By Larry Mahoney, BDN Staff
Fort Kent’s Austin Theriault has been keeping busy since posting a fourth-place finish in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut for Brad Keselowski Racing on Feb. 20 at Daytona International Speedway.
He is working in the Brad Keselowski Racing race shop.
“I’ll be in the shop as much as possible to help the guys out. Then I’ll head up to Maine to see if I can secure some partnership/sponsorship deals for 2015 and 2016,” said Theriault.
“I’m happy with where things are now. I’m going to try to ride the wave and more forward,” said Theriault.
Theriault, who will run 13 of the 23 Camping World Truck Series races in the No. 29 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford, won’t race again in the truck series until May 8 at Kansas Speedway.
That will be just the fourth race in the series.
The 21-year-old Theriault was pleased with his first race in a truck. His Brad Keselowski Racing teammate, Tyler Reddick, won the race, the NextEra Energy Resources 250.
“It was a great experience. I was happy with the outcome,” said Theriault. “Obviously, the whole team would have loved to have been in Victory Lane. But it doesn’t get much better than coming to the white flag with your teammate in first place and you in second. The roles could have been reversed like they were earlier in the race, but we came off pit road behind [Reddick]” after a late-race caution.
Theriault said he and Reddick worked very well together during the race, helping each other in the draft. He said they have developed a solid friendship off the track.
“He had given me a spot earlier in the race. It’s all part of being a team,” Theriault said.
“I just can’t tell you how much it means to have a teammate there helping me get my first win,” said the 19-year-old Reddick. “I just hope I can do the same for him on down the road.”
Scott Lagassie Jr., who finished third in the race, said Reddick owes Theriault because “[he] did some door-slamming to help him.”
Theriault said he could have settled for second place but when he came to the final corner, he decided to go for the win so he pulled to the outside of Reddick.
That enabled Erik Jones and Lagasse Jr. to pass him for second and third, respectively.
“My team deserved a chance to win. It just didn’t work out,” said Theriault. “I created a pretty good draft for the other cars behind me, and they got runs off me coming off [turn] four.”
He said that it is important to be a good teammate “until turn four on the last lap. Then it’s every man for himself.”
Theriault said he is hoping to do some testing in the trucks before his next race and also will try to run some Super Late Model races down south “just to have some fun.”
There was a truck series race this past weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200, in which Keselowski raced the No. 29 Ford truck.
Sprint Cup driver Keselowski wound up 15th and Reddick was fifth.
The next race will be at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia on March 28 and the Kansas race will be the following race. Theriault said Sprint Cup driver and Daytona 500 winner Joey Logano will drive the truck at Martinsville.
Theriault, who lives in North Carolina, made his debut in the Nationwide (now XFINITY) Series a year ago for JR Motorsports and finished 15th, 18th and 21st.
He also ran his first ARCA race and went to Victory Lane at Michigan International Speedway.