Silas Shows Strength In Pocono; Despite Finish "ARCA Rookie Moves To Ninth In Points" LONG POND, PA (June 11, 2007) - - For the second straight weekend, Bryan Silas has been a contender. After a mechanical hiccup took him from competition at...
Silas Shows Strength In Pocono; Despite Finish
"ARCA Rookie Moves To Ninth In Points"
LONG POND, PA (June 11, 2007) - - For the second straight weekend, Bryan Silas has been a contender. After a mechanical hiccup took him from competition at Iowa Speedway, Silas looked for a major rebound at Pocono Raceway. Unfortunately late race misfortunate dashed away another potential top-10 finish.
Piloting a Ford Fusion for the second time this year, Silas had never seen Pocono Raceway before Friday's practice, but you never would have known it.
After turning the 12th fastest lap in practice, Silas turned heads with his fourth place qualifying effort posting a time of 54.860 seconds at 164.054 MPH. It was Silas's career-best qualifying effort to date eclipsing a previous best of 16th coming at Kansas Speedway earlier this season.
"I am excited to be here," said Silas. "We have a great Shell Rotella T, Nortrax Ford Fusion. I've never been here before, but I love this track. We are running really well this weekend and it's what we have to do."
With second place qualifier David Reutimann turning the wheel over to newcomer Jose Wise, Silas moved from his fourth place starting to position to take the green flag from the outside pole since the driver change prompted the No. 22 to start from the rear of the field.
At the start of the 80 lap/200 mile event, Silas tried to take the lead in turn one but to no avail; he quickly fell in line and stayed in the top-five for much of the first quarter of the event.
Silas took a major stepping stone in his ARCA career by taking control of the field for the first time in his young racing career. On a lap 10 restart, Silas led the field for six laps before surrendering to Justin Marks in the No. 65 Dodge. Silas quickly ducked behind Marks and continued to maintain his position in the top-five heading into the next caution where Silas brought his machine to the attention of the Fast Track Racing team.
The team changed four tires and added Sunoco Racing fuel before sending their rookie driver back into competition. Silas used patience and guidance to maneuver his way back through the field. Slowly but surely, the Stuart, Florida native began his march towards the front.Silas would regain the lead on lap 38 following a round of pit stops taking control of the top spot for an impressive eight laps before being overtaken by road racing ace Michael McDowell. Once again, Silas quickly fell in line with his competition. Silas would remain in the top-10 until a late race caution allowed the driver to bring his car to the attention of his crew.
On the restart, Silas would fall victim to a flat tire forcing him to bring his machine back to pit road to change the tire. An obviously frustrated driver peeled out from pit road to rejoin the crowd. With the damage done, Silas would cross the line 18th, the first car one lap down.
"Another weekend with a great car overshadowed with a tough finish," said Silas, who led 15 laps, the second highest of the day. b^0x001cI had a lot of fun out there today. But this isn't the finish I wanted. We deserve a whole lot more. We should have been in the top-10, I guess another week of bad luck."
Even with his top-20 performance, Silas moved to ninth in the championship standings overtaking former ninth place competitor Patrick Sheltra. Silas also closed the gap between eighth place runner Justin Marks who sits only 75 points ahead of Silas. Five points separate 10th place competitors Patrick Sheltra and Jason Hedlesky.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the ARCA 200 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Serving as the first of a triple-header weekend for the Michiganders, the 11th race on the 2007 schedule will take the green flag on Friday, June 15 beginning at 5:00pm with live coverage on SPEED.
Silas will have a busy weekend ahead of him as he will pull a double-header weekend running both the ARCA RE/MAX Series event and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race from the Irish Hills.