Alfred State College alumni Robert J. Struble (1986) and Brett Bodine (1979) recently met with local student Bryce Davis, of Canisteo, and his parents David and Jodi, and talked about his interest in stock car racing.
Bryce was the lucky recipient, last fall, when Struble and his wife Carrie (Cassidy), '98, presented a race car, towing trailer, spare set of tires, and extra engine to Bryce during ceremonies held at the college. Bryce, who showed potential for becoming an accomplished race car driver, started with motorcycles and moved to modified dirt cars, where he currently races at the local tracks. Because Bryce shows such potential with his driving skills, Bob and Carrie, both with strong ties to this area, wanted to assist him with getting into the Developmental Driving Program (DDP) in North Carolina. (This program is not a NASCAR-affiliated program, but is the kind of program that can be used to identify young driving talent.) However, in order to participate in this program, each individual must have his own race car and all the accompanying accoutrements. In an effort to introduce Bryce to the race "shops" in North Carolina, the Strubles hosted Bryce and his family in North Carolina to introduce him to people in the industry and with racing's DDP.
Last month, Bryce and his folks, along with Struble, visited with Bodine at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, NC, where Bodine is the director of cost research. Bodine is a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and team owner and a native of Chemung, NY.
Bodine gave them a tour of the facility and talked to Bryce about his future education plans. Bodine put great emphasis not only on Bryce's driving skills, but also on the need for a solid post-secondary education which he strongly suggested Bryce earn at Alfred State College. He also suggested dual degrees in engineering along with studies in Alfred State's motorsports program.
Bryce has decided for the time being to limit his racing to the Holland (NY) Speedway to become familiar with one track and have his car set to the standards of that track.
Should Bryce perform well this season, he will have the opportunity to advance to the next level of racing. At that point, his current late-model car would be donated to Alfred State College's motorsports program by the Strubles.
Bodine said that "Bryce is a very fortunate young man to have the support and the sponsorship of family and friends such as the Strubles." Bodine went on to say that "becoming a race car driver takes a total commitment, desire, and a lot of sacrifice."
The Davises are planning several local events which friends and family can attend to give their best wishes to Bryce and his racing dream.
The Davis Racing Team appeared at the Canisteo American Legion, March 1, where the Davis family hosted a benefit to help with the expenses that Bryce will incur while racing at the Holland Speedway. Donations to help defray Bryce's racing expenses can still be made to Davis Racing, 4720 State Route 36, Canisteo, NY 14823.
From Saturday, May 3, through Saturday, May 10, the race car will be on display at the McKinley Mall in Hamburg. Open practices at the Holland Speedway will begin Saturday, May 17; the first race is scheduled for Saturday, May 24. Information on times is available from Holland Speedway www.hollandspeedway.com .