Austin Theriault claims ARCA opener shortened after massive crash

NASCAR via Getty Images

Austin Theriault’s season-long tenure with Ken Schrader Racing (KSR) started off with a bang as Theriault claimed an accident-shortened ARCA Racing Series opener.

Theriault, 23, was leading Saturday’s season-opening Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 Driven by General Tire when a vicious accident involving Justin Fontaine, Cody Rohrbaugh and Bobby Gerhart brought out a red flag for repairs to a damaged section SAFER barrier with five laps remaining.

Running out of time to complete repairs and race before the night’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event, ARCA officials called the race minutes later, awarding Theriault with the victory.

The achievement marks Theriault’s second ARCA win in three career starts, and the first victory for KSR since Ken Schrader’s 2015 victory at Salem Speedway.

Terry Jones led the race into the closing stages, but lost the lead to Theriault with eight laps remaining. Jones ultimately ended the event in second, his best finish in 57-career ARCA starts.

Shane Lee, Dalton Sargeant and Tom Hessert completed the top five.

The race-ending shunt was just one of three big accidents that plagued the 75-lap event, taking out dozens of competitors.

After running the first half of the event in fairly clean fashion, the field was slowed by a massive accident with 25 laps remaining. From there successive large crashes followed in 10-lap increments with 15 laps and five laps to go, respectively, with the last incident ultimately causing the race’s end.

Fontaine was slowly extricated from his No. 33 machine and transported to a local hospital after the car was sent into the outside wall and flipping onto its roof in the final crash.

The ARCA Racing Series will return to action on Apr. 7 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.

Results:

ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards
Daytona Int’l Speedway (Feb. 18, 2017)
Results, Lucas Oil Complete Engine Treatment 200 Driven by General Tire

FIN STR NO DRIVER/HOMETOWN LAPS STATUS
1 9 52 Austin Theriault/Fort Kent ME 75 Running
2 12 30 Terry Jones/Amherstburg ON 75 Running
3 19 22 Shane Lee/Newton NC 75 Running
4 10 77 Dalton Sargeant/Boca Raton FL 75 Running
5 1 25 Tom Hessert/Cherry Hill NJ 75 Running
6 14 23 Bret Holmes/Munford AL 75 Running
7 20 69 Ricky Sanders/Stockbridge GA 75 Running
8 4 78 Kyle Weatherman/Wentzville MO 75 Running
9 29 58 Clint King/Denton NC 75 Running
10 6 88 Kaz Grala/Westboro MA 75 Running
11 22 46 Sean Corr/Goshen NY 75 Running
12 2 18 Matt Tifft/Hinckley OH 75 Running
13 32 33 Justin Fontaine/Fletcher NC 75 Running
14 18 7 Codie Rohrbaugh/Petersburg WV 75 Running
15 21 5 Bobby Gerhart/Lebanon PA 75 Running
16 13 83 Derrick Lancaster/Christiansburg VA 75 Running
17 35 48 Brad Smith/Shelby Township MI 75 Running
18 26 16 John Ferrier/Middletown NY 75 Running
19 17 15 Leilani Munter/Rochester MN 74 Running
20 39 02 Andy Seuss/Salisbury NC 73 Running
21 7 38 Ray Ciccarelli/Reistertown MD 73 Running
22 25 01 Travis Braden/Wheeling WV 73 Running
23 36 3 Mike Senica/Doylestown PA 71 Running
24 37 06 Scott Edwards/Norfolk England 70 Running
25 24 42 Bo LeMastus/Louisville KY 68 Out
26 33 55 Noah Gragson/Las Vegas NV 68 Running
27 8 28 Michael Self/Draper UT 67 Out
28 16 98 Quin Houff/Mt. Sidney VA 66 Out
29 23 9 Thomas Praytor/Mobile AL 65 Out
30 30 10 Ed Pompa/Ballston Spa NY 65 Out
31 15 66 Mark Thompson/Cartersville GA 49 Out
32 27 32 Gus Dean/Bluffton SC 49 Out
33 28 80 Caesar Bacarella/Parkland FL 49 Out
34 31 27 AJ Fike/Galesburg IL 49 Out
35 40 37 David LeBeau/Daytona Beach FL 49 Out
36 34 2 Eric Caudell/Piedmont OK 49 Out
37 11 6 Michael Lira/Port Orange FL 49 Out
38 3 11 Bryan Dauzat/Concord NC 44 Out
39 38 0 Con Nicolopoulos/Columbus MI 15 Out
40 5 34 Willie Mullins/Fredericksburg VA 13 Out
41 67 Cody Lane/Port Richey FL DNS
42 71 Gene Paul/Tarpon Springs FL DNS
43 20 Zane Smith/Huntington Beach CA DNS
44 81 Riley Herbst/Las Vegas NV DNS

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