Mechanical Failure Takes Bryan Silas From DuQuoin Hunt
Topics: Bryan Silas, Southern Illinois 100
DUQUOIN, Illinois (September 5, 2007) - - After posting two consecutive top-20 finishes at the Illinois State Fairgrounds and Gateway International Raceway respectively, ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Bryan Silas was looking to reach back into the top-10 in Monday’s Southern Illinois 100.
Gearing up for his second dirt track race of his career, Silas knew that the race would be plenty competitive and hot. However as the Stuart, Florida native has shown all year long, he would continue to give 150 percent on race weekend.
Entering the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, Silas would have little time to relax. With practice, qualifying and the race all separated within four hours, Silas knew he had to stay plenty hydrated and focused on the No. 11 Nortrax-Shell Rotella T-Palm Beach Grading Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
During the short practice session on Sunday, Silas mounted the 33rd fastest time with a time of 36.008 seconds at 99.978 MPH. While the time wasn't perfect for Silas, he said that the one hour practice was a learning experience for him.
“We didn’t turn the fastest lap, but I learned an awful lot,” said Silas, who sat ninth in the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship standings entering DuQuoin. I honestly thought that DuQuoin would be a lot like Springfield , I was wrong. This place is harder to driver and more of a driver’s racetrack. Springfield is easy to drive. Two complete different driving styles. I’ve consulted with the guys on my Fast Track Racing team and I think we’ll pick up the pace in qualifying.”
During ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying, Silas didn’t hold anything back. Despite only turning a lap of 36.523 seconds at 98.568 MPH, Silas moved up the grid to start 29th.
“The track slowed down for just about everyone,” Silas offered. “The good news is I’m a lot more comfortable with the track than I was in practice and the adjustments we made to our Chevrolet were the right ones. We’ll go after them in the race.”
At the start of the Southern Illinois 100, the event turned into a fierce battle. With hard side-by-side action, Silas had to negotiate for every position. Holding his own in the top-30, the rookie would control the 31st position when the caution flag waived on lap 13.
Crew Chief Dave McClure offered to keep his rookie driver on the track, moving Silas to 14th in the running order as several drivers elected to make the mandatory trip to pit road.
On the restart, Silas tried to maintain his spot in the top-15, but heat from his fellow competitors would force a backslide through the field. Well known for making his competitors work for his position, Silas would be unable to keep his prey at bay forcing the rookie to follow the veterans and learn.
By lap 30, Silas was holding the 28th position. Unable to find a comfortable groove at DuQuoin, by lap 32, Silas would fall one lap off the pace to the leaders.
Giving a gallant effort to regain the lap, the yellow flag would waive two laps later keeping the No. 11 off the lead circuit. With the mindset of learning the track and following the veterans, Silas would call for an adjustment and fuel during the round of pit stops.
On the restart, Silas gave everything he had but it would prove to be no good as just two laps after taking the restart, on lap 42, Silas's motor gave way in the No.11 Chevrolet forcing the well liked competitor to coast his machine to pit road.
Silas climbed from the car upset but upbeat. The failure would force a distant 37th place finish in the final rundown.
“You can’t blame anyone for equipment failure. We did everything we could, it just wasn’t meant to be. After we lost the lap we decided to focus this race to be a learning session for next year. I had a lot of fun, it would have been even better though if we were running in the top-10. I just want to say thanks to everyone for their support, we’ll go onto Chicagoland and look for a positive rebound.”
Despite the finish, Silas remains ninth in the championship standings heading into the final mile-and-a-half-track of the season at Chicagoland Speedway for Saturday’s Chicagoland ARCA 200.
NAME: Chris Knight, Fast Track Racing
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