Bourque's Momentum Grows At Waterford "Diversity Driver Nets Career Best Qualifying & Finishing Position" WATERFORD, Connecticut (August 21, 2006) - - 2006 NASCAR Busch East Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Pierre Bourque is continuing to...
Bourque's Momentum Grows At Waterford
"Diversity Driver Nets Career Best Qualifying & Finishing Position"
WATERFORD, Connecticut (August 21, 2006) - - 2006 NASCAR Busch East Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Pierre Bourque is continuing to prove that consistent seat time pays off. In Saturday night's race at Waterford Speedbowl, Bourque recorded a NASCAR career best finish in addition to netting a career best qualifying effort.
While his 25th practice effort didn't show the team's full potential, Bourque used the session as an adaptation period to conquer the demanding short track. "Our car is good," said the only full-time Canadian NASCAR driver. "Much like all of the previous tracks on the tour so far this year, I've had to use the first practice to learn my way around the track. It's like starting from a blank page. I quickly found that I really like this track. Hopefully we can move up in qualifying and have a good finish."
Indeed, time trials was something for the Fast Track Racing team to be smiling about. Bourque's fast second lap of 15.492 seconds at 77.382 mph was good enough for a solid 17th place on the starting grid. His time trials effort was a career-best for the very busy racecar driver this season.
"We're all excited about the way qualifying worked out," continued Bourque, a native of Ottawa, Ontario. "The car is great. I'm confident that if we can keep our nose clean we'll have a good finish. I'm proud at how hard my crew chief Dave McClure and the team have worked to prepare this Chevrolet Monte Carlo; hopefully we can continue to move up the ladder."
Yet, the Big Y World Class Market 150 showed its true short track colors, producing a very competitive, yet caution-filled race. Still, Bourque showed patience, strength, and determination throughout the race, despite dealing with several hiccups, including a flat tire that sent him down pit road for new rubber. Later in the event, a car spun in front of Bourque, forcing a t-bone-like accident and a brief off-road excursion.
Returning to competition, Bourque, who also competes as a rookie in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and the CASCAR Series, was forced to nurse his engine underneath the hood as climbing temperatures were a potential disaster for the team. Luckily, Bourque continued to dig and brought home a hard and well-earned 16th place finish, a career best finish for the rookie team.
"Waterford is a very short, but intense racing track", said Bourquefollowing the race, "There was a lot of beating and banging during the race, yet we survived it as best as we could. Sure, the car looks like it went through a war zone, and I've got enough bent sheet-metal and broken bits to start my own scrap yard, but we had a great day at the track."
"I would like to thank my team owner and spotter Andy Hillenburg for guiding me through the race and for his excellent advice along the way. I also can't say enough about Dave McClure (crew chief) for his great setup at this very tricky track. The remainder of the Fast Track Racing team, Dave, Dave, A.J., Brent, and Lyle, well, all were knee-deep in elbow grease for me, as they always are. They live and breathe racing, and for me that makes for an intoxicating environment to develop my racing talents and to sharpen my competitive instincts. We've really started to turn the corner and everyone is pumped."
The NASCAR Busch East Series will now enjoy almost a month-break before returning to New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS) on September 16th. While Bourque gained some ground in the point standings, he continues to control the 17th position in the championship standings, but now sits just two markers out of 16th and a mere 28 points out of the top-15.
Heading back to a track he's raced at before this year, Bourque feels the challenge of aiming for the top-15 is easily feasible. "I'm looking forward to returning to a race track I've had some experience on this year," he added. "We didn't have the best finish our last go-around at New Hampshire, but I feel that we'll have a better weekend in September and our crew is going into the race so pumped, we'll take the "no mercy" motto and look to walk away from the track with our No. 10 machine in the top-15."
"We had a great racing weekend which was a great bonus for our sponsors," added Bourque. "We're on a wave of momentum and our sponsors are really seeing the benefit of sponsorship both on and off the track. I'm really glad to have such influential and great sponsors aboard our Fast Track Racing team. We're hoping to continue to bring home good finishes for them."
With the break in the NBES, Bourque will continue to gain experience in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, utilizing Superspeedway experience, while continuing to adapt to the challenging demands of a road-course by competing in the CASCAR Series, which he'll return this weekend looking to improve on his solid 12th place finish a few weeks ago.
"Staying behind the wheel of a racecar is so crucial," he explained. "In the last three weeks, I've scored my career best CASCAR finish, made my Superspeedway debut in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, and bolted a career best in the NASCAR Busch East Series. I'm really excited and feel like I'm on a roll. Hopefully this next weekend, we'll have another good finish in the CASCAR Series when we race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal during the ChampCar weekend."
He added, "A few days later, I will participate in the official ARCA RE/MAX Series test at Chicagoland Speedway and I'm really looking forward to that event. I made my Superspeedway debut at Nashville with a solid finish, I learned a lot about high-speed car control, and I was able to race with some of the best upcoming drivers currently competing in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, including several Cup team development drivers. I'm remembering that this year is a learning year with a steep curve for me, but it's still my goal to walk away from the track with the best finish possible and lately, we've been doing a lot of that."
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. Bourque will also make his final CASCAR Series this weekend with Whitlock Motorsports.