Austin Theriault Grabs Win in Shortened ARCA Opener

by February 19, 2017 0 comments

Austin Theriault’s record in the ARCA Racing Series entering Saturday’s season opener at Daytona International Speedway stood at one-for-two, entering Sunday, it now stands as two-for-three.

Theriault, 23, secured the win in the Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 in his first race with Ken Schrader Racing, making for his first series win since 2014.

The driver of the No. 52 Orlando Longwood Auto Auction Chevrolet was declared the victor of the 80-lap race with five laps remaining in the event. ARCA officials pulled the plug on the event shortly after a caution flew on Lap 75, factoring in both time constraints due to repairs needed to the track’s SAFER Barrier.

“It’s unbelievable,” Theriault said in victory lane. “I’m so happy right now. We had too much time sitting around, I’d probably be crying right now if we went back green. I know we would have had a good enough car to take the checkered flag.

“I’ve got to thank a lot of people – the Schraders, the Cunninghams, Kerry Scherer, there were a lot of people who helped make this possible.”

Rette Jones Racing’s Terry Jones finished second in a strong effort that featured the driver of the No. 30 Toyota spending a third of the race in the lead.

“I had an absolute blast out there,” Jones aid. “I knew from practice we had a good car, just needed a little luck to get to the front and stay there. I was really hoping for some rain, but it never could materialize enough to end the race. Still, I’m so proud of my team and guys for their hard work.

“Honestly, we didn’t know we were coming to Daytona with the ARCA car until a couple weeks ago and Mark (Rette, co-owner) and the guys busted their tails to get our No. 30 Buck Twenty/Nortrax car ready. We had some new support on the car this weekend and I’m incredible appreciative to their support and hope to carry this momentum into our next ARCA race.”

Cunningham Motorsports teammates Shane Lee and Dalton Sargeant respectively came home in the third and fourth positions.

From there, pole-sitter Tom Hessert, Bret Holmes, Ricky Sanders, Kyle Weatherman, Clint King and Kaz Grala completed the top-10 of the finishing order.

There were six caution periods throughout the race with four being for multi-car accidents.

The first caution flag flew on Lap 6 for a two-car spin off of Turn 4 involving Bryan Dauzat and Derrick Lancaster with the second being for debris on Lap 20.

A solo spin by Dauzat was the cause for the third caution with a multi-car wreck involving drivers such as Michael Lira, Gus Dean, Mark Thompson and A.J. Fike occurring on Lap 49.

The third multi-car accident of the day wrapped up drivers such as Bo LeMastus, Quin Houff, Thomas Praytor and Michael Self on Lap 66.

The final caution of the race that ultimately ended the event after inflicting damage to the SAFER Barrier was on Lap 75 and involved Lancaster, Codie Rohrbaugh, Bobby Gerhart and Justin Fontaine and sent Fontaine for a harrowing ride along the outside wall of the frontstretch.

Fontaine, 19, was transported to a local hospital where it was revealed he had suffered a mild compression fracture of his L1 vertebrae.

Results of the Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200

  1. 52 – Austin Theriault
  2. 30 – Terry Jones
  3. 22 – Shane Lee
  4. 77 – Dalton Sargeant
  5. 25 – Tom Hessert
  6. 23 – Bret Holmes
  7. 69 – Ricky Sanders
  8. 78 – Kyle Weatherman
  9. 58 – Clint King
  10. 88 – Kaz Grala
  11. 46 – Sean Corr
  12. 18 – Matt Tifft
  13. 33 – Justin Fontaine
  14. 7 – Codie Rohrbaugh
  15. 5 – Bobby Gerhart
  16. 83 – Derrick Lancaster
  17. 48 – Brad Smith
  18. 16 – John Ferrier
  19. 15 – Leilani Munter (-1)
  20. 02 – Andy Seuss (-2)
  21. 38 – Ray Ciccarelli (-2)
  22. 01 – Travis Braden (-2)
  23. 3 – Mike Senica (-4)
  24. 06 – Scott Edwards (-5)
  25. 42 – Bo LeMastus (-7)
  26. 55 – Noah Gragson (-7)
  27. 28 – Michael Self (-8)
  28. 98 – Quin Houff (-8)
  29. 9 – Thomas Praytor (-10)
  30. 10 – Ed Pompa (-10)
  31. 66 – Mark Thompson (-26)
  32. 32 – Gus Dean (-26)
  33. 80 – Caesar Bacarella (-26)
  34. 27 – A.J. Fike (-26)
  35. 37 – David LeBeau (-26)
  36. 2 – Eric Caudell (-26)
  37. 6 – Michael Lira (-26)
  38. 11 – Bryan Dauzat (-31)
  39. 0 – Con Nicolopoulos (-60)
  40. 34 – Willie Mullins (-62)

Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/The Fourth Turn

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