Bryan Silas Races To Top-25 Finish At Homestead
MIAMI, Florida (November 23, 2009) - - Stuart, Florida native Bryan Silas concluded his 2009 racing season by competing in Friday night's Ford 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. After qualifying 32nd, Silas utilized the season finale race to climb to a solid 23rd place finish.
After missing the NCWTS finale at Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway in 2006, Silas was breathing a little easier heading into race weekend. By piloting the No. 48 GL Homes / Rockingham Speedway Chevrolet Silverado for 1995 ARCA Racing Series champion Andy Hillenburg; Silas would be guaranteed a starting berth for the 25th event of the year.
The assured starting position allowed Silas and Crew Chief Dave McClure to focus on race setup for the scheduled 134-lap event.
In the first practice, Silas maneuvered his bowtie machine around the 1.5-mile intermediate track to a time of 33.923 seconds at 159.184 miles per hour good enough for 26th on the practice rundown.
"We're going to be okay," said Silas, who finished sixth in the ARCA Racing Series point standings this year. "Our GL Homes / Rockingham Speedway truck is pretty decent. We may not have a truck capable of finishing in the top-10, but it's all about acquiring laps and finishing the race for us on Friday night. We're starting off our weekend in the right direction."
With one more practice session left for the NCWTS group, Silas and McClure went back to the drawing board hoping changes made to their truck would climb the 22-year old further up the leader board.
In Happy Hour, Silas posted his fastest lap of 33.983 seconds or 158.903 miles per hour, nearly identical to the team's performance in the previous session. "We're consistent and that's a good sign for the race," added Silas.
During qualifications on Friday afternoon, Silas steered his Fast Track Racing entry around the South Florida racetrack to the 32nd fastest effort producing a lap very similar to the team's practice runs on Thursday.
"It's not where you start, it's where you finish," Silas stated after his time trials run. "The track conditions were different today (Friday) compared to practice on Thursday. It's okay though, I feel we have a truck capable of moving comfortably through the field."
At the start of the Ford 200, Silas steadily began climbing through the field. While dealing with a tight Chevrolet Silverado, Silas utilized his wealthy intermediate experience in ARCA to his advantage by picking off one spot at a time.
For most of the night, Silas would find himself battling with the No. 90 truck of Brad Sweet as the two would continue to hover inside the top-30 but continue to inch their way up in the race rundown as the race progressed.
Several long spans of green-flag racing didn't offer a lot of chances to adjust the team's machine during the race but Silas and Co. vowed never to give up. The persistence and determination paid off.
While making their bright colored No. 48 Chevrolet Silverado better through chassis adjustments on pit road, Silas found himself locked in the 25th position with 30 laps remaining.
A gallant effort behind the wheel in the race's closing stages allowed Silas to pick off two more positions even with a green-white-checkered finish propelling the likable driver to a 23rd position when the checkered flag was waived for the final time in 2009.
"Overall it was a good night," explained Silas, who collected his fifth top-25 finish in 11 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts Friday night. "The race went by pretty quick but we made the best of it. The truck didn't handle all that well at the start but the Fast Track Racing team did a great job in the pits and made the truck a lot better and we were able to walk away with a finish we could be proud of."
He added, "I want to thank GL Homes for coming on-board and everyone for making this event possible. Hopefully we can come back to Homestead next year and have an even better run."
With the curtain closed on the current racing season, next up for Silas will be accepting his trophy for finishing sixth in the ARCA Racing Series point standings this year. He'll be honored at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center on Saturday, December 5. From there, Silas and his FTR team plan to participate in the series open-test session at Daytona International Speedway from December 18-20 preparing for the 2010 season opener in February.