Even though he didn’t rack up his fourth win in the ARCA Racing series, Fort Kent’s Austin Theriault still had a highly productive day in his first ever dirt race on Sunday at the Illinois State Fairgrounds at the Herr’s Potato Chips 100.
The 23-year-old Theriault earned his first pole and wound up finishing second to Grant Enfinger over the one-mile clay track.
Theriault expanded his points lead to 240 over Dalton Sargeant, who wound up 10th on Sunday.
It was Theriault’s 11th top five finishes in 14 races, his seventh top-three and sixth top-two. He has three wins and three second-place showings.
There are six races remaining.
Theriault led the first 32 laps before Enfinger took over the lead for the next 13 laps.
After Enfinger pitted, Fike and Christian Eckes each spent time leading until Enfinger regained it on lap 63.
Theriault eventually pulled up to Enfinger’s bumper over the final five laps and tapped his bumper on a few occasions but couldn’t make the pass.
“Every once in awhile, we were getting a better run off the corner,” said Theriault in an Autoweek story. “We probably could have tapped him out of the way but coming home second in my first dirt track start is not a bad day.
“It was quite a thing for a pavement guy to come here and get the pole. I’m proud of the effort from all these guys on this Ken Schrader Racing team. We were too tight at first but got the car pretty neutral for the end. I wasn’t too sure coming in but now I’m excited to get back to the dirt in a couple of weeks,” Theriault added.
Theriault was referring to the General Tire Grabber 100 which will be held on Sept. 4 at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds’ one-mile clay oval in Illinois.
Before that, Theriault will run the Road America ARCA 100 over the four-mile road course on Sunday afternoon in Plymouth, Wisconsin.