ACT American Canadian TourAustin Theriault Wins Spud 150
BKR Development Driver Returns Home To Score Victory

CARIBOU, Maine – The home cooking served up at Spud Speedway was just to Austin Theriault’s liking.

Theriault made a triumphant return to the northern Maine short track on Sunday afternoon, winning the track’s season-ending Spud 150 Late Model event for the second time in his career. The 18-year-old ACT Late Model Tour driver and Brad Keselowski Racing development driver first won the event as a 15-year-old in 2009.

“We had a great day up here at Spud,” Theriault said. “It was great to be back at the home track with the home crowd, and see all the people we haven’t seen in a while. I couldn’t be prouder of the whole team. We did a lot of traveling this weekend and they were all tired, but they stuck through and it was good to get them a win. There were quite a few good cars up here.”

Theriault started in the top half of the full Late Model field at Spud, but crew chief Mickey Green made the call for a pit stop early in the race to adjust on an ill-handling race car. Theriault, who sits third in the current ACT Late Model Tour standings, then battled his way back through the field to earn the victory.

Without that adjustment, Theriault said, it might have been a long day for the No. 57 Pelletier Ford Ford Fusion.

“I felt like in order for us to have a shot at the win, we had to come back on an adjustment we made before the race,” Theriault said. “We kind of went the wrong way, and we had to come back on it. We came in and had to work our way through traffic, and we had to deal with a lot of lapped cars and quite a few cautions. But we stayed out of trouble and brought home the win.”

Theriault and his team team had to leave Vallee-Jonction, Quebec, on Saturday night after the ACT Showdown At Chaudiere was postponed by rain. It wasn’t an easy call to make, especially after having a good car in practice earlier in the day for the All-Star event.

The commitment to Spud Speedway, his hometown fans and supporters, as well as his sponsors, was not something Theriault wanted to overlook. He started racing at the .333-mile track as a 13-year-old in its Young Guns division when it reopened in 2007 after a long hiatus.

“It was a tough decision to come up here. We didn’t want to leave ACT like that because we want to support that series which has really meant a lot to us, but we had commitments to sponsors up here,” Theriault said. “Pelletier Ford wanted us up here, and they’re the ones who help us pay the bills. They’re a big reason why we’re doing what we’re doing, why we have a new car and why we’re winning races this year.

“Mother Nature threw us a hard call, and we had to make that decision.”

One big positive was the performance of an ACT-legal Late Model against a more open field Sunday.

“It was good for an ACT-type car to be able to compete with the straight rails and all these other types of cars that were here,” Theriault said. “ACT has a really good package that they’ve put together so we can go race (competitively) at these local tracks, and I think some of that showed today.”