Austin Theriault (@AustinTheriault) rallied from two laps down to score a respectable 12th place finish in the American Ethanol 200 Friday night at Iowa Speedway.
Theriault has been running at the finish in all five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races this season. He has completed all but two laps this season (792 of a possible 794) a key factor in the learning process for a young driver.
Theriault qualified 18th and was running just outside the top 10 at the time of his first pit stop under caution on lap 27. While most of the leaders chose to pit during the third caution period on lap 42, crew chief Chad Kendrick kept Theriault on the track in an effort to gain track position. He lined up third when the race went green on lap 50.
By lap 52 Theriault had settled into sixth place and ran there during the following long green flag run. Austin was sixth when he made a scheduled four tire stop under green on lap 118. But just a few moments after completing his service, the fourth caution of the race came out on lap 122, pinning the No. 29 team two laps down. Theriault took the wave around on lap 126 and restarted 15th one lap later.
From this point Austin's sour racing luck began to improve.
The fifth caution on lap 152 gave him the opportunity to wave around back to the tail end of the lead lap. He was 13th in line when the race went green on lap 156.
The sixth and final caution was also a fortunate turn of events for Theriault. The final yellow waved on lap 159 and Kendrick called his driver to pit road one lap later for four tires and adjustments. Austin restarted 12th on lap 164 when the race went green and did an admirable job down the stretch to hold off Ben Kennedy for the position.
What they are saying:
Austin Theriault - No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150: "You just can't predict and plan for certain circumstances. If we would have waited a couple of laps before we pitted under green we would have been fine but it's part of racing where sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't, especially on green flag pit stops. Luckily we were able to recover and finish on the lead lap. Everyone on the Cooper Standard team did a great job."
Chad Kendrick - Crew Chief, No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150: "We got bit by a yellow flag after we made a pit stop under green. After that you're playing defense just trying to get back on the lead lap. Austin did a great job in the Cooper Standard Ford F-150. He improved on everything from last week."