Rob Bunker will contest six ARCA RE/MAX Series races this season, driving the No. 4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Charger for Cunningham Motorsports. Bunker, of Bridgewater, N.J., completed a successful test for the team in February and will follow with...
Rob Bunker will contest six ARCA RE/MAX Series races this season, driving the No. 4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Charger for Cunningham Motorsports. Bunker, of Bridgewater, N.J., completed a successful test for the team in February and will follow with a three-track test this month. He will enter the series races at Salem (Ind.), Winchester (Ind.), Toledo (Ohio), (Sparta) Kentucky, Pocono (Long Pond, Pa.) and Chicagoland (Joliet, Ill.) speedways.
A versatile driver, Bunker started his auto-racing career in formula cars, competing in the Formula BMW USA and Star Mazda championships. The ARCA series will be his first in a stock car, but he has adapted quickly to the higher horsepower and heavier chassis.
"As a race-car driver, all you want to do is race. It doesn't matter what it is -- it can have two wheels, four wheels or six wheels. It can be 5000 pounds or a hundred pounds," he noted.
"The physical demands aren't quite the same as they were in formula cars. Experiencing all that extra heat inside the [ARCA] car is the biggest difference. Making sure I'm comfortable with being hot is a big thing. I'm doing my best to make sure I'm in tip-top shape whatever form of motorsports I do."
Racing different cars and setups for different teams in different series, Bunker has acquired the crucial skill of engineering feedback, which has already been a bonus in setting up his Cunningham Dodge.
"We were really impressed with how quickly Rob adapted to the heavy stock car. Rob was able to give great feedback as to what the car was doing and was able to relay info by breaking the track down into sections. His experience working with engineers and his driving coach was a big help in giving us the info we needed to make the car better," Cunningham general manager Mark Gibson noted. "Rob is a young, talented driver with the drive and desire to make it in big-league stock-car racing."
Any driver feels the pressure of a new environment, but Bunker is ready:
"I tell myself, 'Robert, you've started plenty of races, you've been on ovals before in other cars, so this isn't going to be that big a step for you.' I'm used to the horsepower now, I've gone out and proven that I can drive the car, I can drive it fast, drive the limit. A test day or two with other cars on the track, just to make sure I'm comfortable with drafting, will be beneficial," he said.
"I'm happy to run with Cunningham Motorsports this year. They're a great team. We've already started to make a good connection and I'm definitely looking forward to working with them. The learning curve is indeed pretty steep, but I know that I'm up for the challenge and I think that, given the skills that I've shown I have, we should have a pretty fun time charging our way to the front."