GREENVILLE, S. C. (JUNE 30 2000) -- Ricky Bryant is beginning to wonder just what he has to do to get back to victory lane with the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring. The Archdale, N. C., with four career wins, has been the most ...
GREENVILLE, S. C. (JUNE 30 2000) -- Ricky Bryant is beginning to wonder just what he has to do to get back to victory lane with the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring.
The Archdale, N. C., with four career wins, has been the most consistent driver on the series in 2000 with seven of his last nine events in the top five and nine of his last nine finishes in the top ten but he is also probably one of the most frustrated drivers with the series.
Bryant, driver of the Washington Apple Pontiac, is defending champion of the Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring Expression Unlimited 100 at Greenville-Pickens Speedway, the second oldest short-track facility in the weekly racing NASCAR family. The series returns to Greenville on July 8 for only the sixth time in the 90's.
"We have worked ourselves to the bone trying to figure out what it takes to get this Washington Apple Pontiac back in victory lane," said Bryant who enters this event second in series points to Robert Huffman. "We have been so close this year but that only counts in horseshoes," quipped the enthusiastic driver who is in his fourth full year of series competition.
"I guess we can point to the parity that exists with the series in 2000. Robert (Huffman), started out so strong and built a huge point lead but he is not infallible and a couple of bad finishes narrowed the gap in points. But consistency is the name of the game and if we can keep finishing in the top five like we have been then we have to look at the big picture and that is the series championship," continued Bryant.
"We have a number of younger drivers who have been doing very well. Drivers like Justin Hobgood, B. J. Mackey, Roger Sawyer, and Cam Strader, the NAPA Filter Rookie of the Year point leader have been steady performers this year with only Hobgood visiting victory lane. But don't leave out the veteran drivers like three-time Goody's Dash Series, NASCAR Touring Champion Robert Huffman with his four wins, 1991 series Champion Johnny Chapman who has two wins this year, his first since 1993. Scott Weaver picked up his first career win since 1997 and we certainly can't forget Ned Combs winning his first race since 1979. Maybe coming back to Greenville will be good for me," stated Bryant.
"I like Greenville-Pickens," Bryant said. "I like the long straightaways but that turn one is tough. You really have to get off the gas and hug the corner otherwise you drift high and could hit the wall. There have been some rough crashes there. The other corners are more forgiving and you can sweep around them but turn one is a nightmare. There is little doubt you need to start up front at the green flag because some drivers have a tendency to back off and be cautious while others try to drive around the turn. This track is fast and race fans will see a great show."
Another driver excited about returning to Greenville-Pickens Speedway is Greg "Goody" Goodell. The Easley, S. C. driver considers the ½-mile oval his home track and is looking for a good run for his hometown fans and sponsor Van Camp's Beanee Weenee and Galaxy Foods.
"We have been struggling this year," stated Goodell. "But running at this track just gives a driver a different feeling. With the long straightaways you can keep your foot in the gas. We have had a lot of motor problems this year but hopefully those problems are behind us. At least now we have moved into the top 20 in points and as close as the points standing are a good finish can move us higher."
Weaver holds the qualifying record for this series at Greenville-Pickens with a fast lap of 20.808 Secs/86.505 mph set in 1997. That record should be broken now that 99% of teams run the V-6 powerplant. The race record was set last year by Bryant at 61.480 mph.
Gates will open for drivers and teams at 10:30 a.m. with practice set to run from 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. A driver autograph session will take place from 7:00 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.