Kaylee Bryson Wins Pavement Race in First Start

Kaylee Bryson is one of the latest drivers attempting to ascend through the dirt ranks into the upper levels of NASCAR through Toyota Racing Development, following the footsteps of NASCAR Cup Series driver and fellow Oklahoma native Christopher Bell.  She made the first step toward that goal this past Saturday night a successful one, winning in her debut on asphalt.


The 20-year-old made her first start in a Pro Late Model Saturday night at South Sound Spedway (WA) and found victory lane in the feature.  Bryson did so in dominating fashion, starting on the front row and leading wire-to-wire.


“It went great, Toyota put together a great car and the team gave me everything I needed to get to victory lane.  It was super cool to do it in my first race on pavement,” Bryson told Speed51 on Monday.  “I had an absolute blast.


“It went well all night.  We qualified well and got a good finish in the heat race.  We got a good starting spot in the feature.  We started second and led every lap.  It went really well, the car pulled away and it was a good race.”


Bryson made her name over several years in the Micro Sprint ranks in her native Oklahoma, having won a Golden Driller in the Restricted A-Class at the Tulsa Shootout in 2015 and also earning a win with the POWRi 600cc Outlaw Micro League in 2019 at I-44 Riverside Speedway.


After making select Midget starts with Dave Mac Motorsports in 2019, she made the move to Keith Kunz Motorsports and shined with the Midget powerhouse.  Among the highlights were three top-fives with POWRi; and a third place run at Caney Valley Speedway in USAC competition and a fast qualifier award at Lawrenceburg Speedway during Indiana Midget Week.


Earlier in the year, it was announced that her and KKM teammate Buddy Kofoid would make the jump to asphalt in select Late Model events for Racing Dynamiks out of Washington.  Both drivers made their debuts this past weekend at South Sound, with Bryson taking the win.


While it was her first time on asphalt, she had the help of a veteran in former Snowball Derby winning crew chief Bond Suss.  Even with the aid of one of Late Model racing’s best, Bryson was unsure as to what her expect behind the wheel for her first foray on asphalt.


“You kind of know what you need to do just by watching videos and you see how other people race on pavement.  I think that helped me a lot, just learning and watching other people do it.  I think that gave me a lot coming into this race.  Toyota’s given me a lot of the tools for me to be able to race.  They give me simulators to race on and I think that made a huge difference.”


Dirt racing is way different than pavement so I didn’t get to bring much of that over, but at the end of the day racing’s racing and you have that in your blood.


She will have a quick turnaround before she gets back in the Pro Late Model this weekend at Evergreen Speedway (WA).  While a complete schedule has yet to be announced, Bryson will make several starts on asphalt while also getting back to familiar territory on the dirt with Keith Kunz.


After her triumph last weekend, she heads into her second Pro Late Model starts with momentum and confidence.


“I have a lot more confidence.  Going into my last race I really wasn’t sure what to expect because I had never done it before so it was all pretty new to me.  Now that I’m a little bit more familiar with it, I still have a lot more to learn, I’m excited to see how it’s going to go.”


-Story by: Koty Geyer, Speed51 National Correspondent – Twitter: @kgeyer3

-Photo Credit: Toyota Racing Twitter

Kaylee Bryson Wins Pavement Race in First Start