SOUTH PARIS, Maine – Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine, will compete in at least a half-dozen PASS North Series races in his home state in 2013, including the prestigious 40th running of the TD Bank Oxford 250 on July 21.
The Brad Keselowski Racing development driver and most recent winner in the PASS South Series will run the same Crazy Horse Racing chassis that he won races with in New England on both the ACT Late Model Tour and PASS North Series.
“I feel like we can definitely compete up there with this car,” Theriault said. “Crazy Horse puts out a good product, and everybody knows I worked with them for quite a while now. It’s going to be awesome to go back up and be a part of what they’re trying to build.”
Theriault moved to Mooresville, N.C., to work for Brad Keselowski Racing this winter. He won the PASS South Carolina Clash 150 last weekend at Dillon Motor Speedway in the closest finish in PASS South Series history and will race three more times this spring in the BKR No. 29 Checkered Flag Foundation Ford before making his first appearance in New England.
He plans to compete in the PASS North Series opener at Oxford Plains on April 21 and then join the series again on May 5 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. He’ll return to Beech Ridge on July 6, two weeks before the Oxford 250, and then close out his New England schedule with the PASS 300 at Beech Ridge in mid-September and the PASS North Series finale at Oxford on September 28.
Both Beech Ridge and Oxford have significance to Theriault’s career. He made his first career ACT Late Model Tour start at Oxford in 2009, and he earned his first career victories at both Beech Ridge (ACT) and Oxford (PASS).
“It comes down to the fact that I think we can compete for wins up here, and it’s also nice to not forget where you came from and support the people who supported you for a bunch of years,” Theriault said. “That’s why I’m racing up north – to support (Crazy Horse Racing owners Mitch and Judy Green) and all the people who have played a part in my career and made it possible for me to get where I am now.”
For Theriault, returning to the Oxford 250 was something he was certain he wanted to do. In 2011, he finished third in the Oxford 250 to become the youngest podium finisher in the history of of the marquee midsummer event, and he repeated that performance in 2012 with another third-place finish.
In both cases, he turned in his eye-opening efforts in a Crazy Horse Racing chassis. He backed those up by winning the PASS North Series Championship 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway last October.
“I’m excited. We’ve got a really competitive package for Beech Ridge and Oxford,” Theriault said. “We were able to show that last year. With a little bit of work we were able to go out and compete with the Super Late Models at Oxford.
“It’s a flexible package that they have (at Crazy Horse). We demonstrated it at Oxford, as far as being able to switch back and forth from an ACT Late Model to a PASS Super late Model in a small amount of time with a relatively small amount of money. It’s its own learning curve being able to do that, but it makes it easier with the right people and the right knowledge behind you.”