot of track time in the car at the beginning of the year. What we were able to learn (for Oxford), and to be running with RPM and Jeff Taylor – he has it figured out at the flat tracks. I'm not sure what he's got, but it's definitely working for him.
“I do feel we are heading closer toward winning. There's always going to be stiff competition, but you go into every week thinking you can win. There's always going to be those guys that are tough to beat – we just need another five or 10 percent out of the car, and we're going to be capable of winning.
“The last month, I've probably been more confident in all aspects of what we're doing, including myself. That's made the biggest difference.”
The ACT Late Model Tour heads to its hub for the Labor Day Classic 200 at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., on Sunday, September 4... Austin Theriault has a career-best finish of seventh at Thunder Road in the 2010 VT Governor's Cup 100.
Follow Austin Theriault on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/atracing
Follow Austin Theriault on the Web: https://www.austintheriault.com
Follow GWC Motorsports Marketing on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GWCMotorsports
Follow GWC Motorsports Marketing on Twitter: https://www.Twitter.com/GWCNewEngland