FORT KENT, Maine – Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine, will try and earn his first career ACT Late Model Tour victory in the Armed Forces Day 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine, on Sunday, May 20. Theriault posted a pair of podium finishes in his two most recent starts at Oxford, and the Brad Keselowski Racing development driver considers the flat, .375-mile oval his home track. In three ACT starts thus far in 2012, Theriault has yet to finish outside the Top-10.
WHO: Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, Maine
TEAM: AT Racing No. 57 Pelletier Ford Ford Fusion
CREW CHIEF: Mickey Green, South Paris, Maine
BEST CAREER OXFORD PLAINS FINISH: 2nd (August 2011)
LAST RACE AT OXFORD PLAINS: 2nd (August 2011)
WHAT: ACT Late Model Tour Armed Forces Day 150
WHERE: Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Maine (.375-mile flat oval)
WHEN: 2 p.m., Sunday, May 20
ACT Late Model Tour
LAST RACE: May 6, Spring Green 112, Devil’s Bowl Speedway, West Haven, Vt. (3rd)
NEXT RACE: June 23, White Mountain 150, White Mountain Motorsports Park, N. Woodstock, N.H. (.25-mile banked oval)
CURRENT POINTS POSITION: 4th
DID YOU KNOW?
Austin Theriault finished second in the most recent ACT Late Model Tour race at Oxford Plains Speedway last August, one month after finishing a career-best third in the TD Bank Oxford 250. He became the youngest podium finisher in the 38-year history of the Oxford 250 with the effort.
Austin Theriault made his ACT Late Model Tour debut in 2009 at Oxford Plains Speedway.
Austin Theriault has three Top-10 finishes and two Top-5 finishes in three ACT Late Model Tour races this season.
Austin Theriault lives nearly eight hours away from Oxford Plains Speedway, but it is the closest ACT Late Model Tour track to his home and he considers it his “home” track.
Austin Theriault will graduate from Fort Kent Community High School next month.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
AUSTIN THERIAULT, Driver of the AT Racing No. 57 Pelletier Ford Ford Fusion, On his outlook for this weekend at Oxford Plains Speedway: “It’s great to come back to a track I’ve raced at a lot and have a lot of track time on. I think we have a great shot at it. We’ll be bringing a good car to the track. We’ve been on our game lately, and we’re just fine-tuning to see if we can find anymore speed in the car.
“I think our first win is just around the corner, if we can put together a good weekend. I’m not saying it’s going to happen this weekend, but our chances are as good as ever.”
On why Oxford Plains Speedway has been so good to him over the years: “I’m not sure. I’ve had people tell me this track suits my driving style. I’m not an on-the-gas, off-the-gas kind of guy. I tend to be smooth, so the tracks you really have to be smooth at I tend to do better at. This is a place where you have to be easier on the tires and not burn your stuff up.”
On his confidence level for this weekend: “We know whatever we bring to the track, its going to be really fast. I’ve raced here in different cars – in my own car and with (RPM Motorsports). What we’ve been bringing lately, we’re right there with all the god guys. We’ve got (Gary Crooks) helping us out this weekend, so that’s even better.
“All year, qualifying has really hurt us. We had some bad draws, but we’ve also had some good opportunities and haven’t been able to capitalize and that’s hurt us in the points. That’s one thing we have to work on. Maybe it’s both (mindset and setup), but we have to try and get the car competitive on the short runs and on new tires. Everyone’s more equal when the tires are new. We’re at the point where our car shows how good it is after 10-20 laps and heat builds in the tires. But I think we’ll be good this weekend.”
MICKEY GREEN, Crew chief on the AT Racing No. 57 Pelletier Ford Ford Fusion, On heading to Oxford Plains Speedway this weekend: “I can’t wait. I really can’t wait. I’ve been there my whole life, and if there’s a home track for Austin, Oxford is a home track for him. To me, this is a must-win race for me. Anything other than a win here and I’ll be a little disappointed, to be honest. I’m pretty confident that we’re going to be good, really good actually.
“We ran two completely different setups there last year (in July and August). They were both good on completely different end of the spectrums.”
On why Oxford is such a challenge for teams without a lot of experience there: “If you aren’t used to running there, it’s tough. You get the guys that are used to the banks – Thunder Road, White Mountain Motorsports Park – and it’s just a different, different deal at Oxford. The right front is always rolling over, the car is always rolling over. At Oxford, you can either go wicked tight or you can go wicked free at the end of a run. It’s crazy.”
The ACT Late Model Tour takes a brief hiatus before heading to the White Mountain 150 at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H., on Saturday, June 23… Austin Theriault finished sixth in the event one year ago after starting 20th in the field.
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