For the first time in 15 years, a motive force from Maine will start a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race this summer season.
Fort Kent native Austin Theriault has reached an agreement to drive for Rick Ware Racing inside the Foxwoods 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 21. Theriault will drive the No. 52 Bangor Savings Bank Ford on the Loudon music, in which his teammate can be fellow New Englander Andy Seuss of Hempstead, New Hampshire.
Seuss can also be making his collection debut that weekend.
“I’ve spent endless years looking the Cup races and all the other races inside the grandstands at Loudon, even when I turned into racing Late Models,” Theriault said thru phone Saturday. “Back then, I turned into so hyper-centered on the subsequent step that I didn’t continually see the vast photograph.
“Seeing it come 360 ranges to wherein it all commenced for me, and now to make my (Cup) debut on that music, it’s a certain cool story.”
The final driver from Maine to compete in a NASCAR Cup Series race become Ricky Craven. The Newburgh racer made his last career start at Talladega in 2004.
Theriault, 25, has been out of a full-time journey because winning the ARCA Racing Series identify in 2017. Before that, he ran full-time in the American-Canadian Tour with a win at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in 2012, before going for walks Pro All Stars Series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Truck Series, and Xfinity Series races over a 4-12 months span.
He completed fifth at NHMS in a K&N Pro Series East race in 2016.
“It takes a few years of looking to achieve the purpose which you set out to acquire, and that offers you a perspective on how tough the adventure can be,” Theriault stated. “People spend years clawing for possibilities (in all varieties of series), and I’m happy to have this one.”
Nine specific drivers have raced for RWR this season at the Cup stage, combining for 33 starts. The organization has but to record a pinnacle-10 end in 2019.
“We are proud to be giving deserving drivers their hazard, and RWR has been lucky to offer some extraordinary drivers their danger inside the Cup Series over the years,” crew proprietor Rick Ware stated in a press launch. “We are simply as excited to see Austin Theriault exhibit his talents on this large level.”
For Theriault, it’s a piece surreal that his dream will come authentic at NHMS of all locations — wherein he noticed NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin win the remaining of his forty career Cup victories in 2009.
“I desired it to be Loudon,” Theriault stated. “I put a variety of effort and time into it. Almost a yr. I felt like making my debut at Loudon could help in numerous approaches — it’s a tale, it’s my home song, it gives something for absolutely everyone to speak about, inclusive of all of the human beings who’ve supported me from the beginning.”