Theriault Win Number Four Nets Him the ARCA Bill France 4 Crown Award

Episode 176

August 27, 2017

Austin Theriault took the win at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Some last lap excitement allowed the Fort Kent native to gain his first road course win. ARCA Racing Series photo

Theriault is ARCA’s Only Four Race Winner In 2017!

The next to the last lap of the Road America 100 seemed to be in Austin Cindric’s pocket until he and Cole Custer got to turn one of the final lap. Custer dove to the inside of Cindric and spun off the track when contact ensued. Cindric spun around allowing several cars to pass. He ended up 12th.

Austin Theriault had a great view since he was running third at the time. He said “I saw the leaders tangle and about that time someone blasted by me on the inside.”

It turned out that “someone” was Dalton Sargeant taking advantage of the leaders spin. He was followed through by Matt Tifft. When they got to turn five Theriault noted, ” Two guys passed me on the inside and overcooked it going into turn five and I went by. I wanted to make sure I did not overdo it.”

“When crossing the finish line I was happy. We weren’t the fastest car today but we will take the win.”

Theriault’s car was set up for slicks but he had these General Tire rain tires ready in the pits if the sprinkles turned into rain . Austin Theriault photo

Kody Swanson, current points leader in USAC Silver Crown Series confers with ARCA points leader Austin Theriault on left prior to Theriault’s second place finish at the Illinois State Fairgrounds last weekend. Swanson finished second in his race at the same track the day before. ARCA Racing Series photo

Swanson and Theriault Meet at Springfield, Illinois RaceTrack

Two drivers I have reported about for many years had the opportunity to meet at the recent ARCA race on Sunday August 17. I have been following the careers of Austin Theriault and Kody Swanson since the both came on the racing scene.

Spud Speedway in Caribou was where I met the Fort Kent native, Theriault. I did not have a clue at the time that this youngster would advance as far as he has in the last several years.

I met Kody through the FFA, The Student Organization for Agriculture Education, where he was the Kingsburg, California FFA Chapter president. He was featured in Chris Economaki’s National SpeedSport News as one of America’s up-and-coming racing prospects.

Naturally the two drivers discussed the dirt track at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and how conditions would change throughout Theriault’s debut. Must have helped since the driver of the #52 Ken Schrader Racing car finished second.

Dirt tires from the Springfield race that will be like the tires used in the one mile DuQuoin dirt track on Labor Day. They remind me of snow tires. Austin Theriault photo

The two will be at the same track again next week, DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in DuQuoin, Illinois. Swanson will be racing in the Ted Horn 100 on Sunday while Theriault will be in the General Tire Grabber 100 on Monday.

Ken Schrader Racing in the Ted Horn 100 Next Sunday

In an interesting twist to this story, Austin Theriault’s team owner, Ken Schrader will be in a USAC Silver Crown car at the “Magic Mile” DuQuoin State Fairgrounds next Sunday. This marks the first time Schrader has raced Silver Crown at the DuQuoin track since finishing 30th in 1985.

Schrader has raced five times at DuQuoin, 1981-1985, with a third place in 1983. He raced ARCA Series at the track with wins in 2006, 2007, and 2013.

Despite six wins in USAC Silver Crown, Schrader will have his work cut out for him in a tough field which includes Swanson, Chris Windom, C.J. Leary, Austin Grant, Bobby Santos II, and several other young guns. Schrader will be in the #14 McQuinn Motorsports entry.

Beech Ridge Regular Wins Oxford 250

Curtis Gerry of Waterboro, the defending 2016 champion in the Late Model Class at nearby Beech Ridge Speedway held off fellow Beech Ridge racer Reid Lanpher in the 44th Annual Oxford 250. Gerry will take home somewhere near $35,000 for the win. He led the last 50 laps.

I had a couple of folks help me with comments from the race since I was unable to attend. My researcher Gary Saucier of Fort Fairfield said one of his highlights was, “For me it was how strong Cassius Clark and the King Racing #13 was. He led the first 126 laps before Gerry took over.”

“Clark stayed within the top 3 before he pitted, along with Gerry and others, on lap 171 under caution. A few laps later, he got spun but still came back to finish 3rd.”

“My other highlight I’d like to mention is the fact that with Reid Lanpher finishing second. Both the top 2 finishers are actually weekly competitors over at Beech Ridge. They both practiced at Oxford Friday, skipped Saturday as they are the top 2 guys at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, then came back today for the 250.”

Saucier was accompanied by fellow race enthusiast Derek Jepson of Caribou.

Bob Alexander, crew chief for the Wyatt Alexander Racing team this year helped out fellow Ellsworth racer Andy Saunders. With Wyatt at school in North Carolina, K & B Auto opened their shop for Saunders to prep his #01 super late-model for the 250.

Alexander gave some insight regarding the Saunders team effort to make the 250. “He practiced on Friday with old tires on the car in order to get it further dialed in. Upon switching to new tires for the last practice session, he ran a 15.686 second lap which was good enough for the 11th fastest time of the day. Feeling pretty confident with the setup, Saturday’s sessions were used to further improve the car. ”

