From February 8-14, Bryson Ruff and the Devo Motorsports team escaped the cold as they took the No. 24 Barringer Construction/ Your Pie/ Victory Lane Indoor Karting/ Wild Bill Fitness machine to Citrus County Speedway in Inverness, Florida for Winter Nationals. Winter Nationals was a learning experience and a place where Bryson gained confidence, experience, and showed just how much he has grown as a driver. The team had a one-word motto of sorts that they focused on all week. That word was focus!
In Pro qualifying for Round 1 of Winter Nationals, Bryson was fast!! His times were competitive from the start and he ran quick enough to secure the 4th starting position. The team had been looking for that speed all year and finally found it and Bryson was ecstatic!!! The competition was strong and would be a challenge like Bryson hadn’t seen. In round one, Bryson found himself in a heated battle for the top spots. On a mid-race restart, he got hung on the outside and dropped back deep in the field. He worked his way up and finished the 8th!
Bryson had nothing but focus in his qualifying run for round two of Winter Nationals. His goal was to start on the inside to avoid getting stuck. He ran good enough to secure a fifth-place starting spot! When the feature started, things just didn’t go Bryson’s way. With a stacked field containing an immense load of talent, there just wasn’t anywhere to go. Bryson chose lanes that weren’t the best and ended up losing two spots. While it wasn’t the worst, he wasn’t happy bringing it home in seventh.
Day three of Winter Nationals was everyone’s off day. The team decided to take it easy and went to race go-karts. After all, when racers get a break, they race. This was a much needed time of decompression that would ultimately prove invaluable to the team.
Round three of Winter Nationals began with a bang! It was double feature day for the Pro Division. Somebody lit a fire under Bryson and he found some much-needed speed in qualifying. Running a very impressive lap, Bryson secured himself 3rd in the first of two features. He had a confidence about himself. Bryson was focused and kept his head in the race. He patiently waited, made smart decisions, and he was brought it home a winner! One more feature remained for the day and Bryson drove one of his best races ever. He battled and made sure the other drivers knew he was there, but it was just a hair short. He raced clean and secured a second-place finish which would keep him in contention for the championship.
Going into the fifth and final round of Winter Nationals, Bryson was sitting 12 points out of the lead. That wouldn’t be the only challenge. The day started with rain. Bryson was calm and focused on the task ahead. He was really hoping to go racing and make a push for the championship. That focus and calmness was for a reason. He knew that car had some serious speed left in it and in qualifying, he proved it. He ran the fastest lap of the week! At a time of 14.741, Bryson has firmly secured the pole position in the finale! The threat of rain was imminent and when the green dropped, Bryson drove like never before. He lost the lead but was in second. He and the leader had pulled away from the pack. Under green, the leader would spin alone bringing out the caution. The call from the officials was oil on the track and they gave the leader his spot back. The rain moved in before the track could be cleaned; and the race was called. As a result, Bryson finished 2nd in the race and 2nd in points.