By Don Radebaugh, ARCA Racing Series
The special awards keep mounting for Ken Schrader Racing (KSR) and driver Austin Theriault. After already securing the Bill France 4 Crown and the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge titles, the current ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards national championship leading team has clinched the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge championship following their victory Friday night at Kentucky Speedway.
With just the Kansas Speedway finale remaining, KSR holds an insurmountable 245-points lead over the team's closest rival, Joe Gibbs Racing and driver Riley Herbst. In a thrilling green-white-checker finish, Theriault held off MDM Motorsports teammates Zane Smith and Sheldon Creed at Kentucky to secure the title.
"Just so much thanks to Ken Schrader Racing and all the guys who made this dream season come true," said Theriault. "We don't always have the fastest cars but we stay consistent. We've basically run the whole season with two, three cars. I feel like as a team, we've had to work a little smarter, just picking up scraps wherever we can find…maybe sweat a little more. It feels good to compete against guys spending more money. It's what I like about ARCA…you can compete on a lesser budget if you race smart.
"Very special thanks to General Tire for sponsoring the award and for all they do for the series. It's an honor to be a superspeedway champion in the ARCA Racing Series."
The Ken Schrader Racing team will earn $10,000 at the championship awards banquet in December, compliments of the award's title sponsor, General Tire.
"It has been fun watching Austin and his KSR team compete this season," said Director of Marketing for General Tire, Travis Roffler. "The team's consistency and the patience displayed by Austin behind the wheel has been impressive. It's paid them big dividends by winning the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge and more than likely, additional hardware after Kansas."
Theriault debuted with Ken Schrader Racing at Daytona, winning the 54th running of the ARCA 200 at Daytona. The victory set the tone for what would become a remarkable season, winning seven races with one event still remaining at Kansas Oct. 20.
"This is a huge honor for Ken Schrader Racing to be the General Tire Superspeedway champions," said Schrader. "Anything up at that banquet that says champion on it is pretty cool. Austin has kept himself in position for wins all year. Donnie (Richeson/Crew Chief) and the crew have given him good cars and he's been very smart in them. Austin's experience played a big part."
In addition to the win at Daytona, Theriault earned runner-up superspeedway finishes at Michigan and Chicagoland, coupled with a fourth-place at Talladega, eighth- and ninth-place finishes at Pocono and another victory at Kentucky Speedway last Friday.
The General Tire Superspeedway Challenge is a $35,000 cash payout among the top-10 superspeedway teams.
Current Top-10 General Tire Superspeedway Car Owners
1. No. 52, Ken Schrader - 2360
2. No. 18, Coy Gibbs - 2115
3. No. 77, Briggs Cunningham - 2050
4. No. 15, Bill Venturini - 1990
5. No. 22, Kerry Scherer - 1940
5. No. 28, Matthew Miller - 1940
7. No. 25, Cathy Venturini - 1880
8. No. 78, Mason Mitchell - 1780
9. No. 23, Bret Holmes - 1760
10. No. 32, Kevin Cywinski - 1740