Maine native Theriault wins number six

Episode 178

September 10, 2017

Six, yup SIX wins for Fort Kent, Maine’s Austin Theriault

Austin Theriault with his father Steve and mother Terry in Victory Lane at Salem Speedway, Salem, Indiana. Photo courtesy ARCA Racing

Six wins this season puts Austin Theriault firmly in the lead in the ARCA Racing series Driver’s Championship. Theriault leads second place Dalton Sargeant by 410 points going into the final three races of the 2017 season.

Theriault credited the Ken Schrader Racing team crew chief Donnie Richeson with his leadership role in the win. The work at the shop has been ongoing as the team prepares the race cars for the busiest part of their 2017 schedule. That type of effort depends on organization and innovation which the team has shown can be done.

Crew chief Donnie Richeson and Austin Theriault celebrate win number six in Victory Lane at Salem Speedway in the ARCA Eddie Gilstrap Motors Fall Classic . This is their third in a row. Austin Theriault Racing photo

Anyone who has been or is involved with motorsports know that behind the glitz and glitter of race day, there has been hard work performed by a dedicated group of individuals working toward a common goal. Successful racers know that races are often won in the garage before the race car leaves.

While the Ken Schrader Racing road crew performs their job logging road miles to get safely to and from the race track, a group of crew members continue the work getting the next car ready. The next race for the #52 team is next Thursday September 14 at Chicagoland Speedway for the Scott 150. The race will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 at 8 pm Eastern.

Jack Bowsher honored by Schrader Team

Throwback Weekend in ARCA was celebrated by Ken Schrader team honoring three-time ARCA Champion Jack Bowsher. Pictured with Austin are Jack’s daughter Christa and grand-daughter JD. Austin Theriault Racing photo

Jack Bowsher born in Harmony Township, Ohio in 1930, began his racing career in 1949. When ARCA chartered in 1953 Bowsher was one of the series regulars. He won three consecutive drivers titles in 1963-’65 becoming the first ARCA  driver champion when they began crowning driving champions.

Before retiring in 1989, Bowsher had 56 wins (48 in ARCA) and 11 poles in 97 starts. That is an incredible fifty-eight percent winning record.

Besides racing in ARCA he raced the USAC stock car circuit going door-to-door with notables like Butch Hartman and AJ Foyt.

In 1967 his team finished first in the 24 Hours of Daytona with a Ford Torino driven by David and Larry Pearson and Jack’s sons Jim and Gary. He carried the support of Ford Motor Company for most of his racing career.

The Jack Bowsher throwback color scheme on Austin Theriault #52 before leaving North Carolina. ARCA Racing photo

Northern Maine Karting Association(NMKA) Inaugural State of Maine Invitational

All week prior to the NMKA State of Maine Invitational race, race officials heard nothing but rain forecast for the Caribou area. Race day turned out to be almost perfect for racing with scattered clouds and extended periods of sunshine and temperatures in the lower 70’s.

The threat of rain kept several teams from making the trek north which produced slightly smaller number of participants than expected. Those who were in attendance saw some good kart racing followed by an excellent award ceremony with pizza and plenty of door prizes.

Maine State Invitational Feature Race results were as follows:

NAPA Auto Parts Victory Lane for September 9, Presented by County Qwik Print

NMKA Invitational Kids Karts participants congratulated by Robbie Cowett and daughter Cammie on left. Participants were l to r Parker Bosse, Kayden Haines, and Mason Gillis. HTF Motorsports photo by Derek Bosse

Blacked Out Window Tint Kid Karts 
1. Parker Bosse, Limestone
2. Mason Gillis, Detroit
3. Kayden Haines, Caribou

2017 NMKA Maine Invitational feature race podium finishers l to r third place, Ronnie-Lynn Kelly, race winner Brayden Thibodeau, second place Madison Gillis. HTF Motorsports photo by Derek Bosse

Aroostook Trusses Junior Cage Kart Class
1. Brayden Thibodeau, Limestone
2. Madison Gillis, Detroit
3. Ronnie Lynn Kelly, Presque Isle

NMKA Maine Invitational Kart race podium finishers with sponsor Robbie Cowett on left with his daughter Cammie, l to r winner Damian Theriault, second place Jason Theriault, and third place Janet Bossie. NMKA photo

Aroostook Savings & Loan Senior Cage Kart Class
1. Damian Theriault, Caribou
2. Jason Theriault, Caribou
3. Janet Bosse, Caribou

2017 Points Champions were awarded trophies provided by Cowett Auto Recyclers

Blacked Out Window Tint Kid Karts
Parker Bosse, Limestone and Kayden Haines, Caribou

Aroostook Trusses Junior Cage Kart Class
1. Bryan Searles, Presque Isle 122
2 . Gage Theriault, Limestone 102
3. Ronnie Lynn Kelly, Presque Isle 25

Aroostook Savings & Loan Senior Cage Kart Class
1. Damian Theriault, Caribou 142 (won every feature race in 2017 season)
2. Jason Theriault,Caribou 97
3. Tom Hale, Westmanland 75

Special awards went to the following:
2017 Driver of the Year, Damian Theriault
2017 Sportsmanship Award, Bryan Searles
2017 Crew Chief of the Year Award, Dick McNeal, Presque Isle, crew chief for the #10 HTF Motorsports kart driven by Tom Hale

