Less than four months after he was dropped by Hattori Racing Enterprises while racing on the K and N Pro Series East circuit, Austin Theriault is back in the driver’s seat.
The Fort Kent native, who also has driven in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series, has been signed to run 20 ARCA races next year, according to a statement released on Tuesday.
Theriault and crew chief Donnie Richeson will team up to represent North Carolina-based Ken Schrader Racing during the 2017 season.
One of the sponsors will be Cross Insurance, which has an office in Bangor.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me to be able to run my first-ever full season at a national level with KSR,” said Theriault in the statement. “With the support of Kenny and Donnie, I believe we can challenge for wins race to race and be in contention for a championship. Returning to tracks such as Daytona, Iowa and Michigan will allow me to build on my previous experiences. Driving at historic places like Salem and DuQuoin for the first time will be fun.”
Ken Schrader Racing will campaign its fleet of No. 52 race cars for the upcoming season, and while primary sponsors have not been confirmed, Federated Auto Parts will support the team’s effort, along with Cross Insurance.
“We are looking forward to an exciting season with Austin,” said Schrader. “He has proven to be a fierce competitor at every level of racing since his first mini stock race at the age of 13. I see a great deal of potential for the 2017 season. Austin has competed at a number of the tracks on the ARCA schedule and his previous success offers a great boost for our team.”
Theriault has an ARCA victory in 2014 at Michigan Raceway to his credit, along with a fifth-place run at Pocono (Pennsylvania) in 2015.
Theriault has also run in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series, having competed in two races with Rick Ware racing in 2016 and a handful of races in 2014 with JR Motorsports, owned by NASCAR superstar Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Driving for Brad Keselowski Racing in the Camping World Truck Series, Theriault’s best finish was a fourth-place in 2015 at Daytona, in his first Truck series and super speedway start.
Later in the 2015 season, Theriault had a major setback when he crashed at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and suffered two compressed vertebrae in his back. After weeks of therapy, he returned to race at Homestead-Miami Speedway for BKR and finished 11th.