Austin Theriault: ACT Late Model Tour
Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl Race Preview
Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine, looks for a second straight Top-10 to open the season when the ACT Late Model Tour competes in the Merchants Bank 150 at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vt., on Sunday, May 1. Theriault finished seventh in the season-opening event at Lee USA Speedway two weeks ago in his debut with RPM Motorsports, and he’s returning to the site of one of the most impressive performances of his 2010 rookie season. Last June, Theriault finished seventh in his first-ever trip to Thunder Road, prompting ACT president Tom Curley to call it “the most impressive Thunder Road since Dave Dion.”
WHO: Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, Maine
TEAM: RPM Motorsports No. 57 Varney Insurance Ford
CREW CHIEF: Mickey Green, West Paris, Maine
BEST CAREER THUNDER ROAD FINISH: 7th (June 2010)
LAST RACE AT THUNDER ROAD: DNQ (September 2010)
WHAT: ACT Late Model Tour Merchants Bank 150
WHERE: Thunder Road International Speedbowl, Barre, Vt. (.25-mile oval)
WHEN: 1 p.m., Sunday, May 1
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
LAST RACE: April 17, NH Governor’s Cup 150, Lee USA Speedway, Lee, N.H. (7th-place)
NEXT RACE: May 1, Merchants Bank 150, Thunder Road International Speedbowl, Barre, Vt. (.25-mile oval)
CURRENT POINTS POSITION: T-6th
DID YOU KNOW?
RPM Motorsports has won seven of the last eight ACT championships.
Austin Theriault considers Thunder Road like a home track for him – despite the fact that he lives a mere 10-hour drive from the facility.
Austin Theriault is attending flight school near his home, in the town of Frenchville, Maine.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
AUSTIN THERIAULT, Driver of the No. 57 Varney Insurance Ford, On heading back to Thunder Road this weekend: “I’m very excited. We had a good run two weeks ago; the whole crew worked very hard at Lee. We’re still getting pretty comfortable working with the whole RPM team. (Team owner Rick Paya and teammate Brian Hoar) are both pretty comfortable at Thunder Road, and I like the track.
“I’ve had a couple good runs there and a couple of bad ones, too – we’ll see if I can work some magic on it this time around.”
On how excited he was to get out of the gate with a strong RPM debut two weeks ago: “It was very important for me as a driver and for the whole team. It boosted our morale. It set our footing off on the right track for the whole year. Hopefully, we can keep it going. Everyone I’ve talked to this week is really happy about having both cars in the Top-7 (at Lee). It’s definitely something we can build on heading into the season.
“I’m the type of driver that is willing to learn. The whole team coming to RPM, we’re all willing to learn, all willing to sit down and change what we do to fit the mold of what RPM has become as a team and an entire organization. I think we’re a good fit. Brian is willing to help out as a driver, and Rick is willing to be role model. The whole team really looks up to them.”
On finding success at Thunder Road: “It has to do with the car, but a lot of it is just being comfortable there. That wall coming out of Turn 4, it’s so tight and the racing is so close – if you’re not comfortable with the car, you’re giving up so much. It’s not a forgiving track, I don’t think.
“I’m still working on the track myself. I don’t think I have it even close to down pat, but obviously, Brian has it pretty close to down pat. If I can get a couple of pointers off of him, that would make me even better. It’s just being consistent lap after lap and hitting your marks. The track is so tight, you can’t overdrive it. You’ve got to hit your marks every time.”
On the atmosphere at Thunder Road: “When you go in the gates, you can definitely feel that it’s a fan’s race track. The stands are always full. You aways feel at home, even though home is really 10 hours away for me. I still feel at home every time I go there… The racing, the way the drivers go out of their way to be with the fans, there’s no other track like it.”
The ACT Late Model Tour heads to The Big Jab 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine, on Sunday, May 15… Austin Theriault made his first career ACT start at Oxford in 2009, and last year he started sixth in this race before leading 29 laps as one of only three different drivers to own the top spot.