Cole Bruce picked up his first career Dominion Racer victory in the second of two twin races at Dominion Raceway on Saturday night, edging out Zach Lightfoot, Bradley Kilby and Aaron Donnelly with a last lap, last turn pass.
The 14-year-old from Fredericksburg, Virginia passed Zach Lightfoot on a late race restart to take the lead, but slipped up, allowing Lightfoot and Donnelly to get around him. In the final lap, Bruce made a daring three-wide move on the backstretch. Entering turn three, both Donnelly and Lightfoot slipped up, giving Bruce room to make the pass on the inside and dash back to the checkered flag for his first career win.
“It feels amazing getting my first win,” Bruce said. “Getting my first win in a tight race, going three wide on the last lap, this is for the win. I went balls to the wall and didn’t lift. It felt amazing being in my dad’s car since we had motor problems. Getting the win makes me feel like a better driver, knowing I could have done nothing else better and made smart decisions.”
Bruce first had to overcome engine problems in practice, which forced him to race Robert Bruce’s car in the feature. In the first of two races, Bruce battled his way to a runner-up finish. In the second race, Bruce had to overcome a late race slip and regain his composure to be able to mount the charge for his eventual triumph.
“When that happened, I kind of got mad at myself but regrouped because I knew we had a faster car,” Bruce stated. “I got back in my line, got in my rhythm and started following them. I tried not to overdrive the car and knew I had to do something to try to make the pass and win. I was intending for them to slip but it’s racing and anything can happen. They could wad up, one could have let the other go, many possibilities could have happened.
After the win, Cole Bruce cherished the victory with his father, Late Model Stock Car veteran Robert Bruce.
“It felt great,” the younger Bruce said. “It felt like I had accomplished something I never thought would have happened. I thought I was going to get right reared for the win. My blood pressure was running so high. I had to go for the win. It honestly felt amazing.”
With his first win behind him, Cole Bruce now looks ahead to his next race at Dominion Raceway on Saturday, July 7th with optimism.
Cole Bruce is supported by Papa Johns, Matco Tools by Mark Breeden, Shepherd’s Heating & Air, Dinah Marie Photography and Mullins Racing.