Strong Run Spoiled For Bryan Silas At Toledo Speedway "Loose Wheels Cause Frustrating Finish For Fast Track Racing Team" TOLEDO, Ohio (May 20, 2008) - - Toledo Speedway hasn't been particularly kind to ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Bryan Silas in...
Strong Run Spoiled For Bryan Silas At Toledo Speedway
"Loose Wheels Cause Frustrating Finish For Fast Track Racing Team"
TOLEDO, Ohio (May 20, 2008) - - Toledo Speedway hasn't been particularly kind to ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Bryan Silas in the past. However, during Sunday's Hantz Group 200 by Federated Car Care it appeared that Silas had conquered the speedway only to fall victim to bad luck in the event's second half causing a sour finish.
With two top-10s in the series two trips to a short track this season, Stuart, Florida native Bryan Silas was hoping to make it three-for-three in ARCA's hometown race.
Shaking down his No. 11 Nortrax Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS prior to heading to the half-mile Northern Ohio race track, Silas was banking on the laps he acquired at the test, his previous experience at Toledo Speedway and the wisdom of crew chief Jeff McClure who celebrated in victory last May at Toledo Speedway.
The first practice session ended with frustrating results for the Fast Track Racing team. With power under the hood, Silas was unable to find a comfortable grip and showing a massive loose condition on his No. 11 Chevrolet.
Turning to his crew Jeff McClure for help, they both would put their heads together hoping to find a setup the two would be comfortable with for qualifying in the seventh race of the 2008 ARCA season.
In ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying, Silas's lap of 17.252 seconds or 104.336 mph put the Fast Track Racing automobile 28th on the starting grid. "I feel a lot better about the car," offered Silas after time trials. "Jeff did a great job with the changes and even though we have a long way to go in the race, I'm confident, we'll have something solid."
At the start of the Hantz Group 200 by Federated Car Care, Silas wasted no time trying to maneuver his car to the front. Picking up three cars on the immediate start, Silas would hover inside the top-25 when the first caution flag waived on lap 11.
Over the series next 30 circuits, Silas would continue to slice his way through the pack staying out of trouble and climbing up in the running order. By lap 55, Silas had made a trip down pit road where the Fast Track Racing team made a routine pit stop for four tires and fuel.
Back to racing, Silas hooked on the rear-bumper of the No. 60 of Patrick Sheltra with the two restarting 17th and 18th respectively; the two would find themselves emerging from the mid-pack with Silas entering the top-10 on lap 98.
Silas would hold that spot until the red flag waived on lap 104 for rain. With a two-hour delay, Silas felt that he had a car capable of remaining in the top-10 for the second-half of the event.
With engines refired and racing resuming before 5:00pm local time, Silas would find himself out of the top-10 after the left rear wheel came off the No. 11 under caution forcing Silas to lose two laps in the pits. Frustrated and speechless, Silas remained focused in the race car while hoping to nab the lucky-dog award twice to put them back on the same circuit.
It took some time but a few quick cautions in the second-half of the event would see Silas pass the pace car twice and find himself back on the lead circuit.
Silas's bad-luck unfortunately wasn't over. Under racing conditions, Silas would meet the same feat over again when the same wheel came off in turn four causing the No. 11 to spin and bring out a caution. Silas would be trapped five laps down because of the incident.
Unable to be in contention for the lucky-dog award for the third time of the race, Silas would click off laps and stay out of trouble to cross the finish line 27th.
"Frustrated," said Silas after the race. "We had a decent car, something I could have worked with. I'm not sure what happened with the tires but it hindered our performance today. I'm happy on the inside though because I think I have a good feeling on what we'll need to do to bring back a competitive car for October. I want to thank our sponsors and the Fast Track Racing team for their help and support this weekend. We'll try again at Pocono in a couple weeks."
After a six-week stretch for the ARCA RE/MAX Series, the teams will enjoy a two-week breather from competition before heading to Pocono Raceway for the Pocono 200 set for Saturday, June 7. Pocono Raceway is the site of the career-best qualifying effort for the 20-year old driver at the 2.5-mile facility last June.
Leaving Toledo, Silas has 37 ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his credit with a career best finish of eighth at Kentucky Speedway (May 2008), Iowa Speedway (April 2008), Salem Speedway (April 2007 and April 2008) 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.