SCARBOROUGH – Austin Theriault has been turning heads with his big-time results in big-race opportunities.

Saturday night, Joey Doiron of Berwick showed Theriault is not the only young race car driver in Maine worth a look.

Over the final 55 laps at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway the other drivers – including Theriault – were mostly looking at the bumper of Doiron’s No. 73. Doiron, 22, content to run second for much of the first 90 laps, sprang to the lead and then held off three key restart challenges, the last by Theriault after a lap 127 caution, to win the PASS North Southern Maine Chrysler Dodge Jeep 150.

Most impressive was the fact that Doiron was able to hold the lead while restarting on the bottom pole position even though he said his preferred line was on the outside.

“I’ve lost two big races here at the end restarting on the lead because (the track) is so top dependent on the restarts,” Doiron said. “Luckily (Theriault) was so tight going in, he had to go to the third groove and that gave me the middle and I was able to get by him. Once I knew I cleared him, as long as nothing else happened, we would be in good shape.”

It was Doiron’s first PASS North win of the year. He won twice in 2013, finished second five times and felt the team “probably should have won the championship and kind of let it get away right at the end.”

The victory is more significant because of the competition he beat.

Theriault is “THE” rising star in Maine. The 20-year-old from Fort Kent will compete in the second of his three scheduled races in NASCAR Nationwide Series car for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s JR Motorsports at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this Saturday.

Theriault won an ARCA race last month at Michigan International Speedway, a scary-fast two-mile track. It was Theriault’s first-ever ARCA race and his first time racing on a track larger than one mile.

In Theriault’s ARCA win he averaged 150.880 mph over 200 miles. He qualified at 186.887, second fastest. A month earlier in his Nationwide debut, he finished 15th, on the lead lap at Iowa Speedway.

Theriault is a young man on the move, something Doiron knows and respects.

“I feel like every time you put the helmet on everybody is equal,” Doiron said. “It’s great to see Austin have all these opportunities. I wish we were able to have those opportunities but it’s just not in the budget. I want to see him succeed because I like racing with him and knowing you can beat him means you know you can beat those guys that he beats.”

Doiron also showed he respects his elders – especially 60-year-old Maine short track legend Mike Rowe of Turner. When Rowe broke free from a trail group that included Theriault, Glen Luce and Joey Polewarczyk, it was Doiron’s cue to take charge.

“As soon as (my spotter) said Mike cleared for third, I knew it was time to go,” Doiron said. “As soon as Mike got third, he’s so good here, I wanted to get as far away as I could.”

Doiron’s been doing a bit of traveling himself, though not at the same level as Theriault. He has a minimum of three races scheduled on the PASS South tour and Thursday he finished eighth in a 30-car field at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Easley, South Carolina.

Theriault, meanwhile, has reasons for continuing to climb into a PASS North Super Late Model car.

“It’s good just to remember how things actually are at the short-track level,” Theriault said. “It’s not always going to be green pastures at the ARCA level or the Nationwide level. You’re not always going to have the best even though I’m in a good position right now with good people and good equipment.

“It teaches you to work hard and to never give up. Like I said, we didn’t have the best car and restarts were really, really bad but we hung on, raced our way into second and had a shot on the last restart and that’s all you can ask for.”

Doiron’s next big race will be the 41st annual Oxford 250 on July 20 at Oxford Plains Speedway. He finished second to Travis Benjamin last year. Doiron knows the Oxford 250 might be the biggest prize he’ll ever have a chance to chase.

“I really like racing these cars and if this is what I race for the rest of my life, I’ll have no regrets,” Doiron said. “As long as I’m winning races and having fun that’s all it’s about.”