Toledo II: Bryan Silas race report

Bryan Silas Surges To Seventh Top-10 Finish At Toledo TOLEDO, Ohio (October 16, 2008) - - Finally, Bryan Silas's Toledo Speedway luck has changed. After encountering nothing but rough finishes in his past three events at the legendary half-mile...

Bryan Silas Surges To Seventh Top-10 Finish At Toledo

TOLEDO, Ohio (October 16, 2008) - - Finally, Bryan Silas's Toledo Speedway luck has changed. After encountering nothing but rough finishes in his past three events at the legendary half-mile oval, Silas's hard work finally paid off after securing a seventh place finish in Sunday's Hantz Group 200 by Belle Tire & Federated Car Care.

With NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series crew chief Dave McClure calling the shots for the 21-year old Silas in the final event of the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series season, Silas was looking to bounce back from his awful run at Talladega Superspeedway the week before and put a nice period on a successful and noteworthy second-half turnaround for the Fast Track Racing team.

Silas proved that his recent hardship at Toledo Speedway wasn't going to keep him down as the Stuart, Florida native notched an impressive 14th place effort in the lone practice session of the weekend after maneuvering his Andy Hillenburg-owned machine around the track in 16.571 seconds at 108.624 miles per hour.

"Our Nortrax-Palm Beach Grading Chevrolet has been pretty good since unloading it off the truck," said Silas, who's competed in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Series when not dabbling in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. "Dave McClure has stepped in as crew chief this weekend and he's done an excellent job. We hope to keep this positive start to the weekend going."

The smiling face that Silas has been accustomed to showing in the ARCA RE/MAX Series garage this year turned to a frown following ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying after Silas could only manage the 26th fastest lap in qualifying. Posting a lap of 16.715 seconds or 107.688 miles per hour was over one-tenth of a second slower than his fastest practice lap earlier in the day.

"I'm frustrated," Silas admitted. "I don't know what happened; we weren't able to pick up any from our practice time and instead lost a little ground. I know the key to running up-front at a short track is starting up-front. We've been able to come from the back to the front before and we'll have to do it again."

At the start of the Hantz Group 200 by Belle Tire & Federated Car Care, Silas wasted little time trying to slice his way through the competitive field. Making ground early, Silas was able to make a massive dent as yellow flags tended to waive often in the first half of the race.

Though avoiding the chaos on track, Silas was able to bolt into the top-15 after a standard round of pit stops occurring near lap 70.

Avoiding a multi-car incident on lap 90 surged Silas into the top-10 and the development driver would never relinquish that spot even after another pit stop well into the second portion of the race.

Tight battles with fellow drivers Patrick Sheltra, Tom Hessert, John Wes Townley and Tayler Malsam would prove to be great action for the fans with Silas hanging on to take the checkered flag seventh, securing a career best finish at Toledo Speedway. The effort was also Silas's fourth top-10 effort in the past six races.

"I'm ecstatic with that finish," said Silas. "We had a good day. For once the cards really played into our favor. We kept our car out of the mess on the track and we used pit strategy to our advantage and stayed with some really good cars. I'm proud of everyone on the Fast Track Racing team. We have some momentum heading into the off season and hope we can carry it over to Daytona in February."

Silas closes out the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series capturing 12th in the championship standings accumulating 4,230 points. Silas captured seven top-10 finishes including a career best finish of sixth in September at Chicagoland Speedway.

"This year was tough, we had more top-10 finishes than last year but weren't able to finish in the top-10 championship points. We're disappointed with that, but we're also encouraged with our performances. There was a lot of competition and we started showing some serious consistency in the second half of the season and I hope that will move over with us as we'll be back for another year of ARCA next year," Silas commented.

"Hopefully next year we can finish in the top-five, win a race or two and be in reach of a championship."


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Series ARCA
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Tom Hessert , Bryan Silas , Patrick Sheltra , Tayler Malsam