Spud Speedway in Caribou won’t be Austin Theriault’s only Maine appearance in a race car this season.

The Fort Kent native has entered the 45th annual Oxford 250 next week in his familiar family-owned No. 57. Mechanical issues shortened Theriault’s night in a Pro All Stars Series event at Spud in July, in what was only his second race in Maine since finishing 35th in the 2016 Oxford 250.

“It’s like checking two boxes for me,” said Theriault, 24, of returning to the Oxford 250 Aug. 24-26. “It means something to me personally and professionally, too, from a competition standpoint. It stacks up as one of the biggest Super Late Model races in the country.”

Theriault has four top-five finishes in five career Oxford 250 starts. He finished second to Travis Benjamin in 2015.

The ARCA Racing Series champion a year ago driving for the team owned by former NASCAR standout Ken Schrader, Theriault has been without a full-time ride anywhere this season. He’s been working as a consultant for MDM Motorsports driver Chase Purdy and was in Bristol, Tennessee Thursday.

Though he made the decision in July to compete at Oxford, he said it’s still a tight timeline to get everything in order. His crew for the Oxford 250 will be a mix of people from the North Carolina area and who worked with him when he raced regularly in the northeast. The car will carry sponsorship from Maine companies Bangor Savings Bank and Cross Insurance, among others.

“It’s been really busy,” Theriault said. “The decision didn’t really come down to the wire, but for any big race you go to you want to prepare as much as possible. It’s going to be busy right up until practice time (on Aug. 24) making sure everything is where it needs to be.”

Theriault said he wouldn’t have entered the 250 if he didn’t have intentions of competing for the win.

“When I go to a short track race anywhere, I want to feel like I have a shot at competing,” he said.

“It’s the biggest ‘hometown’ race there is for me. Unlike the Snowball Derby in Florida, (the Oxford 250) is a Maine race and that’s where I’m from. There’s nothing like being successful around the people you started racing with and who have supported you from the beginning.”

• • •

Fans pack the grandstands for a race at Wiscasset Speedway in 2017. The track will operate without a dedicated race director for the remainder of the season. Staff file photo by Travis Barrett

Wiscasset Speedway expects to contest the rest of its season without a dedicated race director.

Bill Acritelli left the position following the track’s event on Aug. 4. In a statement from Wiscasset Speedway, Acritelli cited concerns stemming from other obligations away from racing. He is the varsity girls soccer coach at Spruce Mountain High School in Jay.

Without Acritelli, Wiscasset will turn officiating duties over to chief starter and flagman Ron Whitcomb.

“(Whitcomb) will make final calls from the flagstand, with input from our spotters around the track,” Wiscasset Speedway promoter Ken Minott said.

Shawn Kimball, a veteran Mini Stock racer from Augusta, has been added to the speedway staff. Kimball will be in charge of relaying in-race information to teams and drivers via one-way radio communication from the tower.

Minott said not having a race director is not exactly new ground for the speedway.

“That’s how we did it the first two or three years (after track owners Richard and Vanessa Jordan) re-opened the track,” Minott said. “I think in a perfect world, we’d have a race director, and I think if the right one comes along we’d go back to doing that. But we’re not just going to throw somebody in that job for the sake of having somebody there.”

• • •

Clark’s Scrap Metals has come on board as the title sponsor of the Oxford 250 this year. The company is owned by John Clark, father of six-time PASS champion Johnny Clark. … Georgia driver Bubba Pollard, with more than 70 career Super Late Model wins including the prestigious All-American 400 in Nashville and the Slinger Nationals in Wisconsin, was one of 60 drivers entered in the Oxford 250 as of Aug. 13. Pollard has never attempted the 250 previously. … Saturday night’s 50-lap weekly Super Late Model race at Oxford will be the last Super Late Model race in the state before teams hit the track for Oxford 250 preparation next Friday afternoon. Beech Ridge Motor Speedway is off this weekend — after three consecutive rainouts — while Wiscasset is running Late Models as its feature division this weekend.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.