BKR Effort Headed To Premier Maritime Super Late Model Showdown
FORT KENT, Maine – Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine, will get a firsthand opportunity to impress his boss when he teams up with Brad Keselowski and Brad Keselowski Racing for the IWK 250 at Riverside Speedway in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, on Saturday, July 20.
Theriault will pilot the BKR No. 29 Checkered Flag Foundation Ford Fusion, while the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Keselowski will sit behind the wheel of the No. 13 Atlantic Cat Ford Fusion.
“It’s an awesome opportunity,” Theriault said. “It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a while. The (BKR) development program has given me lots of opportunities already and we’ve gotten a couple of wins pretty early in the season here, so it’s a cool thing to be working with Brad in that race up there. That race is pretty huge on the East Coast of Canada, and probably one that rivals the Oxford 250.”
Theriault will test Keselowski’s ride for two days this week, before settling in to practice his own car on Friday. Qualifying and the main event are slated for Saturday on the quarter-mile at Riverside.
This season, Theriault already has two victories in PASS South Series competition. His first career win for BKR came at Dillon Motor Speedway in March, and he followed that up by returning to the series and winning at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C., on June 23.
In his last six Super Late Model starts for BKR, Theriault hasn’t finished outside the Top-6. He’s not yet been to Riverside Speedway, though the same held true of Southern National before he won there.
“We’ll have a couple days to get the cars fast, even though I’m pretty sure they are fast already,” Theriault said. “I’ll have a couple days to get used to the track. I’ve never been there – but even the tracks I’ve never visited before, we usually show up pretty quick. I’m really not worried about it. It’s just another opportunity to try and run up front and contend for a win. Whatever happens from there happens.”
Some 40 Super Late Model teams are expected to attempt to qualify for the IWK 250, a race sanctioned by the Parts For Trucks Pro Stock Tour. Having a Sprint Cup champion – and your boss and teammate – as part of the field doesn’t add any pressure, according to Theriault.
“It has the potential to be a good learning experience and something I can build off of as a driver,” said Theriault, who will have Johnny Killen serving as his crew chief on the No. 29, while usual crew chief Gary Crooks will call the shots for Keselowski. “Whenever you have an opportunity to work with those guys, you need to make the best of it. That’s what I plan to do. For me, I just want do a lot of listening and watching how he approaches things.
“There’s only so much that you can do, but the biggest thing is I can make the best of the opportunity. Working with with Johnny, when we’ve worked together in the past, we have a good working relationship. I know Gary (Crooks) and Brad will be fast, and they have all the potential that we do.
“It will be cool to run up front with them, and hopefully, we’ll all have a good day for BKR.”