“Today, Sunday, found many teams scrambling to regain the speed that they had on Friday. After several tweaks and test runs, the team felt that although we were not as fast as we would have liked, the car would probably race well.”
“Andy drew outside pole for his starting spot in the sixth heat but he finished out of the top 4 position which was needed to start the feature. The consolidation race and last chance races also did not result in the needed finishing position to start the 250.”
“The team was feeling pretty discouraged due to all the effort put forth by everyone involved with getting the 01 to the 250. Work was underway to pack up and load the car when word was received that Andy would be awarded a provisional starting spot.”
“Things went well for the first quarter of the race as Andy steadily moved up through the field. An incident with another car coming out of turn 2 resulted in damage to the right front suspension and a DNF (Did Not Finish) for the night.”
I asked Bob what his highlight(s) of the race were. He replied, “We saw good racing in all of the heats. The 250 saw mini lead changes with Cassius Clark leading a large portion of the race.”
“As the sun went down and the track cooled, things would change, however. Other strong contenders would come to the front.”
“We saw one of the largest crowds in both the front stretch grandstands and the pits that I’ve seen in several years and a strong 72 car field competing for the 40 positions available.”
“I would say [another highlight]  was probably a controversial last lap bump and run maneuver by the third place driver, Jeremy Davis, to get him the win he needed in the ‘Last Chance Race’ to make it into the 250.”
“A close second would be the performance of Curtis Gerry in the closing laps that resulted in him winning the 250.”
Several of the teams involved in the Oxford 250 will make the trek to Speedway 660 located in Geary Woods, New Brunswick for Sunday’s McLaughlin Roof Trusses 250. With a guaranteed $15,000 to win and $50 for the lap leader, the cash builds up fast.  Modern Electric will pay $1,000 for the leader of lap 125, the halfway point of the race.
I hope to be at the race which will mean a delay in publishing next week’s UpNorth Motorsports. The final is expected to start at 6:30 pm Atlantic (5:30 Eastern). With a three-hour drive to follow the race I suspect I will not want to type anything.
Final Points Race of Season at Spud Speedway

Bryan Searles, Presque Isle, son of Stephanie Ball with his #07 Junior Cage Kart earlier in the 2017 season. BAS Racing photo

With his second place finish in the Aroostook Trusses Junior Cage Kart class, Presque Isle’s Bryan Searles clinched the points championship for 2017. This is his third championship in a row.

Damian Theriault, son of Jason Theriault and Janet Bosse of Caribou relaxes in the JRT Customs race trailer before his next race. Team JRT photo

The Aroostook Savings and Loan Senior Cage Kart points race was sewed up by Damian Theriault prior to the running of the Friday evening races. Theriault scored his 26th straight feature win. The sophomore at Caribou High School dominated the season with only one heat race that he did not win due to a broken hub.
Results from the NMKA Friday Night Kart Races at Spud Speedway as follows:

NAPA Auto Parts Victory Lane for August 25th

Brayden Thibodeau, Limestone, made his 2017 season debut count by winning the Junior Cage Kart feature race Friday evening at Spud Speedway. He is accepting the winner’s trophy from evening sponsor Marcel Bosse, Jelly Bean Racing. HTF Motorsports photo

Aroostook Trusses Junior Cage Class
1. Brayden Thibodeau, Limestone
2. Bryan Searles, Presque Isle
3. Ronnie Lynn Kelly, Presque Isle

Aroostook Savings & Loan Senior Cage Class
1. Damian Theriault, Caribou
2. Jason Theriault, Caribou
3. Tom Hale, Westmanland
NMKA 2017 Points Champions

Blacked Out Window Tint Kid Karts
No points, exhibition only.
Parker Bosse, Limestone and Kayden Haines, Caribou.

Aroostook Trusses Junior Cage Class
1. Bryan Searles 122
2 . Gage Theriault 102
3. Ronnie Lynn Kelly 25

Aroostook Savings & Loan Senior Cage Class
1. Damian Theriault 142
2. Jason Theriault 97
3. Tom Hale 75
4. Janet Bosse 52
5. Marcel Bosse 12

Season Finale at Spud Speedway September 9 with State Invitational Races

The sign says it all, NMKA hosts the State Invitational Kart races September 9th at Spud Speedway. Racing gets underway at 11:00 am. HTF Motorsports photo

NMKA will hold their first State Invitational Kart Races on September 9 at their home track, Spud Speedway in Caribou. The pit gates open at 8:30 am with check in and mandatory tech inspection of karts and safety equipment upon arrival.

Pit passes are $10 grandstand free. After the feature races will be the Powder Puff races for the ladies. They must have a paid pit pass to compete in the 10 lap event.

Pizza, games, awards, and prizes will follow. Donations will go to the C-A-N-C-E-R organization which helps cancer patients in the Aroostook County area.  For more information about NMKA rules or Maine Invitational Races, email me at thale@reagan.com and I will send information to you.

Preparation Underway @ HTF Motorsport for Season Finale

The HTF Motorsports #10 is stripped down for pre-race rebuild and inspection in preparation for the NMKA State Invitational Races at Spud Speedway September 9. HTF Motorsports photo

Tomar Racing clutch disassembled for inspection and maintenance in preparation for the season finale. HTF Motorsports photo

Loring Timing Harvest Event Next Weekend

The former Air Force Base at Loring awakens the speed giants once again as Loring Timing Association hosts their Harvest Event September 1-3. For full information visit their Facebook and/or web page http://www.loringtiming.com/

The fall event always features fast speeds with the cool air and diminished winds aiding the racers quest for new class records or membership in the elusive 200 mph Club.

Could this be the event where the Pam and Gary Beineke break into the highly exclusive 300 MPH Club with their Mopar alcohol funny car? At the summer event Pam ran 1/3 throttle during licensing and shakedown passes and still hit 248 mph in the mile and one-half. 300 mph is not unthinkable.

Let’s Go Racing

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria

Romans 16:27

Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

Tom wrote 14 years as freelancer for the Bangor Daily Sports covering motorsports in Maine. Now blogging and concentrating on human interest stories about people and places in racing.