Austin Theriault wins championship at Kansas I 2017 ARCA RACING SERIES

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Just by starting the race in Kansas Austin Theriault clinches the 2017 ARCA Racing Series Championship.

ANNOUNCER 1: Cars are rolling for the finale at Kansas Speedway. But a champion has already been crowned in the 52 team, Ken Schrader Racing, his second championship as a car owner. But he really celebrates this one with Austin Theriault winning it with a 400-point advantage going into the finale. The champion is now into the wall. Braden brushed it. Theriault has hit it much harder. Austin Theriault.

ANNOUNCER 2: Man, that doesn't look good. Looks like possibly a tire went down after this long run and--

ANNOUNCER 3: Yeah. Maybe a right front tire, because-- but remember Theriault put tires on on that first stop back on lap number 20. But what a season, nonetheless. You see Donnie Richeson, the crew chief, the Cometic Crew Chief of the Year up on top of the box. But even though this is not going to necessarily be the finish they wanted, an outstanding season for this entire race team.

ANNOUNCER 1: But Austin Theriault, the man of the year, the 2017 ARCA Racing Series Presented by Menards champion with seven wins.

ANNOUNCER 4: He won at all sorts of racetracks, on a road course, the Superspeedway, short tracks, dirt tracks. There's another guy right there that's won on all sorts of race tracks. Kenny Schrader is car owner.

ANNOUNCER 1: Let's go down and hear from the new ARCA champion. Heather DeBeaux is there with Austin Theriault.

- That's right, here with Austin Theriault and his team owner, Ken Schrader, Champion 2017 for the ARCA Racing Series. Tonight didn't end the way you wanted it to, not a good ending to your dream season. However, There had to be some defining moments this year. So what were those for you?

- Just the fact that we were able to overcome a lot of challenges. Man, this is amazing. I mean, we've kind of been down the past half hour. But to be honest, just looking at the trophy and the guys back here, it pumps us right back up. We've had a tremendous year.

And I thank so many people, so many people, and the Schraders and the Cunninghams and Donnie Richeson. I mean, I could name them one by one. I'll try to do it at the banquet. But tonight's about them and what we've been able to accomplish. And it's just been tremendous and the support back home and the people that have followed us all year. It wasn't the night we wanted, but man, this is pretty cool. So I'm exc-- it's exciting.

- And we have Ron Drager here with ARCA. He's going to present you with the 2017 Championship trophy. Ron.

- Austin, on behalf of all the ARCA members and all the fans and sponsors and all the racers, congratulations on the 2017 ARCA Racing Series Presented my Menards National Championship, car owner Ken Schrader, driver Austin Theriault. Congratulations.

- Well, thanks. It's amazing. You've done a lot for the series and the officials, everybody that dedicates their weekends to let us entertain fans. And I've learned a lot as a driver all season. And knowing that we have people like you and officials, it's fun to come to the racetrack. So thanks again.

- Congratulations.

- Now we're going to bring in the team owner here. Ken Schrader, come on over. Ken, I have to ask you.

- He'll hold it.

- Yeah, let him hold it. That is a heavy trophy. Ken, I have to ask you, at what point in the season did you know you were going to win the championship with this guy?

- We didn't know we were going to win it until after we left the last race, you know. But about four beers after the victory at Daytona, we felt pretty good about it. And he's just done a phenomenal job all year. And we had a lot of good sponsors. We got to thank like everybody.

But the guys, they work their butt off. And Austin was there with them all the time. And they worked, they'd pull a lot of all nighters. But it was to get better. It wasn't just to get to the next race. So they did.

- Well, congratulations again to the both of you and your entire team. 2017 ARCA Racing Champions right here at Kansas Speedway, finishing off their season.