Silas Logs Laps In USAR Debut; Nets 25th "Florida Native Learning Lakeland For Crucial ARCA Race" LAKELAND, Fla (March 13 2007) - - United Speed Alliance Racing (USAR) Hooter's Pro Cup Series rookie Bryan Silas maneuvered a 25th place finish...
Silas Logs Laps In USAR Debut; Nets 25th
"Florida Native Learning Lakeland For Crucial ARCA Race"
LAKELAND, Fla (March 13 2007) - - United Speed Alliance Racing (USAR) Hooter's Pro Cup Series rookie Bryan Silas maneuvered a 25th place finish in the season opener for the USAR Series at USA International Speedway Saturday night.
Utilizing the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup Series to prepare for the upcoming ARCA RE/MAX Series event from USA International Speedway on March 24th, Silas planned to get comfortable in the smaller and lighter automobiles not only to log laps but also gain a familiarity in preparation for additional USAR events later this season.
Under the guidance of ARCA crew chief Dave McClure with mentor and former USAR champion Clay Rogers, Silas clicked off competitive practice times enabling the team to move forward with a qualifying setup suitable for the Stuart, Florida native.
"I'm having fun," said Silas, a Rookie-of-the-Year contender in the ARCA RE/MAX Series. "The difference is night and day between the USAR and ARCA cars, but the goal is to gain some laps around this track to suit me better for the ARCA race, its working."
With practice complete, Silas put a qualifying game face on, hoping to earn a strong starting berth for his USAR debut. During his two laps of qualifying, the avid late model competitor posted a fast lap of 22.051 seconds at 122.443 MPH, placing him 38th overall. With the first 32 positions guaranteed a spot on time, Silas was able to revert back to car owner Troy Baird's provisional, netting the 34th place starting position.
"Obviously we would have liked to have qualified better, but we're in the show and that's what it's all about," said Silas. "This was the fastest field in USAR history at Lakeland with the field only be separated by a couple tenths, we were really close. I want to thank my Fast Track Racing crew for all their hard work preparing my racecar. Their dedication is like none other."
The start of the 200-lap event saw a patient Silas staying in toe with the competition. Knowing he had a long race ahead of him, Silas opted to fall in line with his competition avoiding any risky moves early on.
As the event looked promising early on and gaining positions on the track, an inpatient driver took the race into his own hands booting Silas on lap 40, putting the No. 80 Nortrax, Holland Pump and Palm Beach Grading Ford Fusion into the wall. Silas recovered but had heavy cosmetic damage to the right front of his machine. Derrick Kelly, the car identified as making contact with Silas was assessed a rough driving penalty care of the USAR Hooter's Pro Cup officials.
Silas was able to return to the track but unfortunately not as competitive as he would have liked. Silas, however continued to log laps and show veteran-like determination to finish the race, but suspension problems relegated him to bring the car to the attention of his crew forcing a end to his USAR debut being credited with a 25th place finish completing 167 of 200 laps.
"We were just playing it safe and then I was into the wall," recalled Silas. "We didn't have the best car in the field, but we had a car capable of finishing in the top-15. Our team and sponsors deserved a finish. I'm sorry we weren't able to give it to them. But we'll try again in the ARCA race on March 24. We're doing a lot to try and win that race and I think we'll have a great shot. I can't wait to get back to ARCA competition."
He continued, "Again I want to thank my Fast Track Racing crew, my crew chief Dave McClure, mentors Andy Hillenburg and Clay Rogers and especially my sponsors for making our USAR debut a reality. We'll be back, that's guaranteed and we'll look to finish what we started."
Silas spent Sunday March 11 in his No. 11 Nortrax, Holland Pump and Palm Beach Grading Chevrolet Monte Carlo ARCA RE/MAX Series car collecting additional laps and experimenting with setups all in hopes of grabbing the win in the inaugural ARCA RE/MAX Series race at USA International Speedway for the Construct Corps-PBG 250 on March 24.