Bryan Silas Collects First Top-Five At Rockingham
Topics: Bryan Silas, Carolina 200
ROCKINGHAM, North Carolina (April 20 2009) – It was just a matter of time before Bryan Silas would collect a top-five finish in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. That fact became a reality Sunday afternoon when the Stuart, Florida native charged to a career-best fourth place in Sunday’s ARCA RE/MAX Carolina 200 at Rockingham Speedway.
The finish was sweet for the Fast Track Racing team as the third race of the 2009 season was hosted by car owner Andy Hillenburg. The finish succeeds Silas’s previous best finish of sixth at Chicagoland Speedway last September.
The weekend started off on a positive foot as Silas steered his No. 11 Rockingham Speedway-Holland Pump Ford Fusion to a solid 12th practice effort. Hopes were high marching into qualifying.
In time trials, Silas laid down a lap that for a while was the time to beat. When qualifying was over, Silas had maneuvered the 11th fastest lap. Ironically the same as Silas’s car number. The strong time trials effort would be overshadowed as Silas advised his team led by crew chief Cal Boprey that he was having problems with fourth gear. After reviewing their options, the team opted for a transmission change which would force the 21-year old driver to relinquish his starting position and start the third ARCA race held at Rockingham Speedway from the rear of the field.
“We’re disappointed that we have to go to the back, but I would rather have the transmission problem in qualifying than the race,” said Silas.
Under overcast skies, the 40-car field took the green flag shortly after 1:00 p.m. local with the multi-colored No. 11 automobile quickly on the move. Jolting through the field, Silas would produce lap times comparable to the leaders.
When the leaders decided to duck down pit road approaching lap 60, Silas had found himself in the top-10. A setback in the pits forced Silas to lose some track position but he vowed to his team that he would regain the positions he lost. He didn’t disappoint.
On a mission, Silas began surging back through the field. Quickly mounting himself back in the top-10, the leaders would make another pit stop just prior to halfway with Silas being no exception and grabbing four Hoosier tires and fuel, setting himself up for the second half of the event.
Little did anyone expect the final 90 laps to be clean and green with no cautions which forced Silas to desperately save his tires and fuel. Despite the instructions, Silas’s machine had continued to pick away spots and move up the scoring pylon.
Silas found himself hovering in the top-five inside 30 laps remaining and grabbed an additional position inside the final five laps to cross the line fourth. His first top-five finish of the season and second top-10 effort of the year.
“What a day for this team,” said Silas after the race. I’m happy for everyone on this race team. These guys deserve a good run like this. We had a great car here at Rockingham Speedway and to get a top-five for Andy here just makes the finish that much greater.”
Silas added, “We’re having a good year so far. Didn’t have the best of luck at Daytona, but we recovered with positive runs at Salem and Rockingham, so hopefully we can keep clicking off good finishes next week at Talladega. I just want to continue to thank everyone including all of our sponsors for their support of me and our race team.”
With this effort, Silas advances to sixth in the championship standings. The position marks a personal best for Silas in his three years of full time ARCA competition.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is a trip to Talladega Superspeedway for the running of the ARCA RE/MAX 250. The event will be aired live on SPEED on Friday, April 24th at 4:00 p.m. local. Silas will be looking for his first top-10 effort at the 2.66-mile superspeedway in his fourth attempt.
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