It Is Second Place in Michigan for Maine Racer Austin Theriault

Episode 166

June 18, 2017

Theriault Makes His Move To Finish Second at Michigan

Some of the many Austin Theriault fans at Michigan International Speedway visiting with him before the race. Austin Theriault photo

After riding in the top 10 all afternoon at the ARCA Corrigan 200 at Michigan International Speedway, Austin Theriault used a series of events to rocket through the pack to finish second. His last visit to the Brooklyn, Michigan track he won with Venturini Motorsports in June of 2014.

“We were off on the balance of the car all day including qualifying,” said the Fort Kent native. ” Then at the end the track was undergoing changes with the rubber that was laid down.  We put on  four new tires, made some minor changes, the sun came out, and we realized it was ‘gotta go’ time.”

“Everybody worked real hard on the Ken Schrader Racing team. They never gave up and remained confident.”

Winning in dominating fashion was Brandon Jones who spun on oil while leading early. He marched up through the field and passed Dalton Sargeant near the end when Sargeant touched the wall. Sargeant rallied to finish third behind Theriault.

Theriault now has a 140 point lead over Sargeant and 305 point lead over third place Gus Dean and Riley Herbst.

The ARCA Series make their way to Madison International Speedway in Oregon, Wisconsin for a Friday June 23rd night race on the 1/2 mile paved oval.  The Montgomery Ward 200 will begin at 9 pm Eastern and will be televised on MAVTV or you may follow it on ARCA Live Timing & Scoring.

In preparation for this short track race, Theriault noted that, “There will be a lot of late nights to get turned around. We are only going to be at the shop a couple of days. We have the Elko winner Toyota ready to go to Madison. We only need to do a couple of things then put on the scales and load it for Tuesday departure.”

” Our short track program has been one of our strong points. We continue to focus on the intermediate tracks for improvement. I am confident we can get it.”

How Do You Get In Shape For The Hot Summer Races?

I mentioned that I have been seeing multiple posts from a variety of NASCAR drivers about their biking routines. It seems that several drivers including Trevor Bayne, Jimmy Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jamie McMurray, Tyler Reddick, Matt Kenseth among others. It seems like the bike has taken the place of running in NASCAR fitness regimes.

I talked to Austin Theriault about his fitness regime and what he did to get ready for the heat and stress of racing stock cars. He replied that,” I am still riding bike although not as much as I would like at this time. I used bike riding to help rehab my back, core muscles, and legs.”

“Right now I am focusing on weight training. My plan is to ride in the heat of summer to help me get used to the high temperatures of the race car.  I like to ride my mountain bike by myself, it helps me with my focus. When road riding I like to go with a group and like to draft.”

I asked if there is a problem with people recognizing race drivers while they are riding and he replied, “Once you get your helmet and riding stuff on with sunglasses it is difficult to recognize anyone.”

Fresh Trails Adventure owner, Mark Rossignol on left with fellow rider David Chamberlain at one of the many events which Rossignol has participated in locally as well as internationally. Photo courtesy Mark Rossignol

Owner of Fresh Trails Adventures and County Physical Therapy, Mark Rossignol,  noted that, ” The benefits (of bike riding) are many. It is easy on your joints with excellent opportunities to do interval training. It is a great way to lose and maintain weight.”

“There are many cardiovascular benefits if you do intervals.”

RYAN Motorsports Wins With Hard Work and Determination

I have called John Holmquist’s shop in Caribou the Roger Penske place for snow sleds. I nominate RYAN Motorsports of Harvey, New Brunswick for the Pro Stock Penske shop and preparation honors.

Pro Stock of RYAN Motorsports on the scales at the race shop. Photo courtesy Natural Light Photo and Film

Prepping the RYAN Motorsports car for Speedway 660 Pro-Stock class. Photo courtesy Natural Light Photo and Film

Look at the level of preparation of this race-car! This reminds me of Penske cars with high degree and quality workmanship. Photo courtesy Natural Light Photo and Film

Adjustments and re-checking the RYAN Motorsports Pro-Stock paid off with the 16-year-old getting his first win in the top class at Speedway 660 in Geary Woods, New Brunswick. Messer started at the back of the pack and took the lead with two laps to go. Photo courtesy RYAN Motorsports

Only Maine Racer Who Calls Speedway 660 His Home Track

Drew Greenlaw of Maine being interviewed by the track announcer after placing second in the Martins Home Heating 100 for Late Model Sportsman. Photo courtesy Drew Greenlaw Racing

University of Maine Orono student Drew Greenlaw from Eastport, Maine primarily races at Geary Woods, New Brunswick’s Speedway 660. He races in the Late Model Sportsman class. I will have more information about this young man as the season progresses.

