Austin Theriault: ACT Late Model Tour
ACT Goodyear Speedweeks Cup Race Report
Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine, rallied to finish 11th in the first race of the inaugural ACT Goodyear Speedweeks Cup at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., on Sunday, February 13. A second-year ACT Late Model Tour competitor, the 17-year-old Theriault qualified inside the Top-5 and battled his way to the top half of the field in his first race with RPM Motorsports after encountering mechanical woes. Theriault was racing for position inside the Top-10 when his No. 57 Varney Insurance Agency Ford Fusion abruptly shut off, forcing him to park on the track’s apron without power on Lap 34. He refired the car, started shotgun on the 27-car field and ran up to 11th with the benefit of just two caution flags. Theriault will join the field for a second straight night on Monday, February 14, with another 100-lap event as part of the 45th annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.
WHO: Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, Maine
TEAM: No. 57 Varney Insurance Agency Ford Fusion
WHAT: ACT Late Model Tour Goodyear Speedweeks Cup, Race No. 1
WHERE: New Smyrna Speedway, New Smyrna Beach, Fla. (.500-mile oval)
LED: 0 times for 0 laps
NEXT: Monday, February 14, ACT Goodyear Speedweeks Cup, New Smyrna Speedway, New Smyrna Beach, Fla. (.500-mile oval)
AUSTIN, WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE CAR ON LAP 34?
I was running right behind (RPM Motorsports teammate Brian Hoar), trying to get into the Top-5, when the car just shut off. I thought it had blown up. I pulled down and stopped, and when I looked down, the (ignition) switches had come loose. I started it back up and then passed quite a few cars before the night was over.
There was a guy running right behind me when it happened. Luckily, he backed off or it could have gotten bad.
HOW WAS YOUR DEBUT WITH RPM MOTORSPORTS?
Good. It was all about getting used to procedures and all that with (team owner Rick Paya) and the way he likes things to go. It’s been a great experience so far.
ANY BIG CHANGES PLANNED FOR MONDAY NIGHT’S RACE?
I don’t think so. The car was really fast… The track’s really nice, really smooth. Keeping your momentum is pretty important here. If you wobble at all, you’ll lose a couple of positions.
We’re still going to do some work on the car. It’s not quite where I want it, but we made some improvements after unloading it for practice — things like springs and gears. We sort of underestimated how banked the track is and how fast it really is out there. We’ll just work on a few things for tomorrow.