Austin Theriault Daytona International Speedway Recap

Austin Theriault Daytona International Speedway Recap Getty Images for NASCAR
The Cinderella run for Austin Theriualt in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 struck midnight with just six laps to go on Friday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Theriault (@AustinTheriault) led five times for a race-high 31 laps, but saw his chances for solid finish end when he was involved in a multiple-truck accident just six laps from the checkered flag.
 
The driver of the Gogo Ford F-150 grabbed the fourth-place starting position during qualifying Friday afternoon, equaling his career-best starting position.  Theriault wasted no time flexing the muscle in his truck, leading lap one and seven of the first 12 laps before pitting for fuel during the second caution on lap 13. 
 
Theriault restarted ninth on lap 16 and immediately begin working his way through the lead draft toward the front of the pack.  He grabbed the lead on lap 21, was briefly shuffled back to third before reclaiming the top spot again on lap 30, staying there until the third caution slowed the pace on lap 42.  Three laps later, Theriault pitted for four tires and lined up fourth when the race went green on lap 49.
 
Theriault worked his way back into the lead on lap 52 and led the next eight laps.  He was running second on lap 63 when he was squeezed out of line, falling outside the top 15. 
 
The fourth caution of the race slowed the pace on lap 67, and one lap later, Theriault pitted for four tires.  A mix of different pit strategies by his competitors shuffled him outside of the top 20 when the race went green on lap 70.  Theriault began to steadily work his way through traffic and was up to 11th when the fifth yellow waved on lap 77.
 
He restarted 11th on lap 81, and was jockeying side-by-side (and sometimes three-wide) midway through the lead draft pack. 

On lap 94, just six laps from the finish of the 100-lap race,  he was swept up in a multiple truck accident at the entrance to Turn 3, ending his night.  He was credited with a 27th -place finish in the final rundown

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Steven B. Wilson

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