Fort Kent, Maine's Austin Theriault is going to get the chance to have a family-style Thanksgiving after all. Although he won't be going home for this holiday, fortunately, home will be coming to him; or at least it's going to meet him more than halfway.
The 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards national champion hopped in his 2006 silver Volkswagen Jetta Wednesday morning and steered for Kentucky where he's going to meet his parents, coming down from Maine.
"Bought this car new in Maine in 2007…it's got 140,000 miles on it," said Theriault. "I'm going to Kentucky to meet my parents up there."
From there, Theriault's plans are to eventually get home to Maine for the Christmas holiday; but in the meantime, he's got work to do.
"I'm going to spend several more weeks in North Carolina getting ready for next year on the business side. Once everything shuts off for Christmas, then I'm going to Maine."
Gotta wonder what the "business side" looks like for Theriault in 2018.
"So I feel that this year in general was a great year…the success we had was tremendous. Because of the success we had in the ARCA Racing Series, it will and did present some opportunities to race next year, opportunities that would have otherwise not have been there.
"But it also presents some challenges as to what next year is going to look like. I'm not at that point yet, but I'm going to be putting it all in one place where I can objectively make the right decision. Fortunately, I have some options, and that's a good thing…especially in a business that's got a lot of really great, young drivers coming up and a lot of established drivers fighting for their spot. Choices are a good thing."
And before Theriault puts his business behind him in time for Christmas, there's one more item in the works coming soon. Theriault, car owner Ken Schrader and crew chief Donnie Richeson will be honored as this year's national champions at the 65th annual ARCA championship awards banquet in downtown Indianapolis Saturday night, Dec. 9. Tickets are available to the general public.
"I went to the 2015 Truck Series banquet and last year I was at the K&N East banquet because I won the Most Popular Driver award, so I've been to my fair share, but never to get a championship."
No surprise on that Most Popular Driver award category. Theriault's humungous fan base from Maine was on public display all year on ARCA's live Chat Board where his fans from back home dominated the conversations. Theriault's apparel sales have also been doing very well.
"I don't know if we can compete with the dirt guys but within our niche of racing, I understand our sales are doing very well. We came out with an Austin Theriault T-Shirt and then came out with a championship shirt which, thankfully, has been moving very well."
You may want to consider an Austin Theriault shirt, hat or some of the other options for the holidays. We know thousands of race fans in Maine who would love to receive one under the tree. To order yours, CLICK HERE.
Wishing all a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.