2017 ARCA Champ Austin Theriault Close to Part-Time Cup Deal

2017 ARCA Champ Austin Theriault Close to Part-Time Cup Deal

Austin Theriault, the 2017 ARCA Menards Series national champion, has found his name in the rumor mill quite a bit this week. Theriault, who won seven races driving for Ken Schrader Racing en route to the 2017 ARCA title, is said to be close to finalizing a deal to run several races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Go Fas Racing.

Theriault was at the Performance Racing Industry trade show in December looking for opportunities, but at that point wasn’t ready to announce anything. Since then, he’s put together a part-time effort with Ricky Benton Racing to race in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. He debuted with the team at Daytona but missed the field by a few thousandths of a second in qualifying and did not have a points provisional to fall back on. The team is making their second attempt of the season this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

A Fort Kent, Maine, native, Theriault and follow Maine native and Go Fas team owner Archie St. Hilaire are working on a four-race package to get Theriault into the Cup Series this season. The two combined to run a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in 2012; Theriault finished 19th.

“We’re trying for four races,” St. Hilaire told the Portland Press Herald. “I think everybody’s optimistic for more than that, but I’d say we could do that and be halfway decent. I told Austin, ‘If you want to do it, I’ll help you out.'”

For Theriault, racing in the Cup Series would literally be a dream come true.

“It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to race in the Cup Series,” Theriault told the Press Herald. “I’m closer than ever to making a Cup start. There’s still stuff that has to happen behind the scenes, and we’re still finalizing some deals with some companies (for sponsorship), but there’s a chance.”

Theriault made his debut in the ARCA Menards Series in 2014 driving for Venturini Motorsports at Michigan. He won in his debut after a duel with eventual series champion Mason Mitchell. He made one other start for Venturini, a fourth-place run at Pocono in 2015. His next ARCA start came in the season opener at Daytona in 2017 which he won to kick off his championship season. He won seven times with a total of 16 top-five and 10 top-ten finishes with an average finish of 4.2. He made one Truck Series start in 2018 which resulted in an eight-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.



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