September 12, 2014 Maine NASCAR Rookie, Austin Theriault, Makes History With First-Ever Public-Private Sponsored Race Car
Maine Business Leaders and Governor Paul LePage unveil Theriault’s “Maine Car” on September 12th
Austin Theriault, a 20-year-old rookie NASCAR driver from Fort Kent, Maine, racing for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Nationwide Series has made history with the unveiling of an unprecedented public-private sponsored race car. Theriault alongside Maine Governor Paul LePage, and local banking and business executives together revealed the “Maine Car” for fans at press conferences held in Portland and Bangor.
“The design of this race car represents what Maine is all about and will bring national attention to our great state,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “I’m proud of our ‘Open for Business’ branding and the iconic nature of the photos chosen to decorate this car which represents the best of Maine. And we couldn’t ask for a better driver than Austin Theriault, an inspiring, young go-getter from the County.”
Theriault will race the No. 5 Maine Open for Business Chevrolet at Kentucky Speedway on Sept. 20. This effort represents Theriault’s vision of both promoting his home state and celebrating Maine companies that support his racing career. The Maine Car features nontraditional racing graphics, including MAINE branding blanketed across the hood, quintessential Maine scenes including forests, moose, blueberries, and lobsters, as well as corporate sponsors’ logos along each side and the back of the car. The actual race car Theriault will drive is being readied at JR Motorsports’ headquarters in Mooresville, NC. The exact replica Maine Car unveiled locally was prepared by Theriault’s own race team in order to provide an early showcase for fans.
“It is such an exciting step in my career to reach the NASCAR level and I wanted to enjoy the Maine Car with my hometown supporters before heading to Kentucky for the race,” said Theriault.
In a sport largely celebrated through southern tradition and Fortune 500 companies, the strategy to race a “Maine Car” backed by a collection of Maine interests was carefully considered.
“After we seized upon the idea of putting ‘Maine’ on the hood rather than the traditional corporate logo, we had to confirm the approach through racing regulations and receive NASCAR approval,” noted Frederick Lipp, attorney and agent for Theriault. “We engaged an artist who has designed hundreds of race cars and he tells us we are literally making NASCAR history.”
While private corporate sponsors make up the majority of Theriault’s Maine Car funding, the young driver and the State of Maine are breaking new ground by using NASCAR as America’s most popular sport to promote tourism and business attraction on a national stage. The State of Maine sponsorship is also supported by non-profit Maine & Company which provides consulting services to businesses considering relocating to or expanding in the State.
Maine & Company’s President & CEO Peter DelGreco added “Austin will show the world what a great place Maine is to build your business and your life.”
“Maine is open for business and we are pleased to be partnering with Austin so he can help us drive that message home to a wider audience,” said Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner George Gervais.
The Maine Car and Austin Theriault Racing’s Super Late Model cars are supported by a breadth of Maine-based companies including Bangor Savings Bank, Colby Company Engineering, Daigle & Houghton Trucks, G&E Roofing, Kepware Technologies, Tim Varney & Co., Southern Maine Chrysler Dodge Jeep, Daigle Oil Company, Hogan Tire, and Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine.
“We are thrilled to support Austin’s Maine Car. This is a triple play in helping a great young Mainer, sharing the excitement with thousands of Maine fans, and promoting Maine’s attributes to NASCAR viewers around the world,” commented Yellow Breen, EVP and Chief Strategic Officer, at Bangor Savings Bank.