State

Maine driver honored as ARCA racing champion

INDIANAPOLIS — Austin Theriault of Fort Kent and Ken Schrader were the big winners during the ARCA national championship awards ceremony held recently at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.

ARCA President Ron Drager presented Theriault and champion car owner Schrader with the traditional championship gold rings and a signed, congratulatory letter from Maine Gov. Paul LePage.

Menards Merchant Coach Jim Johnson capped the evening off with the official presentation of championship trophies and checks.

“It’s a great honor to be the ARCA champion,” said Theriault, the first ARCA champion from Maine.

“A championship is about overcoming the odds and persevering. To sum it up, it’s the people around you that are key. I had the best car owner, the best crew and the best crew chief. My family is here tonight. They made me the person I am today. I don’t want to think about where I’d be without them. Special thanks to ARCA, Menards, General Tire, Sioux Chief and all the sponsors who make this one of the premier series in the country. This is my first time racing for a championship in a national series … it’s truly an honor.”

Theriault also reflected on his career that was nearly over before it got off the ground.

“Two years ago … December … I was sitting on the couch with a broken back staring at the walls, asking myself, ‘is this the end for me?’ Then I thought I’d make one last try … PRI, 2016. I got myself dressed like I was looking for an opportunity … came by myself. I just happened to bump into Kenny and Ann [Schrader]. What’s the chance of bumping into the person who can take you to the next level? I couldn’t have asked for a better family in this sport. Everybody has a ton of respect for Ken Schrader, and so do I. I can’t thank him enough for taking a chance on me.

The Fiddlehead Focus / St. John Valley Times is pleased to feature content from our sister company, Bangor Daily News. To read the rest of “Maine driver honored as ARCA racing champion,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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