Ill-Handling Car Keeps Silas From Contention In Berlin
Topics: Bryan Silas, Request Foods-GFS 200
“Fast Track Racing Driver Scores Career Best Short Track Qualifying Effort”
MARNE, Michigan (July 10, 2007) - - After scoring a career-best qualifying effort earlier in the day at Berlin Raceway, ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year candidate Bryan Silas was looking forward to a strong run. Unfortunately, some handling woes in the second quarter of the race kept the Florida native at bay, yielding a 16th place finish.
Silas headed to Berlin Raceway this past weekend looking to bounce back at a track he felt owed him one. In 2006, Silas qualified a strong eighth but fell victim to an early race accident erasing him from competition. This year, he wasn’t planning on bad luck striking twice.
In the first practice session of the day, Silas driving Andy Hillenburg’s No. 11 Chevrolet Monte Carlo maneuvered the 14th fastest time with a time of 18.443 seconds at 85.496 MPH. Silas was pleased following the lone practice run.
“We’re looking pretty good this weekend,” said Silas. “Our car looks great with the new rims we picked up, so I’m hoping our new style will help put our season back on track and we can have a good showing under the lights.”
Before Silas could enjoy racing under the lights, he would have to qualify his way into the 33-car field.
During his two-lap hustle around Berlin Raceway, Silas eclipsed a time of 17.970 seconds amounting to a speed of 87.746 MPH placing him seventh on the starting grid, a career best in the short track department for the Stuart, Florida native.
“Man, what a lap,” exclaimed Silas. The car was really good. I want to thank Andy Hillenburg and the Fast Track Racing team for all of their hard work. Hopefully we can pull together a good run.”
At the start of the 200 lap event, Silas maintained a strong groove inside the top-10.
While several of his competitors tried to take advantage of the rookie driver, he would have none of it, holding his ground despite reporting to his team that he was unable to get back on the throttle like he wanted.
Silas’s crew acknowledged his concerns and opted to make a two-tire change during the first round of pit stops, little did they know, it would eventually bite them.
During the second quarter of the event, Silas’s top-10 run diminished after his No. 11 Nortrax-Holland Pump Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS picked up a heavy push causing his lap times to expand greater than the leaders.
The leaders would eventually catch Silas twice during the long span of green flag racing, taking him out of contention. While frustrated with the wicked change of his racecar, Silas continued to dig.
The team would make a four tire change during the next round of pit stops, setting Silas up for the rest of the event.
Unable to gain his laps lost, Silas continued to pound the pavement and used the race as a test session further advancing his knowledge of the .4-mile track to finish 16th.
“The handling completely changed on our car when the other set of tires went away,” said Silas. “We tried to use pit strategy to our advantage and it worked against us. We learned a lesson. The car improved later in the race, but we ran out of time. We have good cars, just for some reason we continue to fight for good finishes. I’m not getting down though, we have a great team and things will get better, I promise that!”
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is a return to Kentucky Speedway for the running of the WLWT Channel 5-150 under the lights this Friday night.
NOTE TO MEDIA: Team Photos Available Upon Request
NAME: Chris Knight, Fast Track Racing
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