Left without a ride just days after finishing third in the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida is a rare instance. That is the world for Austin Theriault who heads to SpeedFest at Watermelon Capital Speedway (GA) with more on his shoulders than normal. The year has a lot of unanswered questions, but the only guarantee right now is that he will be racing in Georgia on Sunday.
Theriault, of Fort Kent, Maine, was left without a ride when Brad Keselowski Racing shut down its Late Model program following the 2013 Snowball Derby. After some shuffling and some deals were worked out, Theriault was able to purchase a Super Late Model and will will do his best to start the 2014 season strong at SpeedFest.
Beyond that, however, much is up in the air for the driver who turns Thursday.
"We will be racing, but just not as much," said Theriault. "At this point I am still putting this SpeedFest deal together. I wanted to go back regardless of what happened because we ran well there last season and had a lot of fun doing it."
Theriault has purchased a Hamke-chassis car from Ross Kenseth that was a winner on several occasions last season. He also will be leasing some equipment and people from Kyle Busch Motorsports for this one-race deal until all the pieces are in place for this year.
"Other than the help from KBM and getting the car from Kenseth I didn't have a way to make SpeedFest possible," added Theriault. "Hopefully we can get a good run for all our efforts."
The spin cycle started when Theriault got word that Brad Keselowski racing was ending the Late Model program last December. At 19, Theriault was already at a bit of a crossroads in his short track career.
"All of the stuff was BKR's stuff," said Theriault. "Whatever was not with BKR was with (crew chief) Gary Crooks. I have to understand that BKR wanted to focus on winning (Camping World) Truck and Nationwide (Series) championships and that takes people and Gary was a part of that."
Crooks will continue to field cars and is planning on being in Florida for Speedweeks at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) with another driver. Theriault's split from the team had no affect on the relationship with Crooks.
"We just both had to go and do different things," added Theriault. "I learned a ton from Gary and I think we could possible work together in the future."
Other than SpeedFest, there are plans in place to run some of the bigger Super Late Model shows and even some talks of ending up in a Ttruck ride somewhere down the road this season. For right now, Theriault's sole focus is on SpeedFest.
Austin Theriault's Resume
PASS 300 Winner at Beech Ridge in 2013
Two PASS South wins in 2013
Third in Governor's Cup 200 in 2012, 2013
Third in Oxford 250 in 2011, 2012
Third in Snowball Derby in 2013
Fourth in Snowflake 100 in 2012
Fourth in World Crown 300 in 2012, fifth in 2013
Sixth in Winchester 400 in 2013