With just days to go before SpeedWeekend there’s probably no-one who is more stoked than 17 year old Cole Boudreau. Cole, coming off his first full season in a Pro Stock, is anxious to qualify and have an awesome run in Sunday’s 250. Earlier this week, Wade Wilson had a Conversation with our Pro Stock Rookie of the Year.
Talkin with Cole Boudreau
Wade: Hey Cole, congratulations on winning the 2014 Re/Max Group Four Realty Pro Stock Rookie of the Year Award.
Cole: Thanks Wade. It was a lot of fun running full-time with all the other Pro Stock drivers this year. I was extremely happy to get the Rookie of the Year Award, but in reality it actually belongs to the entire 00 team. Without our great crew: Donnie, Johnny, Danny, Greg, Ken and Mike this would not have been possible.
Wade: That Pro Stock feature win, earlier this season, was pretty impressive too!
Cole: I couldn’t believe it when it happened! That night was the only night I didn’t make the dash and we didn’t have too much luck at the beginning of the feature either. A tire went down during the first couple of laps and we were lucky to get a caution so we could pit. It was a short caution and we barely made it back out in time. About five laps later I was trying the outside groove and backed it into the beach. I guess I made a rookie mistake and locked-up the rear brakes. But after that our luck started to improve. With only a few laps to go, somehow I was able to sneak by the leaders. When Joe Barrieau threw that checkered flag, I was pumped. I never imagined I would be sitting in the Riverview Ford Victory lane this year after a feature race!
Wade: Tell us how you got into racing and some of the things you’ve done in this sport. And don’t forget to mention that Westwood Estate Apartments Bandolero championship.
Cole: I began racing Go Karts at Speedway 660 when I was six. I raced with Dana Hamn, Denver Foran, Ryan MacIntosh, Peter Martin, Destiny Enkle and Dawson McIntee at tracks in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. I gained a lot of experience and was fortunate to win a couple of Karting Championships. I was among the first youngsters to jump into a Bandolero at Speedway 660. I also had the opportunity to race my Bando at some other tracks in the Maritimes. I also raced at several tracks in North Carolina and at the Winter Nationals in Florida, running a car for Chris Wood Racing and Repair out of Kannapolis, North Carolina. 2012 was a great year for me because I won a Westwood Estate Apartments Bandolero Championship and the INEX Bandolero Championship. But I think this year tops that!
Wade: Last year, running a limited schedule, you qualified for the Re/Max 250 and this year you qualified for the Pro All Star Series 150. You finished on the lead lap and had good finishes in both races. That’s pretty cool.
Cole: Before last year’s 250, my longest Bando race was an 80 lapper in Rockingham, North Carolina. With the Re/Max 250 we didn’t know what we were in for. 250 laps was a lot more difficult than I ever imagined. That experience helped a lot and I was better prepared for the Pro All Star Series 150. It was pretty cool racing against some of the best short track drivers in North America.
Wade: Racing is a family sport and I know your Mom and Dad are your biggest supporters.
Cole: Without the support of my Mom Angela and Dad Mike, there would not be a 00 race team. Dad introduced me to the sport at a young age and took me to a few NASCAR races in New Hampshire. After getting behind the wheel of a Go-Kart there was no looking back.
Wade: Who else helps make it possible for you to come to the races every week?
Cole: I have a great crew consisting of Donnie Beers, Johnny Beers, Danny Higgins, Greg Thompson, Ken Corey and Dad. These guys are extremely knowledgeable and know how to set up a car to win. Without my sponsors I would not be able to race each week. I am fortunate to have support from the following businesses: NAPA Auto Parts in Chipman; Down Home Construction in Oromocto; Irving Blending and Packaging in Saint John; Brycon Construction in Halifax; Armstrong Convenience in Chipman; Queen Street Auto in Chipman; Shaw Signs in Bloomfield; Westwood Estates in Oromocto and; Value Foods in Chipman.
Wade: I hear that you are working a couple of summer jobs and mowing lawns on the side to help contribute some money to your racing program. That’s pretty impressive!
Cole: That’s right Wade. It costs a lot to run a race car and I don’t have a free ride! I’ve got to earn a few bucks and make a contribution to the race team. So I work at Queen Street Auto during the week and at Armstrong Convenience on the weekend. But they give me Saturday nights off so I can go racin! I would like to thank Chris Chiasson as well as Barry and Susan Armstrong for giving me these opportunities. I better not forget to ask Barry and Susan for SpeedWeekend off! And I do also mow a few lawns on the side to supplement my income.
Wade: SpeedWeekend is coming right up. It’s the biggest racing event in our region and it’s a tough deal just to qualify for the Re/Max 250. Then, if you get in, it’s 250 grueling laps of competition against some of the best short track drivers in North America. That’s a lot of pressure.
Cole: Since you put it that way, it is a lot of pressure! All we can do is do our best to put the car into the show on Speed Weekend. I’m not sure if being the Pro Stock Rookie of the Year or a past Bando Championship would give us a provisional! But seriously, we’re going to have to earn our way in. Having made the show last year gave us some confidence, but there’ll likely be close to 40 cars trying for 28 spots, so it’s gonna be tough. There are some of the best short track drivers in North America headed our way and we’d love to race against them and hope that we are ready for the challenge.
Wade: Who has influenced you in racing and who do you look up to?
Cole: Frank Fraser, Lonnie Sommerville and Shawn Tucker have had a positive influence on my racing career. Frank Fraser built our Pro Stock car. Lonnie Sommerville and Shawn and Dustin Tucker helped to set up the car. Their expertise both on and off the track has helped me progress in my racing career. Chris Woods (Woody) took a chance of me and allowed me to race a car out of the Kannapolis, North Carolina stable many times. And who doesn’t look up to Dave O’Blenis, the five time Pro Stock champ at Speedway 660? I am lucky to have had such great mentors.
Wade: And what about the future? You jumped from Bando to Pro Stock and you are barely 17. What’s next?
Cole: That’s a good question. I spent this year at Speedway 660 getting comfortable behind the wheel of the Pro Stock. This is a great track with a great bunch of drivers. We plan to finish the season running a few races at some other race tracks in the region. I most likely will be back at Speedway 660 again next season. I would love to run a few races with the Parts for Trucks Tour and the PASS Tour. We’ll have to wait to see what the future has in store for me.
Wade: Good luck this weekend Cole. Thanks for doing this and I know you’ve got a lot of fans here at Speedway 660 who will be cheering for you this weekend.
Cole: Thank you for the opportunity to talk about what I love doing best – RACIN! I look forward to seeing everyone at SpeedWeekend.
Track PR – By Wade Wilson – Photos provided by Track