Austin Theriault: The Rattler 250
South Alabama Speedway Race Report
KINSTON, Ala. – Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine, finished seventh in the caution-filled Rattler 250 at South Alabama Speedway in Kinston, Ala., on Sunday, March 4. Theriault started 11th in the Brad Keselowski Racing No. 29 Checkered Flag Foundation Dodge after rain washed out all on-track activity on Saturday, and then he patiently avoided a slew of wrecks around him to post his best career Super Late Model finish. Theriault had worked into the Top-10 during the first half of the event, before another competitor’s car spun into him and hurt the left rear of the No. 29. The team made several pit stops to try and repair the handling on Theriault’s car, using some tire strategy en route to the seventh-place finish at the checkered flag.
WHO: Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, Maine
TEAM: BKR No. 29 Checkered Flag Foundation Dodge
CREW CHIEF: Gary Crooks, Mooresville, N.C.
WHAT: The Rattler 250
WHERE: South Alabama Speedway, Kinston, Ala. (.400-mile banked oval)
AUSTIN, IT LOOKED LIKE YOU HAD A PRETTY GOOD CAR ALL DAY BUT JUST COULDN’T GET THE TRACK POSITION YOU NEEDED.
“The car was pretty good right off the bat. We were holding our own there. We were just trying to settle in and save our stuff, save our tires for later in the race.
“We got racing side-by-side (with the car of Stephen Nasse). I was on the outside, and we must have raced like that for five or six laps. The guy just went into the corner too hard, and he lost it all by himself. When he spun, he hit us and it did something to our rear end. I’m not sure what – something with the trailing arm or the panhard bar – but that’s probably what happened when the car went away from us for a while.”
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE RACE DIRECTOR’S CALL TO HAVE YOU RESTART IN THE REAR JUST BEFORE HALFWAY?
“They put us to the back on the restart. They said we were involved in the caution. I didn’t quite agree with the call, but we had to go to the back of the pack, anyway. On the next two cautions after that, we came in and tried to fix it. We never quite did, but it did get better.”
HOW MUCH BETTER WAS THE CAR?
“I thought we might have had a Top-5 car at one point, but tire strategy played into it. We kind of burned our tires coming through the field after that restart in the back. Overall, the guys worked hard all weekend and especially trying to work on the car (during the race). Pit stops were great, we gained a couple of spots on pit road, and we’re definitely making progress as a team.
“The day very well could have gone downhill after that contact. We almost went a lap down at one point. Before all of the adjustments we made, we were probably five laps from going down a lap. It goes to show, you can never give up.”