BRAYDEN PRUITT FOCUSED ON THE GOALS AHEAD

                July 2009                                                 Dale Wilkerson

Just a year after her first win at the Cherokee Speedway, Brayden Pruitt moved her focus to the Street Stock Four division.

                Pruitt had become the driver to beat in the Young Guns class as she piloted her #13 Toyota to several wins dating back to the Grassy Smith Memorial race last spring. Her last Young Guns race was during the 2009 Grassy Smith Memorial Race and the end result was the perfect finish for Pruitt’s brief time in the class, as she captured the checkered flag.

                “Winning my first race during the Grassy Smith weekend was special. I had been challenged to climb the fence if I won, so I did. Then to win this year, in my final Young Guns race, and for it to also be on the Grassy Smith weekend, I thought I should climb it one last time,’ said Brayden Pruitt.

                Pruitt has excelled off the track as well. As a freshman at Crest High School, she played basketball and soccer, being named All Conference in Soccer. In the classroom, she is ranked among the top 20 in her class. This summer, she has balanced racing with basketball, as she attended Coach Pat Summit’s basketball camp at the University of Tennessee. 

                “Brayden has worked hard; she has always made us proud. When we started racing, I reminded her that her grades could not fall off, and they haven’t.  She puts the same effort into her school work as she does with her racing,’ said her father Mike Pruitt.

               

                Being the daughter of both a former racer and current teacher, Brayden has kept her focus on the goals in front of her.

                “I get more excited watching her on track than I did when I drove. Brayden listens to her coaches, whether it is the guys working on the car, or her coaches at Crest (High School) and she is constantly trying to improve,” said Brayden’s mother, Tonya Pruitt. 

                At just 15 years old, she could have continued to race in the Young Guns division, but her taste for competition helped her, and her crew, to make the move to Street Stock Four this season.

                “I enjoyed my time in Young Guns, but I know to improve as a driver, I needed to make the move to Street Stock Four,” Pruitt said. “It will be a learning experience, racing against drivers with more track time, learning how to race against them, and earning their respect will be a challenge, but I feel that am ready for that challenge.”

                For her first Street Stock Four event, she raced at the Travelers Rest Speedway. On the local racing show, Droppin’ the Hammer, just hours before that race, Brayden said she wanted a top five finish. She was leading that race when contact from another car sent her spinning into the infield. She recovered and raced her way back inside the top, crossing the finish line in fourth place. Brayden has also recorded a heat race win in the Street Stock Four division at the Cherokee Speedway. That night, she battled door-to-door with current point’s leader Kyle Cooper, before an overheating problem forced her off the track. 

                Brayden will be sporting a new paint job, when she returns to action, this Saturday night, at the Cherokee Speedway. Her #13 Toyota is sponsored by W&B Trucking Inc, Phil’s Starters and Alternators, The Shelby Alarm Company, Bradley Farms, and is powered by Leagon’s Racing Engines.

                Brayden’s crew includes her parents, Mike and Tonya Pruitt, Dicky Pruitt, Ron Kirby, Robbie Gilliam, and Crew Chief, Leon ‘Lonnie’ Burnette. 

                As Lonnie and the crew prepare the car for action Saturday night, Brayden Pruitt will be focused on the goal in front of her. Getting to the finish line first, learning with every lap, and looking to the future, and the goals that lie ahead.