Chicagoland Proves To Be Excellent Learning Experience For Canada's Pierre Bourque JOLIET, Illinois (September 10, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Pierre Bourque entered Saturday's Chicagoland ARCA 200 looking to reel in a solid finish in...
Chicagoland Proves To Be Excellent Learning Experience For Canada's Pierre Bourque
JOLIET, Illinois (September 10, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Pierre Bourque entered Saturday's Chicagoland ARCA 200 looking to reel in a solid finish in his first start of the 2007 season.
The weekend started off on a brighter note after the trailer arrived at Chicagoland Speedway on Thursday night. As Bourque headed to Joliet last month for the open test he received a call from car owner Andy Hillenburg that his primary machine had been stolen from a local hotel, immediately causing the team to scramble and put together a competitive piece for the 20th event of the season.
Teaming up with Fast Track Racing and switching from Ford to Chevrolet carrying the No. 62, Bourque had confidence that his first top-10 ARCA finish could become a reality.
Before climbing into the cockpit, Bourque announced the signing of
La Raza as the primary sponsor of his entry for the 20th event of the 2007 schedule.
La Raza is the number one Spanish-language newspaper in Chicago with an audited weekly circulation of 196,594 according to Certified Audit Circulation. It is also among the largest Sunday Hispanic newspapers in the United States. La Raza has been recognized by the National Association of Hispanic Publications as the "Best Spanish Language Weekly" five times over the past decade and was named by Editor & Publisher as one of "Ten That Do It Right." La Raza and LaRaza.com are owned by ImpreMedia LLC.
"I'm very excited to have a new sponsor on board with us this weekend at Chicagoland," said Bourque heading into practice. "Our goal is go out in practice and get some seat time and give us a good setup for the rest of the weekend activities."
During the first practice, Bourque mounted the 36th fastest lap with a time of 32.654 seconds at 165.370 MPH. The Ottawa, Ontario native knew he only had to pick up two-tenths of a second heading into qualifying to securely lock him in the field.
"There's room for improvement. The car is solid. We'll make some adjustments before qualifying and they should work. This place is very fast, so concentration and a good car is everything. We're very excited to have our new sponsor La Raza aboard and hope we can put ourselves in prime position for qualifying and the race."
Bourque drew one of the early numbers for ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying. During his first lap of qualifying, Bourque posted a lap of 32.496 seconds at 166.174 MPH, but as Bourque was completing his second lap, the No. 62 got loose and slammed into the outside wall causing severe damage to the rear of the La Raza automobile.
Despite posting the 36th fastest time, Bourque would be granted the final provisional for the Chicagoland ARCA 200 setting the No. 62 shot gun on the field.
"It's very disappointing," said Bourque. "I strongly believe that our second lap was going to be much quicker than our first lap, but we'll never know. The car just came around. It's a shame. We've pulled out a backup car and we'll hope for a solid showing. Our primary car was a Ford and that was expected to be a great piece for this race. It's a shame that we lost our second car, but hopefully we can expect a better outcome with our additional backup."
At the start of the Chicagoland ARCA 200, Bourque held his own. Trying to maneuver through the field, the NASCAR Busch East Series and NASCAR Canadian Tire Series driver did a great job avoiding a stack of jiggered cars in turn one on the first lap.
Moving into the 35th position by the end of lap one, Bourque continued to hold his own in the rundown until the first caution flag waived on lap 11.
Setting himself comfortable in the field, Bourque knew he didn't have a car capable of running in the top-15, but knew that if he stayed alert and in control, he could reel in a respectable finish.
During the caution filled race, Bourque would continue to move up the leader board.
Dealing with a tight-race car, the Fast Track Racing team would make adjustments during the last scheduled round of pit stops closing in on lap 70.
Throughout the final fifty circuits, Bourque would continue to utilize the Chicagoland ARCA 200 to gain laps and experience on a speedway. Moving up two positions inside those fifty laps awarded him with a 25th place effort.
"Our backup car was pretty good, we just didn't have the horsepower that we needed on these big speedways. I learned an awful lot out there today. We wanted to have a good showing for La Raza and under the circumstances I'm happy with the outcome. I want to thank La Raza for their support and everyone on the Fast Track Racing team for all their hard work."
Bourque continued, "We're going to try and run Talladega. That's an awesome facility and I know we'll have a competitive car for the event. Hopefully we can announce something in the very immediate future."