Silas Answers Salem Debut With Another Top-10 Performance "Rookie-of-the-Year Candidate Scores Career-Best; Returns To Points Chase" SALEM, Indiana (Tuesday, April 24, 2007) - - Keeping your car clean usually results in a good finish at Salem ...
Silas Answers Salem Debut With Another Top-10 Performance
"Rookie-of-the-Year Candidate Scores Career-Best; Returns To Points Chase"
SALEM, Indiana (Tuesday, April 24, 2007) - - Keeping your car clean usually results in a good finish at Salem Speedway and ARCA RE/MAX Series Rookie-of-the-Year contender Bryan Silas can attest to that statement as the Florida native answered his Salem Speedway debut with an impressive eighth place finish behind the wheel of Andy Hillenburg's No. 11 Nortrax-Shell Rotella T Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
Even with intense testing before arriving at the half-mile track on Saturday, Silas was remaining quiet and cool about his thoughts on the track that some call a Darlington Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway in one. By the end of practice, Silas wasn't so sure he had the same feelings about Salem when he walked in on Friday.
After an uncharacteristic practice performance for Silas, he vowed to put his machine into the starting grid. While his time trials lap wasn't strong, it was solid and earned him a berth for his 10th ARS (ARCA RE/MAX Series) start.
Rolling from the 27th position, Silas with advice from ARCA RE/MAX Series champion and car owner Andy Hillenburg reminded the rookie to keep his focus, pay attention and prepare for some beating and banging.
At the start, Silas took off. Literally. Picking off several positions on the start, Silas immediately sounded into the top-20 by the time the series went under its first yellow flag nearing lap 20.
Having some fun, but protecting his car, Silas continued to battle his way towards the front. Picking his competition off one at a time, the No. 11 Chevrolet Monte Carlo quietly worked its way into the top-15 when the first and only planned round of pit stops occurred nearing halfway.
The avid late model competitor brought his machine down to the attention of his Fast Track Racing (FTR) crew. The team put four new tires and added fuel, but the stop didn't come without incident. The tire changers struggled during the stop, but bounced back like professionals putting Silas back into competition.
Silas was lapped by the pace-car due to the tightness of pit road at Salem Speedway, but ARCA officials gave that lap back to the Fast Track Racing team after having confirmation that the jack did drop before the pace car passed him.
With the confusion gone, Silas turned all of his attention to the race. Silas wasn't strutting everything he had, knowing he wanted to turn the wick up within the last fifty laps.
He did just that. From the beginning of the second half of the race where Silas was scored 14th, the Fast Track Racing development driver soared into the top-10 within the last 30 circuits of the event and maneuvered past series points leader Justin Allgaier and previous Salem winner Billy Venturini to score a career-best eighth place in his second short track event of the season.
"Wow, what a day we had," said a happy Silas after the event. "Our No. 11 Nortrax-Shell Rotella T-Palm Beach Grading Chevrolet was solid all day long. I used patience, followed the more experience drivers and it paid off. Our car is in really good shape heading into the next short track race. I can't say enough about my Fast Track Racing crew, they did a good job all day long. Andy (Hillenburg) did a great job coaching me out there and I like Salem a lot more than I did yesterday," he chuckled.
He continued, "We had a lot of close calls our there. Racing is tight at Salem Speedway, but we did a good job. No doubt that the finish helps us recover in the point standings."
Indeed, the finish jumped Silas from 17th to ninth in the series standings unofficially forty points behind eighth place competitor Billy Venturini who is not expected to compete in the next ARCA RE/MAX Series event.
Speaking of the next event, Fast Track Racing heads to Kansas Speedway this Friday, April 27 for the running of the Kansas Lottery $150 with live coverage on the SPEED channel beginning at 5:00pm Eastern Time.
Leaving Salem, Silas has 10 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with a career best finish of eight at Salem Speedway (April 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 eighth at Berlin Raceway (July 2006). A 16th place qualifying effort at Talladega Superspeedway (October 2006) is Silas's best Superspeedway run to date.