Salem II: Bryan Silas race report

Electrical Issues Keep Bryan Silas From Salem Hunt SALEM, Indiana (September 18, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Bryan Silas is ready to wake up from this nightmare. After posting a top-10 finish in the spring Salem Speedway event, ...

Electrical Issues Keep Bryan Silas From Salem Hunt

SALEM, Indiana (September 18, 2007) - - ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Bryan Silas is ready to wake up from this nightmare.

After posting a top-10 finish in the spring Salem Speedway event, Silas headed into the fall event this weekend looking to record his fourth top-10 finish of the season Saturday night, but unfortunately the roller coaster ride continued under the lights after an electrical shortage withdrew Silas from the hunt and a chance to redeem the team from a string of strong finishes turned sour.

[IMAGE]Driving the No. 11 Nortrax-Shell Rotella T-Palm Beach Grading (PBG) Chevrolet for Fast Track Racing, Silas was one of the first automobiles lined up for the lone practice session of the weekend.

Turn four at Salem Speedway often reminds drivers of the intimidating Darlington Raceway as the cars are known for running in the high groove and making slight contact with the wall on several occasions. Transferring the "Darlington stripe" to the "Salem stripe" is often a common scenario for the ARCA RE/MAX Series and Silas was one of several drivers who noted that fate during practice.

During the session and even after the minor scrapes with the wall, Silas mounted the 27th fastest lap after posting a time of 18.986 seconds at 105.235 MPH noting a loose racecar.

"We're not bad, but we're not great either. We have the capabilities to be much faster," said Silas, who sat ninth in the ARCA championship standings entering Salem. "We're notorious for picking up the pace in qualifying and we plan to do that in qualifying. We'll make some changes based on what we learned here in the spring and hope that it pays off for us."

In ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying, Silas maneuvered a lap of 18.356 seconds or 108.847 MPH, a huge pickup from practice.

"We should have a posted a lap like that in practice and gone from there," explained Silas, who qualified 23rd. "We're not in the back of the pack, but we're in the middle. That's usually a trouble spot. It's a long race here at Salem. The laps go by in a hurry though. We just have to stay out of trouble and keep a top-10 finish in the back of our minds."

At the start of the Eddie Gilstrap Motors ARCA Fall Classic by Advance Auto Parts, Silas did exactly what he planned to do, motor to the front. Unfortunately, contact with another car in the early stages of the race would cause a major toe-in issue causing the handling of Silas's Chevrolet to take a dramatic turn.

Losing a lap to the leaders early on due to the handling change would frustrate Silas, but the rookie would continue to dig hard and keep the leaders within his sight.

The first caution flag waived on lap 20 with Silas opting to bring his machine to pit road so the crew could advise on the toe situation while also adding Sunoco racing fuel and making an adjustment to better aid Silas.

On the restart, Silas would again dig deep and try to regain the lap he lost. Unable to catch a nearly unmatchable Brian Keselowski, Silas settled in with his racing bunch hoping that as the race improved he would climb the standings.

[IMAGE]Unfortunately just as Silas was making a dent in the pack, he reported to his Fast Track Racing team that the motor had quit which forced the car to pit road where the crew began scrambling to find the cause.

The crew was able to determine that it was not a motor issue, but in fact an electrical issue. Despite spending nearly twenty-five minutes in the garage, the team was able to refire the No. 11 and send Silas back into the event.

Despite being out of the hunt and several laps down, Silas used the race to gain as many positions as possible to protect his point's positions in the ARCA standings.

Staying out of trouble, Silas crossed the line 29th.

"Frustrating, that one word says it all," said Silas. "We can't catch a break; I don't know what to do. It's a shame. We were saving our stuff for the end. We were able to persevere through the electrical failure and I'm extremely proud of the guys for that. We're capable of finishing in the top-10 week in and week out; just obstacles have kept us from doing that."

He continued, "We have a couple weeks break from competition. We're turning all of our focus on Talladega and hopefully we'll be able to get our break there. I'm excited about heading to the track next week for the open test session and hopefully the test will give us a good vibe about going into race week. We think we have a car capable of doing great in the race and that's exactly what we plan to do."

Despite the rough finish, Silas was able to maintain ninth in the championship standings heading into next month's event at Talladega Superspeedway on October 5.

Leaving Salem, Silas has 27 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 23 laps in two races.


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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Bryan Silas , Brian Keselowski