Michelle Theriault Charges To 13th At The Magic Mile Spraker Racing Enterprises Rookie Flirts With Top-Five For Thirty Laps LOUDON, New Hampshire (July 3, 2007) - - Michelle Theriault made her New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS) debut ...
Michelle Theriault Charges To 13th At The Magic Mile
Spraker Racing Enterprises Rookie Flirts With Top-Five For Thirty Laps
LOUDON, New Hampshire (July 3, 2007) - - Michelle Theriault made her New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS) debut Friday afternoon and the NASCAR Busch East Series rookie gave a solid performance throughout the 125-lap event to bring her No. 37 GLOCK, Inc. Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS home in the 13th position.
Theriault, in only her sixth NBES race ever headed to "The Magic Mile" looking to bounce back from a recent string of bad luck and put her inaugural season back on track.
After posting a disappointing practice effort, Theriault picked up the pace considerably during Busch pole qualifying. During her two lap hustle around NHIS, she posted a quick lap of 31.450 seconds at 121.107 MPH netting her 23rd in the lineup.
"The car is good," Theriault said. "I'm feeling a little more comfortable about the track and the entire Spraker Racing Enterprises team has given me a great racecar. I'm really looking forward to the race; I think we can have a good run."
At the start of the New England 125, Theriault quickly jumped on the rest of her competition by picking up a few positions on the initial start before settling in the top-20.
During the first caution on lap 16, Theriault radioed to her Spraker Racing Enterprises crew that she couldn't get back in the gas as quickly as she wanted to. The team acknowledged her concerns and told her they would make an adjustment during the first round of pit stops.
That opportunity occurred on lap 18 when Theriault brought her GLOCK, Inc. Chevrolet to the attention of her crew where they went two rounds on the left rear and added Sunoco racing fuel before sending her back into battle.
Theriault would hover inside the top-21 when the caution flag waived on lap 46. Theriault mentioned to her team that the car was free early on and then it settled into a tight condition. She also advised that she was tight from the center off.
The Spraker Racing Enterprises team would use pit strategy and keep Theriault on track when the leaders made pit stops. Theriault would jump to third on the restart.
On the restart, Theriault impressed. Keeping in toe with the two cars ahead of her, the young driver would continue to fight hard and relinquish nothing and head towards the front.
On lap 56, Theriault advanced to the second position by passing fellow competitor Eric Holmes. The caution flag would waive two laps later when Holmes lost a tire.
With excitement from her team, Theriault communicated with her crew offering her GLOCK, Inc. machine was loose but fast.
The team informed their prot0x00e9g0x00e9 before the caution flag came out, she was a half-second faster than the leader, giving her additional momentum to try and lead her first laps in NBES competition.
On the lap 66 restart, Theriault would maintain her position in the top-three despite a wacky restart which saw her fellow competitors try to take advantage of the GLOCK Racing team to no avail.
The red flag would waive on lap 70 for an accident on the track, Theriault was holding the fourth position. The series would stay under red flag conditions for 15 minutes before returning to the green flag on lap 76.
Theriault would hover inside the top-five before being overtaken heavily by her competition dropping her back into the top-20. The crew opted to bring the Connecticut native onto to pit road during the next caution for fuel and another chassis adjustment to slightly tighten up on GLOCK, Inc. Chevrolet.On the lap 85 restart, Theriault lined up 26 and advanced one position four laps later to net herself into the top-25.
Another yellow would come out a few laps later setting up Theriault to make her final trip to pit road for the day. The team put on two new right side tires setting up for a lap 93 restart.
Quickly, Theriault bolted from 25th to 23rd by lap 94.
Ten laps later, Theriault had moved herself solidly into the top-20 holding 19th.With the race winding down, Theriault was giving everything she had trying to gain one position at a time. Theriault had to take abrasive action on lap 120 when a huge melee broke out in front of her sending the rookie quickly looking for a way around the chaos.
Spotter Jeff Spraker praised his driver for doing a great job avoiding the wreck. Escaping the carnage, Theriault had moved into 14th.
On the restart with three laps remaining, Theriault dug deep. On the white flag, she was determined to grab one more position and it would come to a drag race on the frontstretch when she overcame her competition to finish 13th.
"It was a good day," said Theriault. "I want to thank my team and my sponsor GLOCK, Inc. for this opportunity. We were able to start the race and move forward. Jeff made a great call to stay out and it put us in the top-five for 30 laps and that was a good feeling. We made a pit stop late and we were able to rally back and grab a solid finish. This is exactly what we need."
Craig Dutton, Director of Sales for GLOCK, Inc. offered, "It was a solid day for the team. Michelle did an excellent job out there. Jeff (Spraker) and the entire Spraker Racing Enterprises team did a terrific job. They did a great job working on the car and performed flawlessly during the race. Michelle played a smart and conservative race. She did a great job avoiding all the wrecks at the end and we ended up with a satisfying finish. For her first trip to New Hampshire, she did a great job."
Theriault turned her fastest lap of the race on circuit 45 with a time of 31.704 seconds averaging just over 120 MPH.
The NASCAR Busch East Series will enjoy a two-week break from competition before heading to Connecticut to compete at Thompson International Speedway on July 14.