Chicagoland: Bryan Silas race report

Bad Luck Strikes Bryan Silas Again At Chicagoland JOLIET, Illinois (September 12, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Bryan Silas once again showed strength on the mile-and-a-half tracks, but the Stuart, Florida native was unable to reel in the...

Bad Luck Strikes Bryan Silas Again At Chicagoland

JOLIET, Illinois (September 12, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Bryan Silas once again showed strength on the mile-and-a-half tracks, but the Stuart, Florida native was unable to reel in the finish he was looking for after being collected in another competitor's mess late in the Chicagoland ARCA 200.

The Fast Track Racing team unveiled a brand new Ford Fusion from their stables replacing the machine that awarded Silas with a solid top-10 performance at Kentucky Speedway this past July.

Keeping positive about his second trip to Chicagoland, Silas headed into the lone practice of the day looking to give everyone something to talk about.

During the two-hour session, Silas, a Floridian posted the seventh fastest time with an effort of 31.375 seconds equaling a speed of 172.112 MPH.

"The car is very good. This is a new car for us and it seems to be working very well. We're fighting some minor handling issues, but nothing that we can't work on or adjust during the race. I'm really proud of the Fast Track Racing bunch; they are an awesome group of guys who have once again given me a superb racecar. I'm looking forward to the final intermediate track of the season and I think our No. 11 Nortrax-Shell Rotella T-Palm Beach Grading Ford will be strong the rest of the weekend."

Silas drew the 37th position for ARCA SIM Factory pole giving the rising star an opportunity to sit back and watch the rest of his competitors make their qualifying laps.

Nearly an hour after the session began; Silas took his stab at the 1.5-mile speedway. During his time trials efforts, Silas posted a lap of 30.938 seconds at 174.543 MPH positioning the No. 11 seventh on the starting grid.

"It was a good lap," offered Silas. "The car picked up some speed from practice and I feel like we'll have a great run during the race. It's good to be running near the front;. I can't say enough about Fast Track Racing, they are doing an awesome job this weekend."

At the start of the Chicagoland ARCA 200, Silas quickly tried to rev his way to the front. However, unable to get an early grip on the 1.5-mile speedway, Silas held his line but slid into the 13th position when the first caution flag waived on lap 11.

During the caution, Silas informed his team that he felt like he had a tire going down. Not wanting to lose the track position, the team asked their driver again and he reassured the team that a tire was going bad.

Silas pitted during the first caution flag allowing the Fast Track Racing machine to change tires and make a chassis adjustment.

Restarting deep in the field, Silas would use coaching from spotter and car owner Andy Hillenburg to patiently work his way through the field. When the next caution flag waived on lap 27, Silas had worked into the 19th position.

The team would use pit strategy with Silas soaring into the lead on lap 29. Silas would control the lead for a lap-31 restart and lead the next six laps before Justin South charged his Dodge to the front on lap 36.

Silas would have none of it as he out-powered South heading into turn one and retaking the lead to conquer lap 37. However, on fresher tires and on a mission Michael McDowell took the lead from him on lap 38. Silas falling behind, he would comfortably lock himself into the top-five.

Another caution would fly approaching lap 45 allowing Silas to bring his machine on pit road for another round of pit stops.

Working his way through the field on the restart, Silas was turning some quick lap times and gaining ground.

On lap 70 when Mario Gosselin spun, Silas joined the rest of the field for what they hoped to be the final round of pit stops on lap 73. The lap 77 restart had Silas controlling the 16th position and signs of a strong move towards the front.

Silas would continue to hover inside the top-15 despite making another trip to pit road on lap 98. Little did Silas know that his promising day would be cut short just three laps later.

On a restart heading into turns three and four, two cars entangled sending two cars spinning right into the path of Silas. The No. 11 Ford went into the wall hard causing damage to the right side of his machine.

Silas would bring his multi-colored machine to pit road where the Fast Track Racing team would try and make repairs, but the damage would cause Silas to lose his competitive status forcing the rookie to ride around and collect a 24th place finish.

"Another good day gone bad," said Silas. "I don't know what to say, just wrong place at the wrong time. Our Ford was strong, we were loose and tight throughout the day, but it was manageable. We were taking our time getting to the front near the end. We had a sixth or seventh place car, but it wasn't meant to be. I don't know what to say, it's just frustrating."

"All the guys on the Fast Track Racing team did a good job this weekend. We were strong right off the truck and that's what we need to do the rest of the season."

Silas remains ninth in the championship standings heading into Saturday night's short track thriller at Salem Speedway. Earlier this year, Silas posted his second top-10 finish of the year with an eighth place run in April.

Leaving Chicagoland, Silas has 26 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with a career best finish of eighth at Salem Speedway (April 2007) and Kentucky Speedway (July 2007) while holding an additional top-10 performance at USA International Speedway (March 2007). He holds a career best short track time trials effort of seventh at Berlin Raceway (July 2007). A fourth place qualifying effort at Pocono Raceway (June 2007) is Silas's best speedway run to date. He has controlled the ARCA field for 23 laps in two races.

-credit: BryanSilasRacing.com

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Michael McDowell , Mario Gosselin , Bryan Silas , Justin South