FORT KENT, Maine – Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine, returns to the Brad Keselowski Racing fold for the Prelude To The Battle Budweiser 75 at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich., on Saturday, June 1. The race is the last chance for teams to race on the flat .438-mile oval before the Battle At Berlin 251 in two weeks. Theriault made his Berlin debut last season in the 251-lap main event, finishing 13th in the CRA Super Series sanctioned event. The driver of the BKR No. 29 Checkered Flag Foundation Ford Fusion is looking forward to continuing his strong run this season in the BKR Fords while also preparing for one of the summer’s more prestigious Super Late Model races on June 16 at Berlin. Theriault has not finished outside of the Top-10 in seven consecutive Super Late Model races dating back to last season – including a sixth-place effort at Gresham Motorsports Park in the Southern Super Series Racing Radios 125 in April.
WHO: Austin Theriault, Fort Kent, Maine
TEAM: Brad Keselowski Racing No. 29 Checkered Flag Foundation Ford Fusion
CREW CHIEF: Gary Crooks, Mooresville, N.C.
BEST CAREER BERLIN RACEWAY FINISH: 13th (June 2012)
LAST RACE AT BERLIN RACEWAY: 13th (June 2012)
WHAT: Prelude To The Battle Budweiser 75
WHERE: Berlin Raceway, Marne, Mich. (.438-mile oval)
WHEN: Friday, May 31 – 3 p.m., practice; Saturday, June 1 – 3 p.m., practice; 7 p.m., qualifying; 9 p.m. race
DID YOU KNOW?
- Austin Theriault won the PASS South Series South Carolina Clash 150 at Dillon Motor Speedway on March 9 to become the first Brad Keselowski Racing development program driver to win a race since Landon Cling won at South Boston Speedway on June 9, 2012.
- Austin Theriault hasn’t finished outside the Top-10 in each of the last five PASS-sanctioned Super Late Model races he’s entered. Prior to the South Carolina Clash 150 win, he was victorious in a family-owned car in the PASS North Series season finale at Oxford Plains Speedway in October of 2012.
- Austin Theriault added the Racing Radios 125 at Gresham Motorsports Park to his schedule in order to get more track time in advance of the prestigious World Crown 300 at the facility on July 4. Along with the Snowball Derby, All-American 400 and Winchester 400, the World Crown 300 is part of the “Grand Slam” of Super Late Model racing.
- Austin Theriault made his first PASS North Series start of the season last weekend at Oxford Plains Speedway and finished ninth in a family-owned car. He will return to the PASS North Series on May 4 for a 150-lap event at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING
AUSTIN THERIAULT, Driver of the Brad Keselowski Racing No. 29 Checkered Flag Foundation Ford Fusion, On how the team is approaching this weekend’s race: “It’s been a while since the last time we raced. We had a decent run at Gresham, but we’re trying to build some momentum going into the (Battle At Berlin 251) coming up in two weeks. We’ve always used these races as chances to try stuff we wouldn’t otherwise have time or wouldn’t want to take chance to try later on with so much on the line.
“We still go to the race track to win and to try and have the fastest car at the end of the race. But now is the time to take chances. You can only be better if you take those chances to try and get better. We all know in racing, you can be on top of the world and think that you can just continue doing what you’re doing and not worry about everything else – but after a while it becomes old and people start beating you. We just want to make sure we’re continuing to get better all the time.”
On his impressions of Berlin Raceway: “The track configuration is a little bit different than some of the others we race at down south. It’s a bit more flat. It’s more of an oval. The last time there, there was some pretty good racing and some passing going on. Our cars are better now, I’m more experienced, and we should have a fast car. I feel like we’re taking a better package overall to the race track right now.
“Berlin’s not as flat as the tracks in Maine, but I’ve had my fair share of experience on flatter tracks. I know what I want to feel in the car on these kinds of tracks. We’re racing against a lot of good drivers, so it’s hard to say I have an advantage or what not – a lot of drivers know what they want to feel in the car no matter what track they go to. Who knows what it means. I know that we want to work hard to be good there.”
On the prestige that the Battle At Berlin 251 has created in a relatively short time period: “We were so new to this last year and still growing as a team, and we were way below the level we’re at now. I think the last 100 laps of the race last year, I thought we had a race capable of winning. The whole weekend performance wasn’t reflective of where we should have been.
“The race itself is a big race, and it’s important to have everything under control. That’s where we’re at now. With the history of the race – Kyle’ (Busch) has run there and won it, and it adds a little prestige to it. The fact that there’s a lot of good cars there makes it important. I’m pretty confident going into it.”
Austin Theriault returns to Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich., for the Battle At Berlin 251 on June 14-16… Theriault finished 13th in his debut at the track in June of 2012.