BROOKLYN, Mich. – Austin Theriault had a lot of firsts Friday afternoon.
He was racing in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards for the first time, racing on a track larger than one mile for the first time and made his first green flag pit stop.
Oh, and he won the Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan Int’l Speedway, becoming the first ARCA Racing Series driver since 2011 to win in his series debut.
“This race and the way I approached this race was very different,” Theriault said after the race. “I had never raced at a track bigger than a mile before. I was very conservative, yet we still finished second in qualifying. That told me we would be okay for the race.”
Mitchell, who led 65 laps, led the cars to the green flag on the final restart with 17 laps to go. That’s when Theriault made his move.
“Billy Venturni (crew chief) came on the radio and said ‘let’s go for it,'” Theriault said.
Theriault and Mitchell’s cars glanced off each other down the backstretch and Theriault grabbed the lead for good, sliding in front of Mitchell’s car.
“The side draft gave me a good run going into turn three,” Theriault said. “From there on, the car was awesome. I think it was all about clean air.”
Justin Allison finished third for his best career finish in the No. 88 HaVaCoSales.com Ford. John Wes Townley started in the back after going to a back-up No. 15 Zaxby’s Toyota car, but still finished fourth. Spencer Gallagher was fifth in the Allegiant Travel Chevrolet, Will Kimmel sixth in the Messina’s/Ingersoll Rand Ford and Frank Kimmel seventh and the final car on the lead lap in the No. 44 Ansell-Menards Toyota.
Grant Enfinger entered the race with the championship points lead, but Mitchell used the Menards Pole Award, leading the most laps and his third second-place finish of the season to take over the point lead after eight races on the season. Enfinger finished eighth in the Motor Honey/Casite/Advance Auto Parts Ford.