Austin Theriault: ACT Late Model Tour
Oxford Plains Speedway Race Preview
Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine, has some momentum on his side as the ACT Late Model Tour competes in The Big Jab 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine, on Sunday, May 15. Theriault won a Late Model event on opening day at his home track of Spud Speedway in Caribou, Maine, on Memorial Day and hopes to extend that good fortune when he competes at his favorite track on the ACT circuit this weekend in Oxford. Theriault is just outside the Top-10 in the Tour standings and believes Oxford can serve as a launching pad for the middle part of the season.
WHO: Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, Maine
TEAM: RPM Motorsports No. 57 Varney Insurance Ford
CREW CHIEF: Mickey Green, West Paris, Maine
BEST CAREER OXFORD PLAINS SPEEDWAY FINISH: 10th (June 2010)
LAST RACE AT OXFORD PLAINS SPEEDWAY: 10th (June 2010)
WHAT: ACT Late Model Tour The Big Jab 150
WHERE: Oxford Plains Speedway, Oxford, Maine (.375-mile oval)
WHEN: 6:30 p.m., Saturday, June 4
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
LAST RACE: May 22, Spring Green 111, Devil’s Bowl Speedway, West Haven, Vt. (25th)
NEXT RACE: June 18, ACT 150, White Mountain Motorsports Park, N. Woodstock, N.H. (.25-mile oval)
CURRENT POINTS POSITION: 13th
DID YOU KNOW?
Austin Theriault started sixth in The Big Jab 150 in 2010 and led a total of 29 laps in the first half of the race.
Austin Theriault won his first career Late Model race in a 150-lap race at Spud Speedway, where he returned to win last weekend.
Austin Theriault first ACT Late Model Tour start came at Oxford Plains Speedway in 2009.
RPM Motorsports has won seven of the last eight ACT championships.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
AUSTIN THERIAULT, Driver of the No. 57 Varney Insurance Ford, On carrying momentum from the win at Spud Speedway last weekend to Oxford Plains Speedway this weekend: “It does and it doesn’t (carry over). There’s always a lot more going on at an ACT race. I think the cars are more equal, and it comes down to confidence and concentration. If this is momentum, that’s good for us. I kind of believe in momentum, but I also believe in going to a race and not hanging your head over what’s happened in the past or looking back getting too high when things have gone well.
“It’s about trying your hardest and trying to come out on top for that race you’re at.”
On how it felt to return to Spud’s Victory Lane: “It definitely was a homecoming win for me. It’s awesome to go back to the place where you started. The fans take you in with their support and support us 100 percent. It turned out to be a great day.
“We got ourselves a win, and it was kind of a boost of confidence for the whole team. It was a breath a fresh air.”
On getting back to Oxford Plains Speedway, where he has a comfort level: “Oxford is a breath of fresh air. It’s a circle and you’re always turning there, but it is much more forgiving than a place like, say, Thunder Road. There’s a lot more room on the race track. There’s multiple grooves to race in. We’re looking forward to kind of redeeming ourselves there.
“It definitely feels good to go back to a track where there’s no question marks. We’re still learning every week, the whole team is still learning, but it is an opportunity to shine again. Thunder Road is a driver’s track, but if things don’t go our way, it’s going to be a tough day there. Oxford is more forgiving.”
On returning to ACT Late Model Tour racing this weekend: “I’m looking forward to it. I bet there are some people out there wondering what’s wrong with Austin, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what we’ve done this year. The cars are great, and the team is working excellent together.
“You can have one off-weekend, and I don’t know if that comes into play or not, but it’s just what racing is. If you can’t avoid a wreck, it’s going to happen. Sometimes, there’s just nothing you can do. People who say we’re not performing well, they’re not sitting in the car.”
RICK PAYA, RPM Motorsports team owner, On racing at Oxford Plains Speedway: “It’s a hard track to get a handle on as far as handling goes. It’s really a driver’s track. It’s a unique track. Our setup for that race track is totally different than anywhere we go, anywhere on the circuit. It’s taken me a few years to really figure it out. Local guys have a big edge over us Tour guys that only race there a couple of times a year. It’s the kind of place where you see that the weekly cars really have it figured out.
“It stays pretty consistent for our setup. What we have in the spring is what we show up for the ‘250’ with. It seems to stay consistent for us. I’ve heard some guys say that it changes for them, but we haven’t really found that. It’s usually the same for us as far as what we bring for a setup every time we go.”
The ACT Late Model Tour runs the ACT 150 at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H., on Saturday, June 18… Brian Hoar, who is the RPM Motorsports teammate of Austin Theriault, won at White Mountain in the Tour’s only stop there in 2010.