BROOKLYN, Mich. — Fort Kent auto racing driver Austin Theriault won his debut race in the ARCA Racing Series Friday at Michigan International Speedway.
The 20-year-old Theriault finished first in the Corrigan Oil 200 in his first race on a track longer than one mile and also became the first driver to win his ARCA debut since Alex Bowman did so in 2011.
“This race and the way I approached the race was very different,” Theriault told arca.com. “I had never raced at a track bigger than a mile before. I was very conservative, yet we still finished second in qualifying. That told me we would be OK for the race.”
Pole-sitter Mason Mitchell led for 65 of the 100 laps, but finished second. He led the field to the green flag on the race’s final restart with 17 laps remaining.
Theriault then made his move after being told to do so via instructions over his radio from crew chief Bill Venturini.
Theriault’s car and Mitchell’s glanced off each other before Theriault grabbed the lead in his No. 66 Toyota Camry and held it.
Justin Allison finished third in the race, John West Townley took fourth and Spencer Gallagher was fifth.
Theriault was racing for the Venturini Motorsports team in an attempt to gain more experience on larger tracks before two more races he has with JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
He earned a 15th-place finish in his first Nationwide race on May 18 in the Newton 250 at Iowa Speedway.