Cole Bruce has scored one podium finish in 2018 and continues to progress in his transition from Bandoleros to the Dominion Racer Limited Late Model class at Dominion Raceway.
The 14-year-old from Fredericksburg, Virginia began his transition into the bigger cars last fall. This season, he moved up to the new Dominion Racer class at Dominion Raceway, scoring a top-five finish in the first race of the season for the division on April 22nd, a finish he duplicated six days later. A couple weeks after, on May 12th, Bruce improved even more with a third-place finish in the first of two twin races before being swept up in an accident.
“The past few races, we should have had better finishes,” Bruce said. “We have a top-three car every week. Just the way the races go haven’t been for best for us. Through July, I think we have the car figured out now.”
While he scored a podium finish in one race on May 12th, the second race brought a roller coaster for the second-generation driver.
“It was an adventure for us,” Bruce elaborated. “We had engine problems. Just ran two laps and then the motor blew. Bobby Creech gave us an extra motor he had in his shop and we were able to put it in right before race time. The motor was solid for us to keep up. We finished third in the first race because the other cars were wrecking each other. In the second race, we were about to finish third and just ended up getting involved in a wreck that we shouldn’t have been in.”
Looking ahead, Bruce is hoping to continue to learn and become more consistent. With consistency, wins may come as well.
“Moving from Bandoleros into Dominion Racer has been a big transition,” Bruce explained. “It’s a lot to get used to. I’m still working on learning how my car will handle in different scenarios. I have made some mistakes but I am working hard to make myself into a more consistent driver. This season is really about me getting my skills ready to be able to run in a Late Model Stock in the future.
“If we can stay out of trouble and not get in any more wrecks, we should be able to finish top-three the rest of the year and hopefully get a win.”
Bruce is confident in his equipment, his speed and the people around him, including his dad, Robert Bruce, and popular part-time ARCA competitor Willie Mullins.
“My times have been right there with the top guys, I just need to put a whole race together and I think we will have a great rest of the season,” Bruce remarked. “I am so lucky to have my dad to lean on and learn from. He has been racing a long time and I think that really gives me an advantage. I’m also really lucky to have Willie Mullins with me in the pits every race. To get advice from an ARCA driver and owner is a big deal.”
Cole Bruce will compete again at Dominion Raceway with races coming up on June 9th, June 23rd and July 7th.
Bruce is supported by Papa Johns, Matco Tools by Mark Breeden, Shepherd’s Heating & Air, Dinah Marie Photography and Mullins Racing.