Toledo II: Michelle Theriault race report

Michelle Theriault & Team GLOCK Deliver ARCA Career Best At Toledo TOLEDO, Ohio (October 15, 2007) - - A lot of smiles surrounded the Spraker Racing Enterprises hauler Sunday afternoon as Michelle Theriault delivered a stout performance in ...

Michelle Theriault & Team GLOCK Deliver ARCA Career Best At Toledo

TOLEDO, Ohio (October 15, 2007) - - A lot of smiles surrounded the Spraker Racing Enterprises hauler Sunday afternoon as Michelle Theriault delivered a stout performance in Sunday's Hantz Group 200 presented by Belle Tire.

Theriault though had to work hard for her career best 11th place finish.

Without any prior experience at Toledo Speedway before the start of Saturday's first and only practice session, Theriault stormed her No. 37 GLOCK Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS to the fifth fastest lap after producing a lap of 16.933 seconds at 106.301 MPH. "This is a good car. I really like this track. It fits my racing groove perfectly. I want to thank everyone on the team for giving me a great racecar," said Theriault after practice.

With the impressive time set in practice, the team was looking forward to ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying. After drawing 18th to qualify, Theriault quickly radioed that she had a problem. Before making her lap, Theriault encountered a problem with the kill switch button which caused the engine to shut off. The team had to manually reset the engine beating the required five minute clock set by ARCA officials.

Theriault would now be the last car to qualify to gain a berth in Sunday's ARCA RE/MAX Series season finale. During her two laps Theriault jumped from 33rd fastest (which would not have gained the team a guaranteed starting position after the first lap) to a competitive 24th fastest lap after producing a time of 17.133 seconds at 105.060 MPH. "It was a little scary there for a second," said Theriault. "The good news is we were able to bounce back from that and we can now concentrate on the race."

With temperatures a little warmer from a cooler than normal day on Saturday, Theriault remained focused and was ready to get down to business.

At the start of the Hantz Group 200 presented by Belle Tire, Theriault quickly wasted no time getting to the front. Staying in contention with the lead group and turning times very comparable to the leaders, Theriault quickly moved into the top-20 by lap 12 when the first caution flag waived.

Theriault reported the car was good, but she was being cautious and looking at the big picture of finishing the race. Back to racing, Theriault continued to hover inside the top-20.

While producing very competitive lap times, the field was no match for pole sitter Michael McDowell who was setting a blistering pace. He eventually caught the group of cars that Theriault was racing in approaching on lap 54 taking her from the lead circuit. Vowing not to loose any more laps, Theriault continued to race her group hoping to stay on McDowell's tail. The caution flag would waive on lap 56 when Phillip McGilton went for a spin on the backstretch.

Despite dropping off the lead circuit, Theriault remained focused on getting to the front. With more than half of the field off the lead circuit, the team knew a good finish was still in the books.

Opting to stay out on the race track, Theriault would throttle hard on the restart trying to gain the lap back. Unfortunately, to no avail, she would be forced to settle back and continue to make laps and race with the best of the best in the development series for NASCAR.

With the yellow flag waiving on just after halfway with Theriault holding the 16th position, Theriault opted to bring her machine down pit road for fuel and tires before the team sent Theriault back into battle.

On the restart, Theriault continued to produce competitive lap times while also moving through the running order. A series of yellow flags would keep Theriault in the top-15 hunt.

With 50 laps to go, Theriault controlled the 15th position but using her veteran short track skills, the No. 37 GLOCK continued to move up through the field and claimed the 11th position when the checkered flag waived on lap 200.

"It was a good day," Theriault noted. "We kept our nose clean, I learned a lot and the car was good. I think another 10 laps or so we could have raced Phillip McGilton for the 10th position, but I'm extremely happy with our performance at Toledo. I like this place. I am looking forward to coming back soon. This definitely gives us some momentum heading into the All-Star show in Irwindale later this week."

Car owner and spotter Jeff Spraker offered, "Michelle did a fantastic job. I am really proud of her. She did a great job maneuvering her way through the field and she kept her nose clean all day long. I'm happy."

Theriault will now prepare for this week's TOYOTA All-Star showdown at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California. The showdown is a non-championship event full of competitors from the NASCAR Busch East and West Series. Theriault earned an invitation from her successful rookie campaign in the NBES.

-credit: MichelleTheriault.com

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Michael McDowell , Jeff Spraker , Phillip McGilton , Michelle Theriault