Fort Kent native Austin Theriault’s string of consecutive wins in the ARCA Racing Series was snapped at three Thursday night but he extended his streak of top-three finishes to six and further padded his virtually insurmountable lead in the points standings.
Theriault, who drives for Ken Schrader Racing, wound up second in the Scott 150 at Chicagoland Speedway as Chris Bell capitalized on a late-race pit stop to get four fresh tires and it enabled him to pass Theriault on the inside and take the checkered flag.
Bell is leading the Camping World Truck Series points.
Race leader Michael Self brought out a caution with 10 laps remaining when his right front tire went down. Bell pitted for the fresh tires and bolted from the eighth position to pass Theriault.
“I was really tight and then Christopher Bell passed me,” said Theriault in the story on the ARCA website. “Can’t thank everyone enough at Ken Schrader Racing. We’ve been working so hard to get our intermediate program (tracks between one and two miles long) better. We knew some of it was aerodynamics and some was the car. We had to balance the two.
“We’ve turned the corner,” added the 23-year-old Theriault. “We wanted a solid run this weekend and we got one. We ran over some debris in that last caution and smashed the front bumper in. With all the variables and all the damage, I’m pretty happy with second place.”
Theriault, who had qualified seventh, has now posted 15 top-five finishes in 18 races including a series-leading six victories, 11 top-threes and 10 top-twos.
He has now expanded his lead over runner-up Dalton Sargeant to 375 points with just two races remaining.
The next race will be the Crosley Brands 150 at Kentucky Speedway on Friday night.
The final event will be the Kansas 150 at Kansas Speedway on Oct. 20.