BES: Thompson: Pierre Bourque preview

Bourque Enjoys Momentum Heading Into Thompson International Speedway "Diversity Driver Confident Than Ever" THOMPSON, Connecticut (June 28, 2006) - - NASCAR Busch East Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Pierre Bourque has some unfinished ...

Bourque Enjoys Momentum Heading Into Thompson International Speedway

"Diversity Driver Confident Than Ever"

THOMPSON, Connecticut (June 28, 2006) - - NASCAR Busch East Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Pierre Bourque has some unfinished business as he marches his way into Thompson International Speedway this week.

After enduring one of the best performances of his early NBES racing career last weekend at Holland International Speedway, mechanical gremlins spoiled the finish for the Ottawa, Ontario (Canada) native, but his head remains high and he's looking for another stout performance in Thursday's Pepsi Busch East 100.

"I'm really feeling good about this weeks race," said Bourque, who also plans to run in a few CASCAR events later this year. "The entire Fast Track Racing (FTR) really made their presence known last weekend at Holland and we're looking for more of the same this week."

One of the downfalls to any rookie is adjustments. So far, Bourque hasn't had much to frown about, but is looking to start and finish in the top-15 Thursday night.

"We've been able to pick up in qualifying each and every week. That's good, but I'm hungry for more. The NASCAR Busch East Series is a full of very stiff competition. Even though we were able to work our way through the pack last weekend, if we are able to start farther ahead, I think the pressure isn't as high and I can concentrate on leading the race. That's a goal, I would like to check off this week."

Since being new to the NASCAR Busch East Series, Bourque will have minimal experience and a short amount of time in practice to adapt to the various race tracks he is competing at. Former ARCA RE/MAX Series champion and car owner Andy Hillenburg has stepped in to try to make that portion of the transition easier.

"Having Andy at the track is beneficial to me," Bourque added. "He's competed at some of the tracks and has experience at tracks similar to those we compete at. That's crucial. He sets up the car and we try to adjust on it practice to make it better and we usually excel. While Andy is a veteran at racing, we're all a rookie in the NASCAR Busch East Series. This is his first time competing in it, and it's my first time driving a full schedule like this. Right now, we're happy with the progress we are making. It's still pretty earlier in the season, but I have a feeling the rest of the year is looking real good for us."

Hillenburg, who has brought up talented drivers such as Bourque and now NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Chad McCumbee echoes his driver's statements. "I'm new to the NASCAR BES, but I'm really happy to be here. This is a great series. The people are great and the racing is some of the best. Pierre is doing a great job. There's still room for improvement, but we are getting closer. We're looking forward to this season and the rest of the year."

Another reason Bourque is itching for a good run is the closeness of the NASCAR BES point standings. While sitting just 54 markers outside the top-ten in the driver standings, Bourque is only two points from the Rookie-of-the-Year lead, the main course on his plate. With three consecutive top-20 finishes, Bourque continues to inch closer to taking that lead.

"We have three races down and eight remaining, a top-ten finish would really help us against the rest of the competition in points. We're starting to play with some of the bigger teams and I'm enjoying it. Last weekend, I raced with the leaders for forty laps straight and loved it. This week, I'm looking at doing more of the same but staying there."

Full Metals Minerals and Pollara Strategic Public Opinion will continue to back Bourque's effort this weekend at Thompson. "After last week's performance, our sponsors are pumped. They are starting to receive some great exposure. When we're running well, it looks good for all of us and that's probably more important to me than anyone else on the team."

The Pepsi Busch East 100 (100 laps/62.5 miles) is the fourth of 11 events on the 2006 NASCAR Busch East Series schedule. Practice begins Thursday, June 29th with two forty-five minute (12:30pm-1:15pm EST and 2:45pm-3:30pm EST) sessions planned. Busch pole qualifying is on tap Thursday afternoon (5:15pm EST) with the race set to take the green flag later that night at 9:00pm EST. There is no television coverage for this event.

In addition to running the full NASCAR Busch East Series in 2006, Pierre Bourque and Fast Track Racing will make limited starts in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and CASCAR Racing Series.


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Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Chad McCumbee , Pierre Bourque