FORT KENT, Maine – Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine, looks to remain the hottest driver on the ACT Late Model Tour when the series heads to the Merchants Bank 150 at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., on Sunday, April 29. Theriault finished third in the season opener at Lee USA Speedway two weeks ago for his seventh straight Top-5 finish in ACT competition dating back to July of 2011. The race will be part of a doubleheader weekend for the Brad Keselowski Racing development driver, as he competes at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., in a 100-lap Super Late Model event on Friday night.
WHO: Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, Maine
TEAM: AT Racing No. 57 Pelletier Ford Ford Fusion
CREW CHIEF: Mickey Green, South Paris, Maine
BEST CAREER THUNDER ROAD FINISH: 5th (September 2011)
LAST RACE AT THUNDER ROAD: 5th (September 2011)
WHAT: ACT Late Model Tour Merchants Bank 150
WHERE: Thunder Road International Speedbowl, Barre, Vt. (.25-mile banked oval)
WHEN: Practice, 1 p.m., Saturday, April 28; Qualifying, 1 p.m., Sunday, April 29; Race, 4 p.m., Sunday April 29
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
LAST RACE: Sunday, April 15, NH Governor's Cup 150, Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H. (3rd)
NEXT RACE: Sunday, May 6, Spring Green 112, Devil's Bowl Speedway, West Haven, Vt. (.500-mile oval)
POINTS POSITION: 3rd
DID YOU KNOW?
- Austin Theriault has posted Top-5 finishes in each of his last seven ACT Late Model Tour starts dating back to July of last season.
- Austin Theriault will compete in a Super Late Model for Brad Keselowski Racing at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. – site of the Snowball Derby – on Friday night.
- Austin Theriault will graduate from Fort Kent Community High School this June.
- Austin Theriault has an average finishing position of 3.71 over the last seven ACT races.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
AUSTIN THERIAULT, Driver of the AT Racing No. 57 Pelletier Ford Ford Fusion, On the keys to success at Thunder Road: “Track position is really important. You have to have a car that isn't tight in the center in the corner, especially off of Turn 4, especially with that wall and the way it comes out at you. If you can get that bite off the corner, you'll be good later on in the race.
The biggest thing is just not falling off later in the run. I think the other thing that will be interesting will be to see which groove comes in. When I first started going there, the outside was just as fast as the inside. But the past couple of races there, it seems like it's been the bottom that's been fastest.”
On the team's recent test at Thunder Road: “I'm glad that we went there. We found quite a few things that if we had left alone for this weekend, would probably have taken us out of a win, actually. We found some substantial things I'm glad we acted on this week.
“I was down there at the shop for a week during school vacation with the guys, and you wouldn't believe the amount of effort the guys and (crew chief Mickey Green) put into the car That's why we're running good right now. If we can keep our consistency, I think we'll have a good run at winning every week or finishing Top-5.”
On what he expects this weekend: “Thunder Road's been hot and cold for us. I think the last part of last season, we hit on a pretty consistent setup, and if we can improve on that, I think we'll have a good shot at winning. Our focus has kind of turned within the past half-year from getting in the shows, from qualifying every week, to now we know we have a good enough car to get in and it's about having good finishes.”
MICKEY GREEN, Crew chief on the AT Racing No. 57 Pelletier Ford Ford Fusion, On tackling Thunder Road: “The track changes from practice to practice, and it's not always the same, either. It's just trying to stay up on the track conditions. If we race at one track where the conditions constantly changing is a factor, Thunder Road is that track. And if there's any track we go to where weekly guys have an advantage, Thunder Road is it.
“It's just a tough, tough track. For me, it's a fine, fine line between having a good car and getting the speed, comfort and handling out of it that you need.”
The ACT Late Model Tour continues its Vermont swing with the Spring Green 112 at Devil's Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vt., on Sunday, May 6... Austin Theriault finished 25th in the event last year after an early-race accident.
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