Austin Theriault (@AustinTheriault) brushed aside a midrace penalty and struggles on restarts to claim a 10th place finish in the Drivin' For Linemen 200 Saturday night at Gateway (Madision, Ill.) Motorsports Park. Theriault racked up his third top 10 finish in four career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts.
Austin started 10th but ran outside the top 10 during the early stages of the 160 lap, 200 mile race. He was 16th in line but running lap times equal to the leaders.
Theriault took advantage of the first caution to pit for four tires and adjustments on lap 55. Speedy service on the pit lane allowed him to restart 11th when the race went green on lap 62. Theriault got loose under braking immediately after the restart. He recovered quickly but lost a few positions in the process. He was running 15th when the second yellow slowed the race on lap 80.
Theriault pitted for right side tires only on lap 82 during the caution period in an effort to gain track position. He lined up fifth when the race went green on lap 85 and stayed there when the third caution waved on lap 93. Crew chief Chad Kendrick chose not to pit under this caution and he restarted fourth on lap 97.
Moments after the green, NASCAR officials ruled Theriault changed lanes just before crossing the start-finish line and he was hit with a pass through penalty. He served his penalty on lap 102 and the sequence left him in 16th position but still on the lead lap.
Theriault and the team caught a break when the fourth caution of the race came out on lap 118 which kept him on the lead lap. He pitted on lap 119 right side tires and gained track position with the call, restarting in seventh poisiton on lap 123.
Once again the restart wasn't kind to Theriault. He fell in line outside the top 10 but the fifth caution gave him an opportunity to pit for four tires and an adjustment on lap 146.
He restarted 11th when the race went green on lap 150 and was able to pick his way cleanly through the final two restarts to collect a 10th-place finish.
What They Are Saying
Austin Theriault - No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150: "We were able to come away with a top 10 in the Cooper Standard Ford F-150 but I wanted a better finish. I'll have to go back and figure out what I need to do to be better and not lose track position on the restarts. I feel bad for what happened on the restart when I got penalized. I'll go back and look at that again and see what I need to change and learn from it and not make the same mistake again."
Chad Kendrick - Crew Chief, No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150: "I see improvement every week when Austin is behind the wheel of the Cooper Standard Ford F-150. I think he did a nice job and learned a ton this weekend. We've got to help him improve on restarts and that's probably a combination of what we need to give him and what Austin needs to figure out. Once we get him going on restarts we're going to be fine."