Mike Bruno and his Bruno Motorsports Team rolled into Watkins Glen International Speedway last Wednesday with hopes of turning their recent streak of bad luck around. It was Mike's first ever visit to the famed 2.66 mile road course in the scenic...
Mike Bruno and his Bruno Motorsports Team rolled into Watkins Glen International Speedway last Wednesday with hopes of turning their recent streak of bad luck around. It was Mike's first ever visit to the famed 2.66 mile road course in the scenic western New York foothills.
The team attempted to qualify their #3 Fisher Snowplows Chevy on Thursday afternoon, but were hampered by engine woes which left the team scrambling for either a new motor or a new head for that one. Chris Clarke, who Mike drove for at Lime Rock Park last fall, offered a head from his shop, but that was back in New Hampshire, almost ten hours away. Arrangements were made and late Friday night the replacement head arrived, leaving the team working around the clock to make the engine race ready for the Saturday's noon time start.
The team was able to finish the engine work and get the engine back in the #3 Chevy in time to roll out on the starting grid in 36th position.
"This team was up all night getting the car ready, they found out what it is really like to work as a team under just about the toughest conditions, and they did a fantastic job," Mike said. "They really pulled together, I am so proud of what these guys did. People don't usually see the behind the scenes efforts that the teams like this go through to make these races. It takes a special kind of person and attitude to be a crewmember in this series, these guys are great."
Mike's engine builder Rob Patterson of PCCW was also one of the people that was involved in the big effort required to make the show.
"I can't thank everyone enough for all they did. Chris, Rob, the team, everyone. It took a lot to be ready in time for the race."
The Fisher Snowplows Chevy started 36th when the field took the green flag. Mike was able to move up through the field and was running well up in the top twenty for part of the race before the engine let go about half way through the 150 lap event. It was the third time in as many races that the team has suffered engine problems.
"I feel bad for the team after all they went through," Mike said after the race. "I know Fisher Snowplows has a history here as well, we wanted to put on a good show for them and all the Fisher fans. I heard we received a lot of television exposure on ESPN for Fisher Snowplows. We would certainly liked to have given them that exposure running up front, but at least people know we were here, and if everyone knew what we had to go through just to make the race, they will know that was quite an accomplishment on its own.
"The luck just hasn't been with us for a while. It is a pretty tough series to be an owner and driver with a young team and luck like we have had, but with the team working like they are, the luck will change and we'll have better races soon."
The team was credited with a 33rd place finish. They will now turn their efforts back to the short tracks as the head to Star Speedway in southern New Hampshire this Saturday night.