Tim (Cowett Auto Recyclers), Robbie (Rob’s Pit Stop), and Mike Cowett (Mike’s Auto) all of Presque Isle sponsored the cash prizes for the inaugural Maine Invitational. Winners are:

CARS Kid Karts
1. Parker Bosse $25
2. Mason Gillis $25
3. Kayden Haines $25

Robs Pit Stop Junior Cage Karts
1. Brayden Thibodeau $75
2. Bryan Searles $50
3. Ronnie Lynn Kelly $25

Mikes Auto Body Senior Cage Karts
1. Damian Theriault $100
2. Jason Theriault $75
3. Janet Bosse $50

Powder Puff
1. Janet Bosse, Caribou
2. Whitney Williams, Presque Isle

Making her racing debut in the Powder Puff race was Whitney Williams, Presque Isle. Once she learned to use the brakes she turned a 12.26 second lap, only .5 seconds off regular driver Tom Hale’s pace. HTF Motorsports photo

Fastest Lap Winners:
Kids Karts, Parker Bosse

Junior Karts, Brayden Thibodeau

Senior Karts Damian Theriault,

Fastest Lap by Female Driver, Janet Bosse.

This event was also a fund-raiser for Caring Agency Neighbors for Cancer Education and Recovery (C-A-N-C-E-R). Chairman of the awards and fund-raiser portion of the race day was Wade Bright, Fort Fairfield.

Wade spent many hours this year gathering fifty-plus unique motorsports themed prizes for this event. Tickets were sold to support the fundraiser. The teams, family, and friends raised $300 for the Aroostook County based C-A-N-C-E-R organization.

It was decided early in the season to raise money for this group since nearly every team knew someone who was battling cancer whether a crew member, family member, or co-worker. In addition to raising money, most everyone at the event went away with something.

Fresh cauliflower and broccoli courtesy of Smiths Farm Stag Brand was handed out as were Dark Red Norland potatoes supplied by Madore Farms of Connor Township.

NMKA officials are already putting together plans for the 2018 racing season. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements from the club.

My favorite photo of the day, Mason Gillis standing at attention in his race kart as Carrie Ann Backus sang the National Anthem. Lead on Mason! TMT Racing photo

What do you suppose Wyatt Alexander’s crew does while he is away????

With grandson Wyatt Alexander away at school in North Carolina , WAR crew chief Bob Alexander, having fun at Blue Hill Fair antique tractor pulls. Emily Jacks photo

The Alexander family is not known to twiddle their thumbs and do nothing. Such is the case when crew chief Bob Alexander was spotted at the antique tractor pulls at the Blue Hill Fair.

Bob described his fun day at the fair this way, “Great fun with some very friendly antique tractor owners Friday evening at the Blue Hill Fair. My tractor was a 1954 Ford NAA, mostly stock with a few tuning tweaks to improve the power output somewhat.”

“I decided to pull in the 3500 and 4000 pound classes. My track walk showed it to be very hard, possibly due to the lack of rain this summer. My guess was that this would result in low penetration and grip from the tires.”

“I was wrong. I chose to pull in 2nd gear for the 3500 pound class which usually works quite well but the old Ford stalled out at 75 feet, good enough for a mid field finish.”

“With a couple of adjustments and no extra weight, I pulled the 4000 pound class in 1st gear and ended up with a pull of 92.92 feet, good enough for a third place finish.”

“Overall it was a lot of fun, great fan support from family and friends. The 3 1/2 mph speed limit will take some getting used to and it’s a lot different from the old days of driving mini’s and Herb Towle’s “Greased Lightning” modified tractor.”

My “New England Correspondent” Lou Masciarelli at Watkins Glen IndyCar races

I  cannot be everywhere on race day and rely on folks I have met to fill me in on what they saw at a variety of races and race tracks. I met Lou Masciarelli at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona this year. I was amazed at how many events he living in Bellingham, Massachusetts, attends over the course of the race season.
When I read that he was going to the Indy Car races at Watkins Glen a couple weeks ago, I asked if he would share some photos with my readers and a couple highlights. He readily agreed.
Lou said, “It was supposed to be a total washout  but (Alexander) Rossi converted his first career pole into his first road course win.”

Winner of Watkins Glen IndyCar race, Alexander Rossi, at the fuel truck in the paddock. Lou Masciarelli photo

“Scott Dixon, the most successful Indy racer at the Glen was second. Dixon closed to three points of leader Josef Newgarden with one race to go.”

Joseph Newgarden Penske Chevy being pushed to inspection area at Watkins Glen. Newgarden finished 18th narrowing his lead over Honda driver Scott Dixon to three points with only one race remaining on the IndyCar schedule. Lou Masciarelli photo

Penske crew attending to the rear of the Simon Pagenaud Chevy prior to Watkins Glen race. Lou Masciarelli photo

“Stadium super trucks also put on an amazing display with 300 foot jumps. Seems to be a crowd favorite”

One of the Stadium Super Trucks that put on a crowd pleasing show at Watkins Glen. Lou Masciarelli photo

Thank you Lou!
Let’s Go Racing,
Tom Hale
Soli Deo Gloria
Roman 16:27




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