Getting Up To Speed With…Bryan Gray
By Ben Deatherage
(Photo Courtesy of Madman Photography)
Although he has raced for over twenty-five years Bryan Gray of Aumsville is coming off of just one full season in a circle track car. In that first season he hit the Pacific Northwest’s best race tracks, but primarily raced at Cottage Grove, all with his motorhome, race car trailer, and his lovely wife Brandy always with a smile on their faces and just happy to be racing. Gray, originally from Susanville, California, comes from a very diverse motorsports background that ranges from motorcycles, four-wheelers, and even off-road racing.
Gray’s 2014 plans will be an outlaw schedule but they will make the vast majority of the IMCA Modified races at the Cottage Grove Speedway. Also the team plans on visiting several tracks in California and if all goes well travel to the big Modified race at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas at the end of the year. We got a chance to talk to him just weeks after his first race of the season as he traveled to the annual Silver Cup event at Chico, California’s Silver Dollar Speedway in early March. Now let’s get up to speed with Bryan Gray.
Driver: Bryan Gray
Home Track: Cottage Grove Speedway
Hometown: Aumsville, OR
Occupation: Owner/Metal Fabricator at BNB Motorsports
Years Racing: 27
Classification: IMCA Modified
Team: BNB Motorsports
Chassis: D&M Chassis/Swartz Race Cars
Sponsors: BNB Motorsports, Jeff’s Machine Shop
Special Thanks: Brandy Gray (Wife)
BD: You seemed to enjoy yourself a lot last year. You mainly ran Cottage Grove mainly but you did travel around quite a bit?
BG: Yeah. We like to travel and go to different places and see different people. It was a good learning experience. I used to pit and build motors for guys in 1990’s through a machine shop I had in California so I had never really raced. We loved it and we even made it up to Grays Harbor Raceway in Washington because my parents and some friends live in the Rochester area.
BD: Is there are reason your car is #73?
BG: It’s a number I’ve always ran and it’s the year I was born. Pretty simple.
BD: How did you get your start in racing?
BG: I’m originally from the Susanville, California area. Basically when I got my first quad my dad knew some people that ran a local series in California and ran a bit of that. After that I wanted to race anything.
My family was really into the quad stuff and I got out of that and ran motocross. I then met my wife down there in Susanville and sometime later we moved up to Oregon and got married. It wasn’t until I moved up here that I started BNB Motorsports. I did some desert racing before I got into circle track stuff. I was originally going to run in the Street Stocks and get my feet wet but I decided to go straight into the Modifieds.
BD: What is your biggest highlight of your racing career so far?
BG: Well probably when I flipped it upside down at Willamette last year. It was one of my biggest fears but now that I’ve done that so I’m not afraid anymore.
BD: Do you have any goals set either for this season or future seasons?
BG: This year we’re planning on winning trophies whether it’s in the dash or a main event also just learning as much as I can and getting comfortable. We are getting a brand new 2014 Swartz chassis that should be here in a couple of weeks so I’m excited for that. I’d love to be at the level where I show up and win and would have to say that is my long term goal. Making the main at the big race in Las Vegas Is probably my biggest goal right now.
The Cottage Grove Speedway is set to host a test and tune play day on Saturday April 5th while the first race of the year is planned for the following Saturday on the 12th. Log on to www.cottagegrovespeedway.com for news stories and articles related to the upcoming 2014 campaign.