After a decade of racing, Bryan Reedy very seriously considered getting out of the sport altogether after the 2017 season.
Reedy, a regular at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia, ran in the Late Model Stock race at Martinsville in October 2017, and “ended up basically destroying the race car.”
The following season, Motor Mile took the year off, and so did Reedy. He didn’t race at all in 2018.
But when Motor Mile opens the season this Saturday, Reedy will be there to take the green flag.
“We kind of held on to it for a little while, then talks of Motor Mile reopening started again so we decided to put it back together and we’re ready to go racing,” Reedy said.
Motor Mile Speedway, a 0.416-mile paved oval racetrack in Radford, Virginia, took the 2018 season off for what general manager Michelle Vaught called “a kind of a reset.”
They’ll race for the first time since 2017 this Saturday night with NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I Late Model Stocks along with Limited Sportsman, Modified 4 Cylinders and Super Street Division.
After taking a year off, Reedy said he’s had to shift his way of thinking when it comes to getting back into the car.
“I’ve lost about 30 pounds,” he said. “The preparation, we basically started with a bare chassis, and from there we built it up. It’s funny when you don’t race for a year how much stuff kind of goes away and you don’t even realize it. Just every day stuff. Like you go in the shop and you’re looking for brake cleaner and there isn’t any because we haven’t raced in a year so we haven’t had any. We don’t have the stock piles we had before. So there’s been a lot of ramping up to get ready fore this year.”
Thankfully, Reedy will return to a familiar race track, which will help him get comfortable again quickly. He began driving at Motor Mile in 2007 in the Mod-4 division. He has 12 career wins at his home track, 10 in a mod-4 and two in a limited sportsman. He raced in the Division I late model division full time for the first time in 2017, finishing in third in the track’s points standings.
Reedy is a third-generation driver. His grandfather drove Late Models, sportsman, and some in the NASCAR Busch Series in the 1970s and ’80s. His dad also raced throughout the ’80s and ’90s, and won championships at Franklin County Speedway and Motor Mile, then named New River Valley Speedway.
Once Reedy was old enough he was helping on crews and accompanying his dad every weekend. It was 2007, when he bought his first mod-4 and raced out of the same shop as his dad.
“I’ve basically been racing all my life. I have not been driving all my life, but I’ve been racing all my life,” he said.
Racing is a hobby for Reedy, who is a systems engineer at a community college during the day.
“That’s my day job. I leave here and go to the shop and work on the race car for several hours and then go home,” he said.
Motor Mile Speedway has always been the best option for Reedy when it comes to racing. It’s about 45 minutes from his house, and has that family history. He said he’s coming back to racing this season partly because he missed it so much last year, but the return of his home track kicked the return into gear.
“Motor Mile really kind of made it happen,” he said. “We’re close enough to go to places like South Boston and Southern National, but it really costs us a lot more to go there because you end of staying the night and that kind of thing because it is so much further.
“You race all day and they’re just a little bit too far to really be able to do it week in and week out. So Motor Mile re-opening really kicked it in gear for us. Like, ‘O.K. We’ve got somewhere we can go race that’s close enough. We don’t have to stay, we don’t have all this additional cost.’ So it helps out a lot.”
Returning to the race car will be a change for Reedy this season, but it’s one he’s excited for, just like all the other changes at Motor Mile this season.
“I am excited to be back in the race car and back into the racing in general,” he said. “Motor Mile has done a lot of stuff with their re-opening that makes me excited more so for the fans. Just the format their coming with and allowing the fans to be fans. The changes that they’re making at the race track itself I think are fantastic.”