ERIC BOURGEOIS SNAGS THOMPSON’S MINI STOCK TITLE
ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT FROM FULL-TIME RACING ACTION
BY KYLE SOUZA, FOR THOMPSON SPEEDWAY MOTORSPORTS PARK
THOMPSON, Conn. – A dream season, and one fellow competitor missing a race, helped Eric Bourgeois captured his third Mini Stock championship at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park this season.
The East Haddam, Connecticut, driver finished inside the top 10 in all seven events, but also scored top five finishes in all but one race. The consistency helped him have a 27-point gap in the championship standings following the season-finale, enough to beat Wayne Burroughs Jr.
“The whole Mini Stock division is like a family. It’s a lot of fun,” Bourgeois said. “Everyone works together.”
Burroughs, who finished second in the standings, won five of the seven races in dominating fashion, including the Sunoco World Series. The downfall for Burroughs, though, was when he missed a race in the middle of the season -- allowing Bourgeois to pull away at the top.
“When it comes to Wayne and I, we race hard. It was whoever started ahead of the other this year, because our cars were almost identical,” Eric said. “I think even if he didn’t miss a race, it would have come down to today (the last race). He is one of my favorites to race with.”
Even though the season included two wins, and plenty of consistency, the story of the 2018 NASCAR Whelen All American Series championship for Bourgeois could have been the time he spent with his son on the track, and in the garage.
While Evan finished eighth in the championship standings, with three top five finishes, Eric found himself attempting to put his son in position to win races now, and in the future.
With the title in his grasp, it looks like he will go out on top.
“I’m retiring from my full-time, but I’ll be back to run a few shows. I told my crew that they work hard all the time, and it’s basically my son and I in the garage. I come to the track with the cars half together and the crew here makes sure they are together and 100 percent,” Eric said.
“I told them right from the beginning of the season if we won the championship I was done (full-time racing). I just like going for wins.”
In the finale at the Sunoco World Series, Eric finished sixth, marking the only run of the season not inside the top five. But all he was worried about was hoisting the championship trophy at the end of the day.
“I played it very conservative instead of racing to the front,” Eric said. “I was thinking big picture.”
For more than a decade, Bourgeois was a master of success in one of Thompson’s most competitive divisions, and if he returns for part-time action, he will certainly be a threat on the track. For now, he turns his attention to his son Evan’s operation.
Eric will be crowned the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Mini Stock champion at the 2018 Awards Banquet & Celebration, with a date to be announced in the near future.