Thomasville, N.C. ( March 27 ) If progress is made in small steps than Ricky Bryant, and his Washington Apples ASA team made some progress this past weekend in Lakeland. The 3rd stop of the young 2001 ASA season was at the USA International ...
Thomasville, N.C. ( March 27 ) If progress is made in small steps than Ricky Bryant, and his Washington Apples ASA team made some progress this past weekend in Lakeland. The 3rd stop of the young 2001 ASA season was at the USA International Speedway, in Lakeland, Florida, for the Florida 200 this past
Saturday night. After the race Bryant was upbeat about the entire weekend, "We started out behind this weekend due to the trip to California, and having to fix a wrecked race car. On the way back from California our rig was stuck, along with a couple other race teams, in a snowstorm in Arizona. They lost 12 hours. Then it was Monday before the car finally was ready to go to the chassis specialist to make some changes before it came to Lakeland." The reason Bryant wanted to repair the primary car was because he had tested with that car in Lakeland, and it was a brand new car as well.
Ricky was sure of one thing, "I owe a lot to Denny, Denny Jr., and my Dad. They got the car finished by working around the clock before they left for Lakeland. That is true dedication, and commitment".
The Washington Apples - U Save Supermarkets Pontiac Grand Prix, finally left Atlanta, for Florida on Thursday night at 10 PM, and arrived at the track Friday morning at 9 AM. A mere 3 hours before practice for the Florida 200 began. For the 2nd time in 3 races this year Bryant said the team had gone through a character building moment," Everyone on the team has worked incredibly hard to reach where we are after the race this weekend. We feel like we dug our heals in again, scratched and clawed, and finally we can see a little light at the end of the tunnel. Our crew is beginning to bond together, and we are starting to make progress with this new chassis. The only thing that will really help is a lot of testing, and fine tuning on the cars. We will get this Washington Apple Pontiac up front before long!"
With as many as 50 cars at every race, and even a tenth of a second meaning 10 to 15 spots in the field being at the top of your game in ASA is all that matters. Ricky was matter of fact about the reality of it all." These are the best short track racers in the country. I love racing with these guys, I am learning so much. Our race team will win races in this series, but right now we just need more time and experience."
Saturday night's Florida 200 was a major step in the right direction. Starting near the tail end of the field (35th) Bryant kept his Washington Apples - U Save Supermarkets Pontiac pointed in the right direction all night. Other than scrapping the wall slightly a couple times Bryant ran some strong laps in the race. Keeping pace with the leaders for many laps, but having to overcome poor track position. As it was Bryant ended up picking up 19 positions, to finish 16th. Bryant's best ASA finish to date. Adding to the drama was the fact that only 25 laps into the race the Washington Apples - U Save Pontiac began smoking. A vent line was spewing rear end grease, and it had to be stopped. Two trips to the pits, and a first class effort by the Washington Apple crew, fixed the problem for the night . Ricky made one other pit stop for tires, and fuel and guided the Washington Apples team to their best ASA finish.
Looking ahead Bryant, and the Washington Apple team, have some friendly sights on the horizon. The next ASA race is on Saturday night April 7th at South Boston (Va. ) Speedway. A track where Ricky won a championship and a few races as well. South Boston is considered the home track for BG Motorsports with their shop only 80 miles away. The team is looking forward to getting back there.
Last June Bryant finished 4th at South Boston, in a Goody's Dash Series race there. In fact Bryant will be making a "comeback of sorts" to the Dash Series at South Boston on April 7th. Ricky will join 3 or 4 other current Dash teams in a short Dash Series on track exhibition to promote the Goody's Dash Series race at South Boston on the 4th of July weekend. Bryant will pilot one of his # 5 Washington Apples Pontiac Sunfires around the speedway for the exhibition.
BG Motorsports has announced that Kroger's Roanoke has come aboard as a retail partner for the South Boston race. The Washington Apples ASA showcar will be on display at the speedway Saturday evening before the race, in addition to appearing at several Kroger's store in the Martinsville area. Apple sampling, pictures of the kids, free color postcards, and other free novelties will be available at the appearances. Radio remotes will originate from both Kroger store appearances.