116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — When Bry Olson razzed her husband Tony about having a second racecar that could double as a paper weight, she had no idea it would lead to her return to racing.
Or did she?
“Tony has been trying to talk me into racing for most of the time I’ve known him,” said Bry, who met her husband at the track eight years ago and shares a 3-year-old son, Cru, with him. “The joke ended up being on me, because he got it ready and told me it was my turn.”
Nerves were a topic of concern for the 26-year-old mother who hadn’t raced since an incident when she was racing quarter midgets and got sick in her helmet during staging of a big race. At 14, she decided to walk away from competitive driving.
“She said she wasn’t nervous, so I wasn’t nervous,” Tony said. “I didn’t know how it was all going to go, but it was fun seeing her on the track for sure.”
Before Bry could do more than run practice laps at Hawkeye Downs in her husband’s T23 car, Team Olson had to get her B23 Sport Mod ready for Friday night.
“Tony blew two motors in six nights and that left me with no motor,” Bry explained. “He was up until midnight getting the car ready.”
Tony wasn’t alone in the Olson garage.
“Thank god I have the family I’ve got,” Tony said. “My dad and uncle Dave were right there with me last night trying to get this ready while (Bry) got Cru home and to bed.”
Once they got their cars to Hawkeye Downs for the season championship, the Olsons readied for the first race together outside of family Go-Kart nights at Speedeezz.
“As a wife I just bring him water and take care of our little guy,” Bry said. “Cru’s in the stands with grandma tonight and mom got to have fun, too.”
Tony started third and Bry near the rear of the 11-car field, however the rookie passed three cars on the first two laps and felt right at home.
“Racing with Tony is awesome,” Bry said. “He’s my best friend, so I like doing anything I can with him.”
While Bry finished seventh and Tony earned a top three in their first race together, it’s likely Team Olson will expand more permanently in 2022.
“We’ll see how the winter goes, but I will hopefully make a full season next year,” Bry said.
“It’s a lot of work, but it was awesome,” Tony said. “Who can say they did that in their lifetime. I’m glad she had fun and we still have two cars in one piece.”