Bryan Silas Earns Well Deserving Top-10 Finish At Chicagoland
Topics: Bryan Silas, Ansell Protective Gloves 150
JOLIET, Illinois (August 30, 2010) - - ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards driver Bryan Silas was able to negotiate his fifth top-10 finish of the season in Friday night’s Ansell Protective Gloves 150 at Chicagoland Speedway. Silas’s 10th place run though did not come without its challenges.
However, despite those obstacles the Stuart, Florida native never gave up and was able to inch himself closer to entering the top-10 in the ARCA Racing Series championship standings.
Silas entered Chicagoland returning to the 1.5-mile speedway in his No. 11 Rockingham Speedway / Palm Beach Grading Ford Fusion looking for his first top-10 ARCA run since a ninth place outing at Pocono Raceway last month.
Unfortunately, Silas and his crew chief Wayne Giles struggled with the handling of the Fast Track Racing machine during both practice sessions leading up to the 15th race of the year. It was then that Silas called upon friend, mentor and nine-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel to get behind the wheel of his automobile to help further diagnosis Silas’s struggling machine. Upon exiting the car, Silas and Giles consulted with Kimmel who offered suggestions to improve the Andy Hillenburg-owned machine.
“Having true honest friends and a competitor like Frank Kimmel is a blessing,” said Silas. "He didn't have to climb into my car and tell us if he was feeling the same things that I was feeling, but he did. Our intuitions behind the wheel turned out to be very close. I'm extremely grateful to Frank for taking precious time away from his program to help us out."
The changes helped the Fast Track Racing team but Silas was only able to manage the 20th fastest lap in qualifying Friday morning. With a mid-pack starting position, Silas was relying on spotter and former ARCA champion Andy Hillenburg to guide him towards the front.
At the drop of the green flag it was evident that Silas was still battling an extremely tight No. 11 Ford Fusion. Despite the car’s characteristics, the newly crowned father would not relinquish his responsibilities behind the wheel and moved his machine into the top-15 when the first round of pit stops began on lap 35.
Giles called for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to try and correct the tight feeling for the 23-year old rising star. On the restart, Silas picked and chose his battles and through determination and some attrition, Silas found himself on the back bumper of the No. 22 of Dakoda Armstrong on the final restart of the night.
Despite still competing with a tight racecar, Silas followed his spotter's instructions and planted his blue oval on the bottom of the racetrack. With just two laps to go Silas made the daunting pass placing him ahead of the No. 22 Dodge.
Coming to the finish line, Armstrong tried both the high and low lines to squeeze his way around the four-year ARCA veteran but to no avail. Despite the handling woes, Silas was able to hang on for a lead-lap 10th place finish.
“That was a battle from start to finish,” said Silas after the race. “I felt like we had a top-15 car but I really wanted to give my guys a top-10. Chicagoland was one of the tracks that brought me one of my best finishes in my career a couple years ago and while we weren’t able to back up that performance, we still outran some good cars with a super tight racecar. This finish also helps towards our goal of finishing inside the top-10 in the championship standings. You can call our run a little boost heading into Du Quoin next Monday.”
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards is their annual Labor Day tradition with a stop at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds for the running of the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care. Silas will make his fourth career start at the one-mile clay oval. In his previous three starts, Silas has a personal track best of 10th twice in 2008 and 2009 after starting a track best of 16th last September.
“I’m not a dirt racer by any means but I’ve been extremely satisfied with our two top-10 finishes at Du Quoin the last two years. I think this year though; we can go back there, raise the bar a little bit and hopefully leave there with a strong top-five run!”
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