Michigan Not Kind To Silas "Florida Racer Battles Wreck; Flat Tire In ARCA 200" BROOKLYN, Michigan (June 20, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Bryan Silas could have done without his 32nd place finish last Friday at Michigan International ...
Michigan Not Kind To Silas
"Florida Racer Battles Wreck; Flat Tire In ARCA 200"
BROOKLYN, Michigan (June 20, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Bryan Silas could have done without his 32nd place finish last Friday at Michigan International Speedway.
The Fast Track Racing developmental driver was hoping to bring home his third top-10 finish of the season, but early race contact and a flat tire later in the race forced a rough outing for the North Carolina team.
The team was optimistic about their debut at MIS with Silas at the helm after posting the 18th fastest lap in practice with a quick time of 40.189 seconds or 179.154 MPH, a considerable improvement from the team's open test session a few weeks prior.
"We're not too bad," offered Silas, after the practice run. "It's not a hard place to drive, you just have to hit your marks and stay focused."
Focused is a word that Silas is no stranger to. After being noted as one of the most focused drivers in the garage area, the Stuart, Florida native looked to back up his practice effort in ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying.
During his time trials session, Silas maneuvered around the Irish Hills-based track with a time of 39.900 seconds at 180.451, picking up a little from his earlier run. Silas would start the 11th race of the season from the 18th position.
"That's about what I expected us to run," Silas said. "It's a decent starting position; we'll just have to make the rest of the ground up during the race. I think we have a solid piece here this week, we just have to give it our all."
During the start of the 100-lap/200 mile event, Silas battled both a tight and loose condition forcing him to lose a few spots in the running order.
After finding a line that he could produce comfortable lap times, Silas remained focused with urgency to get back towards the lead pack. With owner Andy Hillenburg on the spotting tower and crew chief Dave McClure on the pit box, the duo reminded their driver to be patient and they would adjust the car during the first pit stop.
Unfortunately, the first stop was a little more than the team bargained for.
Just after the first quarter of the event was completed, Jason Hedlesky made a move to the inside of the No. 11 Chevrolet Monte Carlo but his machine drifted up and made contact with Silas's machine sending him for a loop and into the wall.
The spin caused substantial damage to the front and rear of the Nortrax-Palm Beach Grading automobile. A frustrated Silas brought his battered machine to pit road for repairs.
The team made a gallant effort and partially fixed the machine, sending their rookie driver back into the mix.
On the restart, Silas's lap times remained steady and he was able to pass his competition, giving the 20-year old hope for a solid finish.
Sadly, bad luck would again strike the team nearly twenty laps later when the right front tire went down on the No. 11 sending Silas again into the wall. After overlooking the damage, the team pushed the car back into the garage area and exited the event.
Silas would be credited with completing 57 of 100 laps.
"It's a shame that we didn't have the day we were looking for," Silas said. "Jason came up to me after the race and told me he was sorry about the incident. I know he didn't mean to do it. It's racing. It was just more bad luck for us. We seem to get on a roll and then get halted. We worked hard this week and I really thought we were going to come away cleanly, but we can't seem to shake the monkey right now."
"I want to thank everyone for supporting our team at Michigan. It was fun while it lasted, we'll try again at Berlin."
The ARCA RE/MAX Series will enjoy a two-week break from competition before returning to Michigan for a battle at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan just outside of Grand Rapids on July 7.
Last season Silas posted a then career best qualifying effort of eighth but was entangled in an early race caution that took him from the hunt. Silas plans to finish what he started next month.