STUART, Florida (February 18, 2009) - - In his biggest NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race of his career, Bryan Silas stood out and captured a respectable and noteworthy top-20 finish in last Friday's NextEra Energy Resources 250 at ...
STUART, Florida (February 18, 2009) - - In his biggest NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race of his career, Bryan Silas stood out and captured a respectable and noteworthy top-20 finish in last Friday's NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
Silas, driving for 1995 ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Andy Hillenburg arrived in Daytona looking to improve on his top-25 finish in the ARCA RE/MAX Series opener a week earlier which saw the Stuart, Florida native swept into one of the multiple car incidents of the day.
With a new sense of security, Silas strapped into his D.R. Horton, Inc., America's Builder Chevrolet Silverado looking to produce solid practice results. While many of the teams were focused on drafting, the Fast Track Racing team had a different agenda as they aimed for their young driver to gain experience NASCAR style with the team's Silverado. Little did they know, their game plan would pay off.
In qualifying, the former late model driver delivered a lap of 52.511 seconds at 171.393 miles per hour. The effort placed the team 30th, guaranteeing Silas's NASCAR debut at the "World Center of Speed."
"It's amazing to run an ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Daytona, but to compete in a NASCAR race at one of the most historic tracks on the NASCAR circuit is a dream come true," said Silas, who made his eighth career NCWTS series start at Daytona.
At the start of the 100-lap event, Silas stood his ground. With encouragement and direction from spotter and truck owner Andy Hillenburg, Silas kept his primary agenda on his task, drive and avoid the "big one."
Hovering in the top-25 for much of the race's first half, Silas did a magnificent job avoiding the "big one" which broke out on lap 47 when several of the trucks in the lead draft tangled sparking off a multi-truck incident. Silas paying attention backed off of the gas and emerged unscathed. After the dust and carnage settled, Silas had moved comfortably in the top-20. For much of the race, Silas dealt with a truck that would run both tight and loose. Crew chief Cal Boprey elected to keep the truck as neutral as possible hoping to set Silas up for the final 10 laps of the event.
On lap 67 Silas would again show he was on-top of his game by avoiding an out-of-control truck on the backstretch. With the field under caution, on lap 70, Silashad a career first and led the field for one lap.
Making the trip to pit road, Silas made his final stop of the night inside the last quarter of the event. Hovering inside the top-20 and with worn tires, Silas was still ready to drive back to the front. During the race's final stages, Silas's No. 48 Chevrolet soared into the lead draft moving to as high as 11th before sliding back to 16th on the last lap where he would take the checkered flag.
"We'll take that," said Silas, who grabbed his career-best finish in just his third superspeedway truck start. "The truck was pretty good. I think we were lacking a little bit horsepower wise but the truck was real stable. It drafted well too. To walk away with a top-20 finish and the truck in one piece, I'm not going to complain."
The full-time ARCA driver continued, "I want to thank the guys on the Fast Track Racing team. It's been a busy couple weeks for them, but this finish makes it all worthwhile. I was also proud to have D.R. Horton, Inc., America's Builder back-on board with us for Daytona and I cannot thank them enough. I'm looking forward to our next race."
Before Daytona, Silas's previous career best finish in NASCAR's third series was a 25th twice at Kentucky Speedway (July 2007) and Talladega Superspeedway (October 2008).
Dennis Setzer will take the wheel of the No. 48 Chevrolet Silverado for California this weekend with Silas scheduled to return to the seat making his debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway next month.