Rough Stafford Event Doesn't Stop Bourque From Another Top-20 Finish "New Diversity Driver Learning Real Short Track Racing" STAFFORD SPRINGS, Connecticut (June 20, 2006) - - Last Friday's NASCAR Busch East Series event from Stafford Motor ...
Rough Stafford Event Doesn't Stop Bourque From Another Top-20 Finish
"New Diversity Driver Learning Real Short Track Racing"
STAFFORD SPRINGS, Connecticut (June 20, 2006) - - Last Friday's NASCAR Busch East Series event from Stafford Motor Speedway wasn't one of Pierre Bourque's best experience in a stock car, but it was memorable.
The 2006 NASCAR BES Rookie-of-the-Year candidate headed into Connecticut with early season momentum on his side following a solid 18th place finish at Greensville-Pickens Speedway a week earlier. This weekend, it was a little rough, but Bourque guided his No. Full Metals Minerals-Pollara Strategic Public Opinion Chevrolet to a decent 17th place finish.
Rolling into Stafford, Bourque looked to use the only practice session leading up to qualifying to his advantage. During the session, Bourque turned a lap of 21.442 seconds equaling a speed of 83.947 mph, putting him 27th on the speed charts. Despite the session, the Fast Track Racing (FTR) team was comfortable with the session despite no prior laps turned at the speedway.
"I'm going to be saying this a lot this year, but I'm learning the track," explained Bourque, the only full-time Canadian running in NASCAR. "I was able to get a lot of track time which will be beneficial and crucial during the race. By taking these minor steps now, we'll be better down the road, we're remembering that."
In qualifying, things didn't go Bourque's way. Despite turning a fast lap of 21.160 seconds in time trials, the Ottawa, Canada native made contact with the wall keeping him from a better qualifying effort. The lap was good enough for 27th on the grid. After qualifying, the FTR team made minor repair issues which forced the part-time ARCA RE/MAX Series driver to start the race shotgun on the field.
"It's good that we picked it up a notch in qualifying, but the contact with the wall was definitely unplanned. I hate it for my crew because they've worked hard preparing the car for tonight's event, but we'll get it fixed and look forward to the best finish possible."
Starting at the tail end of the field, a long night was in store for Bourque. Once the green flag flew, the day's events were out the window and he quickly and patiently began his march towards the front.
The night was full of cautions, a lot of them. That's typical for short track racing, but for Bourque, it was unbelievable. Despite missing a majority of the incidents in front of him, the No. 10 was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop thanks to a flat tire which cost the rookie driver and team five laps in the pits. With the never-give up attitude, Bourque returned to the race track, maintained his patience and crossed the line 17th, one position higher from last week.
"Man it was wild out there," said Bourque. "We narrowly avoided a lot of the wrecks and we unfortunately lost a tire. That really put a damper in our finish, but we finished so it wasn't all bad. Stafford is a deep learning curve for me, but in a good way. I faced a lot of the obstacles any race car driver faces and I'm glad that we were able to overcome most of our issues."
Bourque continued, "I want to thank the Jack Arute family for their tremendous hospitality and I want to congratulate NASCAR's Richard Buck and Lee Roy and their staff for the professionalism they showed throughout the day. I'm happy to be here and look forward to maybe competing at Stafford Speedway again."
With his 17th place finish, Bourque maintained the 18th place position in the NASCAR Busch East Series point standings, just a mere nine points out of the top-15 and 29 markers outside the top-ten. Bourque will look to climb in the finish order and the points as the NBE Series heads to Holland International Speedway this weekend in New York. "The end result of Stafford is we're headed into this weekend's race at Holland with renewed hunger for a strong finish," concluded Bourque.
In the coming weeks, Bourque along with FTR (Fast Track Racing) will unveil a new racing website.