Leesburg’s Colden Vinent, left, smiles while standing in front of his winning No. 39 Pure Stock car after Saturday’s latest race at Albany Motor Speedway. The win was even more special for Vinent because he got to share it with his sister, Bryanna, who was smiling just as wide after her victory one race ahead of Colden in her No. 39 Enduro ride. Both had been searching for their first win all year — and it came on the same night. (Donna Lee-Lee Photography/Special to The Herald)
ALBANY — It’s hard to call what Colden and Bryanna Vinent have going a sibling rivalry.
After all, the only thing either of them wants is to see the other succeed.
And when the Leesburg racing duo got their wish this past Saturday night at Albany Motor Speedway, they left the entire track buzzing.
“It was a pretty cool thing. Really cool, actually,” AMS race director Ben Sumner said Monday when asked about Bryanna’s victory in the Pure Stock division during the night’s second-to-last race, which was followed by Colden’s win just minutes later in the evening’s finale in the Enduro category. “Everyone at the track was talking about it. They were just so excited for them.
“But what’s even cooler is that both had been looking for their first win all year — and it just so happened to come on the same night.”
Bryanna, 27, and Colden, 25, both led from start to finish in their respective races to capture the checkered flags not only for the first time all season but for the first time since AMS made the transition from asphalt to dirt in 2009.
“I’ve been close to winning all year, so it was a great feeling to finally get one, then see my brother do it, too,” Bryanna told The Herald late Monday evening. “Colden was helping me over the radio the whole time, then I got to watch him win. It was pretty emotional.”
The emotions, however, started overflowing when the Vinent’s father, Claus — a renowned local racer in his own right — brought his kids together afterward to tell them how proud he was.
That’s when the waterworks started.
“He was all smiles when we first started talking, but he literally started to cry when he started telling us the pride he felt (watching as both win at the same time),” Bryanna said. “It was a special moment.”
Colden then added: “Our dad was real excited. He told us it couldn’t get no better than this.”
Like a typical younger brother, however, Colden said he knew anything less than a victory wouldn’t cut it as he heard Bryanna’s name announced as the winner while he sat in his car in the staging area waiting for the Enduro race to begin.
“Oh, yes sir ... the pressure was on,” he said with a laugh. “I felt pretty good the whole race, and I knew as long as I didn’t have any bad luck, I would finally get the win.”
Colden says “finally” because between mechanical issues and other strokes of bad luck, Saturday’s race was just the second he was able to finish all year. Bryanna, meanwhile, had posted several seconds and thirds this season, but she had yet to breakthrough.
“It was unexpected, really,” Colden said. “We’d both been real close.”
Colden, who started racing when he was 14, has been at it a little longer than his big sis, who started when she was around 20. But both have racing in their blood — and everyone at the track Saturday knew just how big the wins were for the Vinent family.
“Everyone kept coming up and congratulating us, and the announcer kept saying this was the first time anything like this had ever happened,” Bryanna said.
The win propelled Bryanna up to fourth place in the points standings with just four races left.
And Colden said he can’t wait until AMS’ next event Labor Day weekend when the duo tries for the repeat.
“We’ll be back and see if we can’t do it again,” he said.
If that happens, Sumner thinks the track may just have to rename the nights the duo competes together.
“We might have to start calling it Brother-Sister Night,” he joked.
OTHER WINNERS: Tyler Summerlin won the Mini Stock division to close the gap on second-place finisher and points leader Wesley Hutchinson ... Jason Price won the Limited Sportsman race, followed by Ray Robbins in second. ... Kelly Walker denied Kitt Sealy his second straight Late Models win, while Sealy’s finish added to his points lead.