Passion Drives Brett Hudson To Top-10 At Lucas Oil Raceway
Passion Drives Brett Hudson To Top-10 At Lucas Oil Raceway
CLERMONT, Indiana (August 2, 2011)
Knight Motorsports Management
Brett Hudson Motorsports
August 2, 2011
- - If you were to ask Owensboro, Kentucky native Brett Hudson about his chances for a top-10 finish in last Thursday’s Ansell Protective Gloves 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway (LOR), optimistic was the key word in his dictionary.
Hudson, the short track ace was able to do that optimism into results in the 12th race of the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season and fourth of the year for the part-time competitor.
Invading LOR with a slick looking No. 94 Hudson Performance Drivelines Dodge Charger paint scheme, Hudson was not only vying to send a message out to competitors but his biggest fan too. Back in Kentucky, five-year old Harlie Bryant is suffering from Brain Cancer.
Description: IMG_1637The family-owned team has spread awareness and support about the family through their stock car. After a stout fourth place finish at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Hudson returned to racing this weekend with the same mentality he had then.
“We’re racing for Harlie,” he said. “Of course, we’re here to have fun and impress, but our mission is to drive support to Harlie and her family. We could all learn from her misfortune. She is definitely someone who makes a difference in your life. While it’s sad that she cannot be here with us, I’m glad she is able to watch the race from home.”
Before Hudson could set his sights on his Lucas Oil Raceway debut, the Kentuckian with the help of crew chief John Hayden had to dial in their No. 94 Hudson Performance Drivelines Dodge Charger. The lone practice session of the day in humid and steamy conditions saw Hudson only able to muster 26th fastest time overall. Extremely disappointed with the results, the Brett Hudson Motorsports (BHM) team threw everything including the kitchen sink at their Chrysler nameplate – just hoping to qualify for ARCA’s return visit to the Indiana-short track in two and a half decades.
Having to qualify on-time and with a stout field entered, Hudson admitted he was nervous but confident in the changes his team made. In time trials, the 23-year old circled the track in 23.096 seconds at 106.928 miles per hour, a massive pickup from the team’s quickest practice lap. The improved effort landed him 20th in the starting grid.
From the drop of the green, Hudson had to fight hard for every spot on the track. With the most competitive field on deck this season, Hudson quickly realized that no one was willing to give an inch, so patience would be the key to success under the lights.
Through the first 15 laps, Hudson made a solid climb in the leader board settling in the 18th position. By lap 30, the No. 94 Hudson Performance Drivelines Dodge Charger continued to lock the 18th position. Battling grip around the .686-mile paved oval, Hayden informed his driver that changes would be made to their Dodge Charger during the first round of pit stops.
When the first yellow flag waived approaching lap 40 Hayden brought his driver to pit road for routine service with Hudson returning to the track in the 19th position. Unfortunately, during the heavy green-flag run, the leaders who were setting a torrid pace put the BHM team one lap in the arrears.
Having to fight several cars to become in position for the lucky dog, Hudson battled nine-time champion Frank Kimmel, female competitor Kenzie Ruston, J.R. Heffner and Spencer Gallagher.
Kimmel received the lucky dog when the caution flag waived on lap 60, thus allowing another opportunity for the No. 94 to head to pit road for some more adjustments. Lining up the first car one lap down, the team needed a quick caution that would propel them back to lead lap status. When Sean Corr battled mechanical woes on lap 69, the yellow waived thus allowing Hudson to retain his lost lap back.
Having to start at the tail end of the longest line, Hudson didn’t mind as he knew that he still had plenty of time to climb back to the front. Restarting 18th, Hudson had to use the give and take method in order to move forward.
What Hudson wasn’t expecting was on lap 99, the No. 63 of Milka Duno tapped the No. 94 exiting turn four sending the driver for an innocent spin. Completely baffled by the contact, the short track star re-fired his machine and drove away from the scene but once again falling one lap down as the leaders passed him during the incident.
Restarting the race in the 19th position and the first car one lap down, Hudson’s day almost abruptly ended when his car broke loose and nearly creamed the turn two wall shortly after the restart. Hudson’s luck would turn around again when he received the lucky dog again on lap 120 when the No. 5 went for a spin.
Maintaining a lead lap status for a majority of the second-half, Hudson kept himself out of trouble and crept his way through the standings sitting in the 15th position with 25 laps to go.
With the leaders once again closing on the back of the lead lap group, Hudson gave way allowing leaders James Buescher, Ty Dillon and Ryan Blaney to pass by.
Catching cars on his same lap that included Max Gresham and Kimmel, Hudson boldly made a move to soar from 12th to 10th within the final 10 laps which is where he took the checkered flag.
“We had to work hard for this one,” Hudson said. “I kept thinking about Harlie during portions of the race, knowing that she would be happy with a good finish. I have no clue what the No. 63 was thinking, she just drilled me. Thankfully, we were able to get that lap back and it all worked out. I have to thank John (Hayden) and all the guys on the BHM team for working with me all day long and making this car the best when we really needed it.”
In addition to Hudson Performance Drivelines, D-N-J Auto Parts, Double H Hydraulics, G&A Trucking and Warricktubing.com joined the team as associate marketing partners in the 12th of 19 ARCA races this season.
In 25 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards starts, Hudson has produced three top-fives including a career best of fourth at Salem (Ind.) Speedway in 2007 and Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (April 2011) and 12 top-10 finishes overall. Hudson has one career ARCA pole also coming at Salem (Ind.) Speedway in 2005 driving the No. 62 Hudson Machine Shop Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is a return to trip to the “Tricky Triangle” at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway for the running of the Pennsylvania 125. The 50-lap shootout is set for Saturday, August 6 with live coverage on the SPEED channel beginning at 3:00 p.m.
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NAME: Chris Knight (@Knighter01)