Brett Hudson Delivers Second Straight Salem Top-Five SALEM, Indiana (September 18, 2007) - - After notching a career best fourth place finish this past April at Salem Speedway, ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) driver Brett Hudson headed to Salem...
Brett Hudson Delivers Second Straight Salem Top-Five
SALEM, Indiana (September 18, 2007) - - After notching a career best fourth place finish this past April at Salem Speedway, ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) driver Brett Hudson headed to Salem Speedway this past weekend looking to duplicate that success and award his team with their fourth straight top-10 finish this season.
After successful top-10 runs at Kentucky Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway with their Dodge Charger, Hudson returned to the Chevrolet bowtie carrying the familiar No. 39 colors for Saturday's Eddie Gilstrap Motors ARCA Fall Classic by Advance Auto Parts.
Unloading with a similar setup that the Brett Hudson Motorsports (BHM) team carried in the spring event, Hudson looked to the lone practice session of the weekend to get a good baseline for the 21st event of the season.
During the hour and a half session, Hudson motored his Habitat For Humanity-Hudson Machine Chevrolet Monte Carlo around the legendary Southern Indiana track with a time of 18.267 seconds at 109.378 MPH locking the team eighth fastest on the charts.
"It looks good, but I'm not exactly all that happy with our time," said Hudson, a native of Owensboro, Kentucky. "The car is good, just not handling the way I want it to. Salem is a track where you have to have a good handling car, if you don't it can bite you pretty good."
With his BHM team making adjustments to the automobile heading into ARCA SIM Factory qualifying, Hudson knew the unexpected cooler conditions at Salem Speedway would equal faster times.
Picking up over two-tenths of a second in qualifying, Hudson's lap of 17.983 seconds at 111.105 MPH lined the Salem late model competitor 10th on the starting grid.
"We still are battling some handling woes," said Hudson after qualifying. "The car is better, I am just going to have to get up on the wheel and drive the heck out of our car during the race."
An advantage to Hudson was having Uncle Donnie Richeson on top of the pit box for his 14th career ARCA start. Richeson is a winning crew chief in the ARCA RE/MAX Series so the rising star knew he was in good hands for the final night race of the season.
Driving hard is exactly what Hudson did during the 200 lap event.
Picking off spots right from the green flag, Hudson drove and handled Salem Speedway like a champion maneuvering his No. 39 Chevrolet through the traffic brilliantly.
Only subsided by a caution on lap 19, Hudson was racking in impressive lap times.
Back to racing, Hudson would continue to march his way through the field during the long green flag run. Staying on track and on the lead lap, Hudson would move into the sixth position when the next caution flag waived approaching lap 112.
The caution provided an opportunity for Hudson to duck his machine onto pit road for fuel, tires and a slight adjustment. The BHM stepped up sending Hudson back onto the track in the sixth position.
Back to green, Hudson would throw himself into competition and begin battling for the top-five. Moving forward and on the prowl Hudson reported that his machine was still ill-handling, but he was giving everything he had.
Richeson chimed in over the radio reminding Hudson to pick his battle and also reminding him that the championship contenders were all racing ahead of him and not to make any moves that could cost him or any of the contenders a chance at a good finish.
Battling a tight and loose condition at points during the race cost Hudson a chance at the lead, but when the yellow flag flew nearing 170, Hudson joined everyone but James Buescher on pit road for their final pit stop of the night.
Changing tires, adding fuel and making another chassis adjustment, Hudson would return to the race in the top-five.
Hudson would battle with Michael Simko during the final circuits of the event eventually holding off the short track ace to claim fifth in his final ARCA race of the season. It was the second straight Salem top-five for Hudson.
"Not a bad night but not a good night either," said Hudson after the race. "This was the worst handling car I've ever drove at Salem, I just couldn't get through the corners liked I need to. I can't complain that much because we ended up with a top-five finish, but I really would have liked to have been in contention for the win. Thanks to the guys on the team for all their hard work and my Uncle Donnie for helping call the shots on pit road, he was a big help!"
With Salem Speedway marking the final of four races for BHM this season, Hudson is pleased with the outcome resulting in two top-fives and four top-10 finishes.
"If something doesn't come together for Talladega or Toledo, Salem was our last race of the season. We had a good year, four top-10 finishes is a pretty good record. We had some good races and gained some attention. I want to thank everyone who made our season possible. We are diligently working on our plans for 2008 and we'll back looking for even more."
After competing in Saturday night's ARCA thriller, Hudson headed to Winchester Speedway to compete in the CRA Street Stock event. Hudson picked off where he left off at Salem. Despite starting deep in the pack (33rd) he utilized his short track skills to slice and dice his way through the field to lead 13 laps before finishing second.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is a trip to Talladega Superspeedway for the final speedway race of the season. The ARCA RE/MAX 250 is set for Friday, October 5.