BRYSON, GLOBAL ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY TO TAKE A BREAK FROM DRAG RACING
Steve Bryson loves drag racing. For the last half-decade, the driving force behind credit card processing giant Global Electronic Technology has put his money where his sentiment is for the last half-decade sponsoring leading Top Fuel teams Kalitta Motorsports, Paul Lee Racing, and most notably Antron Brown as part of Don Schumacher Racing.
Bryson and wife Samantha will be stepping away from drag racing in 2022, but not because it hasn't been good for him.
Bryson readily points out drag racing provides a good return on investment. However, for him, the need to support family will pull him away for the foreseeable future.
Bryson's stepson, Kyle Schwartz, will compete in the 2022 Nitro Circus Rally Cross Series with a recently purchased team. He bought it all, including the haulers, race cars, and all of the support equipment. The end goal might just be to return to drag racing's grand stage.
"I'm not going to let him start right out driving Top Fuel cars or trying to get into the top anything," Bryson explained. "I'm going to make him learn the way that the rest of the good guys learned. They came up by racing in lower divisions."
Bryson said the plans are to race both domestically and internationally.
"We've already built the team," Bryson said. "The cars and the MAC trucks and everything are being wrapped now. We did our shakedowns recently, and everything is good to go."
Bryson is quick to point out his time in NHRA has yielded cherished memories.
"It's been one of the best experiences of my life," Bryson said. "I've had more fun and gained more family through all of the NHRA than I ever dreamed I would make at one time in my life."
He particularly cherishes his moments with Connie Kalitta, Doug Kalitta, Paul Lee, and Antron Brown.
The loss of one of his first friends on the tour, Eric Lane, has been a tough one to deal with.
"When Hop got killed, and Eric was one of my first friends out there - it's with some sorrow that I leave and think about the youngsters that we've lost, as well as some of the older professionals that I met through Mr. Galvin," Bryson explained. "My heart is full."
Bryson is quick to point out that his departure is not expected to be a permanent one.
"I ain't going to go far," Bryson admitted. "I'm just going to be on a different race track at the same time, trying to get my own kid up and ready for the steering wheel of the big car."
Bryson plans to visit a few races here and there. He's not ruling out a future drag racing operation.
"I'm going to come visit some races because I got to get me some sniffs of nitro sometimes," Bryson said. "I'll be coming out as a guest or as a co-owner, but in a different series.
"There are plans for a return to drag racing. The first thing that we have to do is prove this kid can really drive. And so I'm going to give him two years on the dirt. It's pretty extreme itself.
"And so if he can handle himself as a professional, in a lower grade racing, then the next thing maybe we'll step up to Super Comp. He loves that a lot. And so we could, I would see Super Comp be in a place we would come first, with Kyle anyway. And then on into Alcohol and then into Top Fuel."
And if Bryson has one hope between now and then, it's for success to come to one of drag racing's nicest guys.
"My biggest hope, my prayer, is that Doug Kalitta wins the World Championship and retires," Bryson concluded.