CRAZY HORSE RACING: A ‘New’ Arrival On ACT Tour
SOUTH PARIS, Maine – When Austin Theriault won the ACT Late Model Tour 150 last Saturday night at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, it wasn’t just the young driver’s first career victory in the series.
The win also marked the first ACT Late Model Tour victory for the new 2012 chassis unveiled by Crazy Horse Racing over the winter.
“I’ve got a lot of people to thank. This was a long time coming,” Theriault said after winning on Saturday night. “Crazy Horse Racing, my parents, Pelletier Ford, the fans for coming out and cheering me even when we missed it.”
The new 2012 Crazy Horse chassis hasn’t missed out on much this season, though. Travis Stearns has a commanding point lead in the Oxford Plains Speedway Late Model division this season while running the chassis – with a pair of wins, five Top-5s and no finish of worse than sixth in seven points races there this year.
Chris Coolidge, the 2011 Oxford Rookie of the Year, and Gary Chiasson are also competing weekly at Oxford Plains with the new Late Model chassis. Both sit inside the Top-12 in the standings in a field where between 24 and 30 cars are entered each week.
Two weeks ago at the TD Bank Oxford 250, Theriault made his first start in the 2012 chassis after running the first half of the year in last year’s model. The 18-year-old Brad Keselowski Racing development driver finished third in the TD Bank 250, while Stearns finished fifth to give Crazy Horse Racing two cars in the Top-5 of one of the nation’s most prestigious short-track races.
At Beech Ridge, Theriault used the new chassis for the first time in an ACT race and led a race-high 60 of 112 laps after starting on the outside pole en route to Victory Lane.
Theriault said the new car has performed better, but he wasn’t planning on entirely abandoning his other car, either. After all, the previous chassis model was good enough to get him to third in the ACT standings with five Top-10 finishes in five starts, along with four Top-5 finishes over that stretch.
“It’s hard to pinpoint one thing that’s better about it,” Theriault said of the 2012 Crazy Horse chassis. “I just feel like we have a good chassis. Every once in a while, you get a really good one. I still feel we can make the old car as good as the new car, but right now (the new one’s) just been really close when we get to the track.
“We haven’t had to fight a lot with it, and we haven’t had to throw tons of different setups at the car. It’s just been really balanced.”
Crazy Horse’s Mickey Green, who also serves as Theriault’s crew chief on the ACT Late Model Tour, echoed those sentiments.
“The biggest thing about the new chassis, and I’ve said it before, is that it just doesn’t fall off as much over long runs,” Green said. “It really stays consistent. You can look at what Travis has done (at Oxford), or how we’ve performed with Austin – the chassis has been good over the long haul.”
The company is hoping that it remains good over the season’s long haul, too, as it chases its first ACT championship. With the victory at Beech Ridge, Theriault has leapt to second in the ACT standings – just 16 points out of the lead with four races remaining.
“It was a great race (at Beech Ridge),” Theriault said. “The car was good all day long, and I’m really happy right now.”