Fort Kent, Maine's Austin Theriault, the 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards national champion, took his place among the ARCA champions on the Wall of Fame inside the Int’l Motorsports Hall of Fame museum Thursday at Talladega Superspeedway. ARCA President Ron Drager joined Theriault for the ceremony as did the media.
"On behalf of ARCA, it's an honor to have you join the Wall of Fame as an ARCA national champion in the Int'l Motorsports Hall of Fame," said Drager. "We're very proud of what you accomplished with the Ken Schrader Racing team."
Theriault, on the strength of 7 ARCA wins in 2017, earned the championship in Ken Schrader's No. 52 Ford.
"This is my first time visiting this great facility," said Theriault. "It's very special to be up here, representing ARCA and to see my picture up there with all the other great ARCA champions.
"It's more than I expected…seeing everyone up there on the wall. There's a lot of history here, going back to way before I was born. It's very special…I wish the whole Ken Schrader team could be here to enjoy these moments; but life goes on…they're in the garage right now getting the car ready for tomorrow's ARCA race."
Theriault credited the hard work of the Ken Schrader Racing team for the championship.
"This picture up on the wall represents the hard work from everyone on this Ken Schrader Racing team. We still get together and talk about it. Any national championship is a representation of the hard work and dedication it takes to get here. There are so many long hours that bring you here. It takes so much to put it all together…that's why this means a lot to me. It's so cool to be a part of history…part of the ARCA story."
Theriault was also marveling over the decades of history the Int'l Motorsports Hall of Fame museum holds.
"I've never been to this place…I can't wait to look around and see what's here. I got a taste of it walking through to get here; but I want to go back and see the rest."
The Wall of Fame inside the Int'l Motorsports Hall of Fame museum holds images of every ARCA national champion since the series inception in 1953. Theriault's image will occupy the center section of the display for one year before it takes its place among the other champions in order to make way for the next ARCA national championship centerpiece.
Watch the video interview with Austin from the dedication ceremony here.