Mike McGovern: Chief Instructor

Mike McGovern: Chief Instructor

Mike McGovern, our chief instructor, has called the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving home for 28 years.

“I started as a fleet tech - a friend of mine told me the school was hiring and I went right in.”

Mike was able to meet with Bob that day, after filling out an application. “Bob asked me, ‘So, when can you start?’ I said, 'Right now.'”

And the rest was history. The school, at that time, was located in Sonoma, California. So, Bob sent Mike on a trip to Napa, California to pick up a car battery. From that day, Mike spent the next year as a fleet technician. He was quickly promoted to a car mechanic, and then a Formula Ford mechanic.
In the mid 1980’s Mike became an instructor at the school, training park rangers and local police from the Napa and Santa Rosa Academies.

In 1988 Mike met John Lee, a ford dealer out of North Carolina. “After I instructed John Lee at the school, he invited me to North Carolina for stock car racing.”

Mike returned to the Bondurant School in July 1990. Mike was happy to return to the Bondurant team.
“The biggest thing is the Bondurant name and the reputation that goes along with it,” said Mike. “That reputation has been established by the people that have worked here, the equipment that we have had the opportunity to use and our facility. I love it here.”

Mike finds instructing to be extremely rewarding. “You hook up with someone that is so excited to learn, and they are just like ‘give me more, more more’, and you establish a relationship and bond and that time you spend together is one of the coolest things about working at Bondurant.”

Mike adds, “How many places can you do that?”

The Bondurant School has given Mike the opportunity to instruct many stock car drivers- Jimmie Johnson, Brian Vickers, and Clint Bowyer. “And, I’ve met some great friends,” said Mike. “Jim Click, the relationship I have with him is awesome and amazing and that’s all come from being here at the school.”

Looking back at the last 28 years, Mike has seen few changes in the training provided at the school. “I believe that’s what helps the school be successful - sticking to our basics,” said Mike. “The three-to-one instructor to student ratio, the personal experience. I see the success of the Bondurant Method everyday - out here on the track, and on the highway.”

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