Gainesville, Ga. ( Oct. 30 ) The long road , that began on February 12th at Daytona, finally came to an end this past Saturday night for Ricky Bryant, and his Washington Apple team. Bryant and the Washington Apple bunch recorded a strong 5th ...
Gainesville, Ga. ( Oct. 30 ) The long road , that began on February 12th at Daytona, finally came to an end this past Saturday night for Ricky Bryant, and his Washington Apple team. Bryant and the Washington Apple bunch recorded a strong 5th place finish to put a lock on 2nd place in this years NASCAR Goody's Dash Series. The ETS Payphones 150 , at Lanier ( Ga. ) National Speedway , brought the curtain down on the 2000 Dash Series season, and on Ricky Bryant's career in the Dash Series. " It's been a long tough season for us this year, Bryant commented. " We had set our sights on the championship, and we fell a little short. While we may be a little disappointed I am sure in a few days when we begin to look back on the year we will have a lot to be gratified about. I'd like to congratulate Robert Huffman on the championship. He had a fine season. After a few days rest the entire Washington Apple team will begin to turn our attention towards the future". The future for Bryant, and his sponsor Washington Apples, will be full time competition in the ASA AC Delco Series in 2001. The new season will begin on February 17th at the Florida Speedpark in St. Augustine, Florida.
Saturday night's run at Lanier put the cap on a season that saw Bryant, and his BG Motorsports team run 26 races at 25 different race tracks. If you throw in Bryant's ASA debut at Nashville, where qualifying was rained out denying the team a chance to compete than that is 26 different race tracks in 2000. Ricky said, " I'm proud of the team, and our ability to even accomplish this schedule. Not even the Winston Cup or Busch Series, which runs more races, travels to that many different tracks in a full season. The last 8 ½ months has been a tough chore for our race team, but we will be stronger in the future for having accomplished what we did this year. We accomplished this with the help of only 3 full time employees in the shop, and another 5 or 6 part time crew. We could not have done this with out the hard work and dedication of everyone on our crew!"
Beginning with the Bud Pole award at Daytona Bryant, and the Washington Apple team accomplished a lot. In the Dash Series there was the 2nd place finish, Bryant & the teams best ever. There were also 10 top five finishes, and 16 top ten finishes in only 18 Dash Series races. Bryant led the Dash Series in top ten finishes.
At the same time Bryant, and the BG Motorsports team, qualified, and competed in all 8 ASA Series races they attempted without the benefit of any provisional or safety net. Most ASA races featured almost 50 cars at each event, and the last 2 races in Indianapolis, and St. Louis featured 53 and 64 cars respectively attempting to qualify for the race. In all a total of 26 races in 2000 for Bryant & BG Motorsports team. Finally there was the memorable day in June when Bryant and his race team did the " Double" Competing in a ASA AC Delco race in Iowa ( Bryant's ASA debut ) and a NASCAR Goody's Dash race in North Carolina all on the same day. Bryant finished 20th in the ASA race, and 2nd in the Dash race. " That is one of the neatest things about this year, Ricky said. We had so many obstacles to overcome to create 2 different teams, and so much could have gone wrong, but it did not and we accomplished a feat we will be proud of for years to come!.
After a trip to a trade show in California, for Washington Apples, Bryant and the crew are going to begin focusing on the new season ahead.There will be time for a short vacation for Bryant and the rest of the BG team over the next couple months. Bryant and the BG Motorsports team have always looked at the day after the season ends as the first day of the new season, and with even tougher competition ahead that cannot be too soon. Before hopping on the plane to Los Angeles , on Sunday morning, Bryant had one real thing in mind, his sponsors . Ricky commented, " I really have to give so much thanks, and credit, to all my sponsors. I can't say enough about Washington Apples. They have been the best sponsor I've ever had in my career. I am appreciative of the fact that they will be going to ASA with me as the primary sponsor in 2001. Then there are PPG Automotive Finishes, and VDO Performance Instruments, who have been with us for 5 years, and Exxon Superflo Motor Oil who has been with me for the last 2 years. Finally I could not forget all the fine folks at Prime Hospitality who have given me, and my team great places to sleep at their AmeriSuites , and Wellesley Inn & Suites locations around the country. I want to thank them all. I could not have done it without them!"