Mike Bruno continued his strong rookie season in the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring Division, with another top ten performance at New Hampshire International Speedway Sunday afternoon. It was Brunoâ€™s third race at the one mile track, but it...
Mike Bruno continued his strong rookie season in the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring Division, with another top ten performance at New Hampshire International Speedway Sunday afternoon. It was Bruno’s third race at the one mile track, but it is a track very familiar to the Vermont native. Mike is an instructor for the Richard Petty Driving School. He taught classes here at NHIS earlier in the year, which helped him gain very valuable seat time.
"Driving for the Richard Petty School gave me some great seat time, which certainly is a help at a big track like Loudon," Bruno says. "But there are a lot of differences in the Petty cars and the Busch North cars. The Busch cars are a few miles per hour faster and they weigh less. The rubber is a big difference also, with the bias ply tires we use in the north series. But the seat time is a huge help, any time you can run a few hundred laps at a track you are not familiar with, it helps!"
Mike started the Pennzoil / VIP Discount 100 with his #3 Summit Racing Equipment Chevy in the nineteenth starting position after turning a lap of 119.683 MPH during qualifying on Saturday morning.
"We came here with a little softer set up than we did last time," Mike said after his two laps of qualifying. "It was pretty bad in practice so we loosened it up for qualifying, but we went a little too much. Plus we went out pretty early and that hurt us a little."
Once the green flag dropped, Mike wasted no time working his way towards the front of the field with the #3 Summit Racing Equipment Chevy. By lap 60 he had moved into the top ten and with less than 25 to go he and fellow Vermont native Bobby Dragon put on quite a show battling for the sixth place spot.
"I know Bobby Dragon really well, and that’s what real racing is all about," Mike said with a big smile after the race. "I didn’t push him up and he didn’t pinch me down. I think everyone here saw what good racing that was."
Mike brought the Summit Racing car to the checkered flag in sixth place, winning his seventh Raybestos Rookie of the Race award of the season, five more than his nearest ROY competitor.
"The car was really starting to come in there at the end, but we just ran out of laps," he said after the race.
The CJ Richards Motorsports Team and the Busch North Series will have a well earned week off this weekend. They will return the following weekend at the Watkins Glen road course track in New York. Mike is going to a road course school later this week to help gain some seat time in preparation for his first visit to the Glen.