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Kyle Bryant is Living the Dream in the Dirt World

Navarre, Florida's Kyle Bryant made his first trip to Eldora Speedway last weekend, competing in the Dirt Late Model Dream.


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If you want an underdog story, this is it.

100 drivers attempted to run the 30th Annual Late Model Dream main event at Eldora Speedway. That’s 100 stories with blood, sweat and tears put behind each Late Model. Some guys had been there before, some guys came to win and others came for the first time.

Navarre, Florida driver Kyle Bryant came from the Florida Panhandle to central Ohio to make his first run at Eldora.

“I always wanted to race with the best in dirt at the highest level. I would rather go to Eldora and run mid-pack at an event like The Dream that is so hard to race in,” said Bryant. “Any crown jewel dirt race is hard for a new guy who's never been there, seen the racetrack, that sort of thing."

Bryant was just about as raw of a rookie as you can be at Eldora Speedway for the Dream weekend. Not only had he never raced in Ohio, but he’d never raced a Late Model north of the Mason-Dixon line.

“The way the dirt racing stuff is structured, it's hard to get laps,” added Bryant.

After a few hot laps on Saturday, Bryant ran the first heat of the night placing 13th out of 17 drivers. Brandon Overton won the heat over Ricky Thornton, Jr. and Tim McCreadie. That ended the weekend for Bryant who ran a prelim heat on Thursday as well. He was 23rd quick of 49 on Thursday in time trials.

“The only way to chase a dream is to go,” added Bryant. “Most of the time that means quite a bit of failure, paying your dues. It was an opportunity to go and check it off our list that we raced at Eldora, even though we didn't make the A. We certainly have unfinished business there.

"I enjoyed being a driver in a big event,” added Bryant. “The year I raced the Snowball Derby I was running to help my dad in the tire shed or the parts trailer. At Eldora, I could focus and I watched a lot of guys run and make laps.”

With the attempt, Bryant joins a short list of drivers who have attempted both the Eldora Dream and the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL). Only Cade Dillard, Carson Hocevar, Mike Head, TJ Reaid, and Tyler Millwood have attempted both. Mike Head has raced in both.

“Winning them is out of the question and my days of the Snowball Derby are probably over,” added Bryant. “To be at both racetracks and to race at both places and try to be a starter in each feature of those crown jewels was kind of my newfound goal when I went dirt racing full time.”

From one event to the next, Bryant found some familiar faces.

“I was parked right down a couple stalls from Tyler Millwood this weekend and we talked a little bit about our performance and kind of where we stacked up in the whole thing, " explained Bryant. “There's only a few guys that have tried the crossover. I think Jeff Purvis is the only guy to win the Snowball and the World 100.”

Bryant made the trip with buddy Caleb Bennet and the two guys were the only guys working on the blue number 79 with backing from Backridge Tree Service and Bryant Racing Equipment.

“Backridge helped us get to Volusia this year and we kept them on the car to thank them again for that effort,” explained Bryant. “I want to go back and run again, but it may not be this year. A little team like us can only make a few shows a year like that. Next year maybe the World 100 and I have always wanted to run Knoxville.”

The dream continues one step at a time and one race at a time.

-Story by: Elgin Traylor
-Photo credit: Tyler Carr

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