After his second place finish Sunday, he said, ” We started 5th in our heat and finished 2nd. That gave us the fourth starting position in the Martins Home Heating 100.”

“We took the lead on lap 26 then on lap 52 we got spun lapping a car. We had to go to the rear where it is no fault racing. We raced hard back through the pack but run out of time and finished a respectful 2nd.”

As I said we will hear more from this “International Racer” in a future episode.

Swanson Takes the Silver Crown Race in Pennsylvania

Up until Friday evening Kody Swanson, two-time USAC Silver Crown National Champion and current points leader, had never won in the Keystone State. The series moved in the historic Williams Grove 1/2 mile dirt track in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania for the Horn-Schindler Memorial.

Swanson hunted down leader Damion Gardiner and passed him with 17 laps to go in the 100 lap event. Gardiner hung on to finish second with Jerry Coons Jr. finishing third.

Second place Damion Gardiner on left with race winner Kody Swanson center, and third place Jerry Coons Jr. on right. Mark Swanson photo

About the Williams Grove race Swanson said, ” Williams Grove is such a storied race track, and it is great for our series to return to a place with such great history. I’m grateful for everyone on this team, what an incredible place and race to win together.”

“I’ve still been missing a little something on these dirt half miles, but have really been working hard to get better. We had a few things go our way, but I’m glad that it all worked out for us to end up in Victory Lane! ”

Dad if I put in that two pounds of air in this tire like you asked you better not blame me if you smack the wall. Kody Swanson’s son Trevor at the race track. Photo courtesy Jordan Swanson

Come on Dad don’t you think this spotters tower is a little low! Kody Swanson’s son Trevor in the pits at the race track. Photo courtesy Jordan Swanson

Martin Family Has Good Race Weekend

Frenchville native, Shawn Martin, now living in Auburn raced at Oxford Plains Speedway Saturday evening as part of their Super Late Model regular series. The County man placed third in the race won by Buckfield’s TJ Brackett with Alan Tardiff of Lyman getting by Martin for second.

Colby Martin wins the Fathers Day race at Richmond Karting Speedway. Martin family photo

Le Mans Finish Does Not Disappoint

With no television coverage in the wilds of Westmanland, I relied on Radio Le Mans and live scoring and timing to check in on the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Since covering the last two 24 Hours of Daytona, I have a better perspective of who is racing and understand some of the nuances of sports car endurance racing.

Despite losing 65 minutes in the pits before the 5th hour the LMP1 919 Hybrid Porsche made up the time to finish first overall, getting by the LMP2 Oreca owned by Jackie Chan Racing.

The closest racing was in the GTE-Pro class between the Porsches, Aston Martins, Chevrolet Corvettes, and four Ford GT. Jordan Taylor, driving, the #63 Chevrolet Corvette was leading the race on the last lap when he picked up a puncture in his right rear tire. Jonny Adam in the Aston Martin was on his rear bumper the last several laps and shot by and went on to win when Taylor slowed.

The UK Based number 67 Ford GT driven by Harry Tincknell passed Jordan Taylor at the chicane before the start-finish line to take second place in the GTE-Pro class at Le Mans. Ford Performance photo

Backus Racing Presents NMKA Racing Friday Night

After a one week hiatus, the Northern Maine Karting Association (NMKA) will continue with race two of the Spud Speedway Friday Night Karting Series presented by Backus Racing. Racing at the Caribou track will begin at 6:30 pm. Grandstands are free admission and pit passes are $10.

Who knows what lurks beneath the tarp covering the #10 HTF Motorsports kart as it sits in my outdoor “garage”. You will need to wait and see Friday night at Spud Speedway. HTF Motorsports photo

Let’s Go Racing

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria



Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

Tom wrote 14 years as freelancer for the Bangor Daily Sports covering motorsports in Maine. Now blogging and concentrating on human interest stories about people and places in racing. He races Champ Karts and owns HTF Motorsports in remote Westmanland, Maine