“I started competitive carting at age eight,” Bujdoso said. “By the time I turned 12, I was racing in national events.”
Bujdoso said he got his first go-cart when he was six. He took to racing and when he entered the competitive arena, proved himself over and over. He rose through the carting ranks and in his final years he had earned four national titles.
“I think after winning his fourth national carting championship in two years, Roby and his dad began exploring options for the transition into cars,” said Julie Conlin, public relations representative for Bujdoso. “ARCA is the entry series into NASCAR so they began searching ARCA teams that offered Arrive and Drive programs. Andy Belmont was a leading team that offered that service so they made some calls and very quickly a test was set up for Roby.”
Bujdoso jumped at the opportunity to test in a full-size ARCA car. He made the trip to Caraway Speedway in North Carolina earlier this month where his test consisted of flying around the track for 100 laps. He completed it and proved he could hold a competitive speed as well as having the endurance.
“I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to come down and try out the car,” said Bujdoso. “I have to thank Andy (Belmont) and Chad (McCumbee) for all of their feedback and advice. It’s definitely a much different driving style than I’m used to.”
The next step for Bujdoso was to get into a competitive race.
“Despite being in the stock car for the first time, Roby was quickly up to speed and showed improvement throughout the day,” Conlin said. "So Andy Belmont and Roby’s dad Csaba arranged to enter him in the final ARCA race of the year. Seemed to fit well with it being not too far away in Toledo.”
On Oct. 16 the final ARCA race was scheduled in Toledo and Bujdoso was among the competitors to arrive on Saturday to qualify. He put in close to 30 laps in practice and qualifying and earned the 27th spot in a field of 42 cars for the Toledo ARCA 200.
Bujdoso not only finished his first race in Toledo, but he advanced through the pack to finish in 15th. For his efforts, he earned the CGS Imaging Hard Charger of the Race Award.
With the ARCA season over, it is time for him now to focus on his senior year, at least for a couple more months. The ARCA season kicks off in February and Bujdoso is hoping to get in some serious race time while maintaining his classes at Canfield High.
As for his future in ARCA, the young racer will have to secure some serious sponsorship. To race at a track like Toledo, according to Bujdoso, costs around $20,000. The bigger tracks like Daytona can run as high as $80,000.
“I don’t know whether he will be considered for a team position with Andy Belmont Racing,” Conlin said. “It’s my understanding that Roby will need to obtain some sponsorship in order to compete in the ARCA series full time next year and I know that’s something that he and his dad are currently working on.”
Moving up through the ranks to the Nextel Cup series of NASCAR is what Bujdoso said he would like to do some day.
“At least that’s the plan,” he said.
He does plan to go on to college after graduation and although he is not certain of a major at this time, said he would like to be affiliated with racing in some aspect.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Roby Bujdoso of Canfield holds his two back-to-back championship trophies he earned in professional cart racing. He won the recent one in September, then made the move up to ARCA racing this month.