Theriault, Holmes making laps at Salem; 101st on the way

SALEM, Ind. (April 19, 2017) -- It was another busy day at Salem Speedway for a handful of ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards teams Wednesday, all testing in preparation for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 coming April 29-30.

Six drivers among four teams made laps today at the historic high-banked short track including point leader Austin Theriault in his No. 52 Ken Schrader Racing Toyota. It was the first time Theriault put eyes on the place.

"It's definitely a challenging race track to get a hold on and get the balance right in both corners, more than I expected," said Theriault.

"I'm continuing to learn every run out…we're getting better all the time. A lot of it is having the confidence to drive the thing knowing it's not going to be perfect at either end."

Theriault, of Fort Kent, Maine, also found out that the walls creep up in a hurry at Salem.

"I learned that early on…the wall almost bit us coming out of two. It unexpectedly got loose…I learned that pretty quick. At the same time, you've got to carry enough speed off two…I think that's where a lot of guys are going to get beat."

All that said, Theriault is glad he got to test before the race.

"A lot of teams test here…you don't want to be the odd man out. And you definitely don't want your first time on this track to be race weekend."

Bret Holmes brought his own Bret Holmes Racing Chevrolet to the test. The Munford, Alabama driver finished third in his first Salem start last September.

"We raced at night last time and didn't test before the race. Testing in the day is a big help because we're going to be racing in these conditions…getting the car closer to the environment," said Holmes.

"Still the same Salem. One and two is all about who's got the best car handling-wise. Three and four is who's got the biggest %&$#!."

Theriault's teammate, rookie Tony Mrakovich, is also making his first laps today, as is Joe Gibbs Racing's Riley Herbst. Dalton Sargeant and Shane Lee are testing for Cunningham Motorsports.

The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 at Salem marks round 2 for the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge, one of 11 short track events in 2017 that make up ARCA's Short Track championship.

The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 will spread out over two days, Saturday and Sunday, April 29-30. Practice is Saturday afternoon from 12:00 noon to 1:30, with General Tire Pole Qualifying following at 3:30. Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 raceday festivities get underway Sunday morning with an on-track driver autograph session from 11:30 to 12:30 followed by the Great American Stock feature event at 1:00. Pre-race ceremonies, ARCA driver introductions and the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 follow.

For ticket info, visit

Don Radebaugh