Top-Five Run Spoiled For Bryan Silas In Milwaukee WEST ALLIS, Wisconsin (August, 28r007) -- ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Bryan Silas isn't sure what he needs to do to change his luck. Strong and promising runs lately have been evaporated by bad...
Top-Five Run Spoiled For Bryan Silas In Milwaukee
WEST ALLIS, Wisconsin (August, 28r007) -- ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Bryan Silas isn't sure what he needs to do to change his luck. Strong and promising runs lately have been evaporated by bad race luck. This weekend it appeared that the team's determination and "never give up" attitude would pay off, but a flat tire inside 25 laps to go would once again rip the team of a strong finish.
Silas headed into The Milwaukee Mile confident after posting a refreshing debut on the Springfield dirt and with some momentum on his side following a short track debut in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Bristol Motor Speedway this past Wednesday, Silas was all smiles when the garage opened for business on Saturday.
Heading into the first practice session of the day, Silas was looking to lay down a competitive lap that would give the team a good baseline on what their No. 11 Nortrax-Shell Rotella T-Palm Beach Grading Chevrolet would do for qualifying and race conditions.
During the very short one hour and fifteen minute practice session, Silas flirted inside the top-10 before settling for the 14th fastest time overall after notching a lap of 31.413 seconds at 114.602 MPH.
"We're tight. I need some rotation in the center of the corner. But we are in excellent shape for race runs, so I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow. I think track position is critical at a track like The Milwaukee Mile. I have a good feeling about qualifying later today, if we can start inside the top-15; I think we'll be able to position ourselves in the top-10 early and stay there. Over 100 representatives of Nortrax will be on hand tomorrow (Sunday), so I would like to have a good showing for them and my team. I think we can do it."
Drawing the 12th position for ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying, Silas knew the track had the tendency to get faster as the sun went down, but the rookie also knew he had a strong car and with a trouble free lap, he would maneuver a good qualifying position.
During his run, Silas bolted his Fast Track Racing machine around the speed plant in 30.830 seconds at 116.769 MPH, picking up a half-second from practice.
"The car is good. We knew that we would qualify somewhere in the top-15. Our car is going to be strong during the race. I'm looking forward to my second Governor's Cup 200," explained Silas, who lined up 14th on the starting grid.
On Sunday before climbing into the No. 11, Silas spent time with the local fans signing autographs while also informing them he had a car capable of running in the top-10 all day. Members of Silas's primary sponsor Nortrax also flocked to the autograph session to meet their star driver before the start of the 16th race of the season.
At the start of the Governor's Cup 200, Silas was on the move, literally. When the first caution had waived on lap nine, Silas had broken his machine into the top-10.
Silas informed his Fast Track Racing team that the car was strong and he was taking his time wheeling his way to the front.
Throughout the first half of the race, Silas took his time, but showed consistency.
A mid-race pit stop allowed the team to slap four new Hoosier tires and add Sunoco Racing fuel to the No. 11, sending Silas back into the hunt.
On the restart, Silas showed no fear. Making several great passes on his closest competition, the ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie was setting himself up to enter the top-five.
By lap 125, the move into the top-five was complete. Posting very respectable lap times and closing in on the fourth position, it appeared the team's stretch of bad luck was over. Unfortunately, while running in the top-five, Silas radioed to his crew that he had a flat tire, forcing the No. 11 to come to pit road on lap 175.
[IMAGE]A frustrated Floridian quickly but cautiously brought his Chevrolet to the attention of his crew allowing them to change the tire and sending Silas back into competition.
Losing three laps during the unscheduled pit stop, Silas would work and try to gather the best finish possible. Gallant efforts to stay inside the top-15 were successful with the development driver reeling in a solid 13th place finish.
"We had a good day and finished a lot better than I thought we would. The flat tire was just another unfortunate and unavoidable circumstance that kept this team from a great finish," said Silas. "It probably would have been a career best finish for me and that's hard to swallow. On the other hand, I'm really proud of this team. One of these days, things are going to go our way and we will emerge victorious."
With his solid run on Sunday afternoon, Silas locks the ninth position in the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship standings heading into Friday's Gateway ARCA 150.
Leaving Milwaukee, Silas has 23 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 15 laps in one race.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is a stop at Gateway International Raceway, a track that oversees the famed Gateway Arch. The Gateway ARCA 150 is a one-day show with practice and qualifying setting the field for the 18th event of the 2007 season. The green flag is scheduled to waive at 8:00pm Local Time with live coverage on SPEED.