SALEM, Ind. (Sept. 7, 2017) -- Fort Kent, Maine's Austin Theriault is on a role. Having already secured the 2017 Bill France 4 Crown championship, the driver of the Ken Schrader Racing Ford is now looking at the 2017 Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge title.
In fact, on the heels of his momentous win last Monday on the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds mile dirt, he's already mathematically clinched ARCA's Short Track championship. He'll be officially recognized with the Sioux Chief Short Track crown when he rolls off the grid to start the Eddie Gilstrap Motors ARCA Fall Classic at Salem Speedway this Saturday night. He'll be formally recognized as the Short Track champ in post-race ceremonies at Salem just as soon as ARCA President Ron Drager can make his way down from the control tower.
"I'm humbled and honored to be ARCA's Sioux Chief Short Track champion," said Theriault. "We worked very hard on our short track program this year. We weren't always the best car, but we figured out a way to be there in the end…to be in contention for the wins. It's been a complete team effort. I'm so proud of this Ken Schrader Racing team. They don't give up and they keep coming back for more. It's just an honor to race with guys that want to win as badly as you do.
"Special thanks to Sioux Chief for sponsoring the award. For me, there's a lot of personal pride that goes with the Short Track championship. I think everybody pretty much knows that if you're running up front on a short track, you're in a good car and you're always up on the wheel. The short tracks tend to put a little more back into the driver's hands…you can control your own destiny a little more."
Theriault opened the season with a big win at Daytona in his first start with Ken Schrader Racing. To prove it was no fluke, he came right back with consecutive top-5 finishes on the Nashville and Salem short tracks. After a sixth-place finish at Toledo -- his worst short track finish of the season so far -- he responded with back-to-back short track wins at Elko and Madison. From there, Theriault finished 2nd at Iowa, 4th at Lucas Oil, 3rd at Winchester, 2nd at Springfield and 1st at DuQuoin. Not too shabby.
The Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge championship is another championship within the overall season championship, an accumulation of points from all of ARCA's short tracks, deemed one mile in length or less. The Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge championship pays a $10,500 point fund at the end of the year.
In addition to earning the Bill France 4 Crown and Sioux Chief Short Track title, Theriault is also leading the overall ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards national championship points headed to Salem. He officially has a 320-points lead over Dalton Sargeant in the national championship with just four races remaining. Theriault and car owner Ken Schrader also lead the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge points with three superspeedways remaining in '17 at Chicagoland, Kentucky and the Kansas finale.
Theriault's crew chief, Donnie Richeson, is leading the Cometic Crew Chief of the Year standings.
The 102nd running of the Eddie Gilstrap Motors ARCA Fall Classic is coming to Salem Speedway this Saturday, Sept. 9.
Area racing legend and three-time ARCA race winner, Bill Kimmel Sr. has been named Grand Marshal of the event.
Spectator gates open on Saturday (Sept. 9) at 11:15 a.m., with practice getting underway at 12-noon. Qualifying is set for 3 p.m. with the Great American Stocks main event rolling off at 5 p.m. ARCA Throwback Weekend pre-race ceremonies, including the First Harrison Bank on-track autograph session, is set for 5:45 p.m. with the ARCA 200 slated for a 7:15 start time.
Tickets, both reserved and general admission, are now selling for the Eddie Gilstrap Motors Fall Classic 200 and can be purchased on-line (24/7) at www.salemspeedway.com or by calling 812-883-6504 or 1-888-246-7223 during regular business hours.
Complete Listing Of Weekend Activities
Friday, Sept. 8
ARCA Throwback Weekend Golf Scramble
The best ball scramble takes place at Western Hills Golf Course, situated just behind the track backstretch. Teams can choose their time of play from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with no tee times needed. Enter in advance or on day of play at Salem Speedway. Call 812-883-6504 for entry blank or more information.
ARCA Hauler Parade…..3 p.m.
A parade of ARCA Racing Series haulers will make its way from I-65 at Scottsburg, east on State Road 56 to downtown Salem and out to the track. The haulers are scheduled to leave the Scottsburg Walmart at 3 p.m. and should arrive in Salem at approximately 3:20 p.m.
Fan Fest At The Track…..6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
The pre-race celebration, featuring live music by popular country/rock band Country Bourne, takes place in the concourse area directly behind the main grandstand. Also featuring a fish fry, ARCA driver autograph session, cornhole tournament and display of vintage ARCA cars. Free admission.
Saturday, Sept. 9
Eddie Gilstrap Motors Fall Classic 200 presented by Meadow View/Salem Crossing
The 102nd ARCA race at Salem. Before the green flag drops, race fans are invited down to the track for the First Harrison Bank autograph session. Keeping with the spirit of the Throwback Weekend, drivers from all eras will be participating in the pre-race festivities. Race fans will also get to vote for their favorite ARCA Racing Series car that best exemplifies the “Official Throwback Race of ARCA” theme. See Saturday time schedule in story above.