Although the 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season finale at Kansas Speedway did not produce the same consistent result that Austin Theriault had become accustomed to this season, he still walked away as the series champion, a mere 300 points ahead of second place, Dalton Sargeant.
Austin Theriault and his Ken Schrader Racing team kicked off the season back in February with a big win at Daytona and never looked back. Two words can be used to describe their season – consistency and patience. With that, Austin and company earned seven wins and finished in the Top 10 in 19 of 20 races. That’s the type of season every team hopes for, but few achieve.
Fortunately, when the one bad finish was recorded at Kansas, the team had already put in the hard work that paid off and they officially earned the 2017 season championship by rolling out on the track for practice. Prior to doing so, there were a few other titles earned before they had even started their trip to Kansas.
One of those is the Bill France 4 Crown title. It puts the spotlight on one of the elements that makes the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards so unique and that’s the variety of tracks and surfaces the series visits. The Bill France 4 Crown title rewards the driver who can conquer the short track (Nashville), the superspeedway (Pocono), the dirt (Springfield) and even a road course (Road America). Austin and his team did just that. They even won at Road America in late August by being patient and capitalizing on the mistakes of drivers in front of them.
Austin locked up the Sioux Chief Short Track Challenge title after winning at Salem in early September. He won a total of four short track events and earned an average finish of 2.7 on tracks one-mile and shorter. There’s that consistency again for a cool $10,500 to be awarded at the banquet.
The seventh and final victory for Austin came on the mile and a half Kentucky Speedway on September 22. The exciting green, white, checkered finish propelled Austin to a 245-point lead over 18-year old rookie, Riley Herbst in the General Tire Superspeedway Challenge. With such a lead, a third title was secured before the season finale at Kansas.
The focus and consistency of Austin and the KSR team in 2017 was nothing short of impressive. We now look forward to celebrating their successful season as we’ll see them walk across the stage (a lot!!) at the 2017 ARCA Awards Banquet in Indianapolis.