Mini Big Speed: Mitch Bombard Revels In Return To NHMS In New England Short Track Showdown

Mitch Bombard (Photo: Courtesy Mitch Bombard)

In 2014 the North East Mini Stock Tour hosted its first event on the 1.058-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway oval.

For Willimantic driver Mitch Bombard the feeling of getting the chance to compete on the same stage where the highest levels of NASCAR national divisions race was dreamlike

“As soon as I drove the tunnel I thought that,” Bombard said “I’m pulling my open trailer with a $1,500 race car on the back of it into this big massive stadium. Just that alone was enough to just make you stop and say ‘This is awesome. I don’t have to have a $50,000 car to race here.’”

This weekend Bombard returns to compete in Saturday’s 30-lap North East Mini Stock Tour feature, part of the inaugural Short Track Showdown at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The event brings together the Northeast Mini Stock Tour with the Valenti Modified Racing Series and the the Granite State Pro Stock Series for Saturday’s feature events, which will also include an open Street Stock event.

“There’s something for everybody there,” Bombard said of the availability for racers to get into events Saturday. “Pretty much anybody in New England should be able to just make some minor changes and find a way to get there.”

Bombard took a car he competed with primarily in the New London-Waterford Speedbowl’s X-Car division to the first North East Mini Stock Tour event in 2014.

“I didn’t know how fast I was going until I did the math at the end,” Bombard said. “Once I realized I was going about 115 it kind of hit me how once in a lifetime that feeling that feeling is for someone like me in a low level [of racing].

Bombard will celebrate his 24th birthday at the track on Saturday, looking to improve upon the matching 20th place finishes had at the North East Mini Stock Tour events at the track in 2014 and 2015.

Bombard, who is competing part-time with the North East Mini Stock Tour this year and full-time in the Mini Stock division at Thompson Speedway, said the feeling of the car at speed at NHMS was “surreal”.

“Once you realize what’s going on, the windshield is buckling in and your body panels are flopping all over the place,” Bombard said. “You’ve got to brace things that you never thought of bracing before because you’ve never been that fast. It’s surreal. You go around places like Hudson (N.H.) Speedway or [the New London-Waterford Speebdowl], you’re out there and you speed up and slow down, speed up and slow down. There you’re going full bore, pedal to the floor, going into the corner at 100-something. You get a little sideways and you feel the car start to let go on you and that’s probably the most terrifying experience I’ve ever had. I kicked it sideways going into the corner and I was just like ‘Oh here we go.’ It was insane.”

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