Solid Rockingham Finish Propels Bryan Silas To Sixth In Points
Topics: Bryan Silas, American 200
ROCKINGHAM, North Carolina (October 13, 2009) - - While Bryan Silas did not secure his 11th top-10 finish of the year in Sunday’s ARCA RE/MAX American 200 at Rockingham Speedway, Silas did however post a 14th place finish which was good enough to propel the Stuart, Florida native to sixth in the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings following the 21st and final race of the 2009 season.
In April, Silas rocketed to his career best fourth place finish at “The Rock”, so it was no surprise that the Fast Track Racing driver was excited about returning to the one-mile oval.
In the weeks leading up to the event, the No. 11 Rockingham Speedway-Palm Beach Grading Ford Fusion tested at the legendary North Carolina oval preparing for one of the biggest events of the season - - hoping to hit the jackpot.
When the ARCA RE/MAX Series stars took to the track on Saturday for practice, Silas struggled to gain the grip that he needed to maneuver a fast lap. Despite his challenges, Silas was able to maneuver a lap of 26.161 seconds at 137.609 miles per hour, good enough for 26th.
“We really did not show what we have in practice,” said Silas. “We tried to dial our car in for the long runs because we know that the tires are going to wear away quickly and we need to prepare for that. We’re going to make some standard changes to our car and hope that we can get the drive off the corner a little better.”
In qualifying, Silas enjoyed a nice pickup in his Andy Hillenburg owned machine after wheeling his car around the facility in 25.431 seconds transferring to a speed of 141.560 miles per hour. The improvement was good enough to land the team 21st on the starting grid.
“We’re (getting) better,” said Silas. “I know that even with this deep starting spot, I think we have a good enough handling car that we can maneuver our way through the field and have a shot at a top-10 finish.”
From the drop of the green flag Sunday afternoon, it was evident Silas was a man of his word as he utilized patience and drive to battle his way though the ultra-competitive field.
With a long green flag run dictating the early act for the field, Silas continued to utilize a slick racetrack to his advantage and had climbed into the top-15 by lap 25 and had muscled his way forward into the top-10 by lap 45.
When the first caution flag waived on lap 72, Silas was holding steady in the seventh position with crew chief Cal Boprey informing his driver that he's taking on four Hoosier tires; fuel and a minor chassis change to further enhance the handling of his machine.
On the restart, Silas continued to press along and hold steady in the top-12 but ran into some trouble on lap 116 when he became entangled with the No. 60 car which sent both drivers for a spin. Silas was able to re-fire his machine and pull away from the accident scene where he rejoined the field.
Unfortunately, the incident took Silas from the lead lap which would set up a chase for him to retain his lead lap status. A never give up attitude allowed the 22-year old young-gun to get a break and become the beneficiary of the Aaron’s Lucky Dog which put the veteran driver back on the lead lap.
Running out of time, Silas dug hard but found himself in a torrid battle with pole-sitter Chad Finley which saw the No. 11 out-power Finley’s Chevrolet to cross the start-finish line 14th. It was Silas’s 14th top-15 finish of the year.
“It was an interesting and eventful day,” said Silas. “We had a pretty good car today. We had some problems during the middle of the race but we were able to make a decent recovery and still give this team a solid finish. Overall, I have to thank my team though for never giving up. It’s been a good season and we’ll go back to the shop and spend the winter preparing for what we hope will be an even better year in 2010.”
With his run on Sunday, Silas passed Steve Arpin in the ARCA RE/MAX Series point standings to move into the sixth position, a career best for Silas in his three years of ARCA competition.
On Saturday, Silas recorded his first ever USARacing top-10 finish as he manhandled his No. 11n Ford Fusion to an eighth place finish after starting 23rd in the Aaron’s 150 presented by Black’s Tire & Auto Service. The run came in his 14th career start.
Next up for the ARCA RE/MAX Series is the 2009 Championship Awards Banquet set for Saturday, December 5, 2009 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, Kentucky. The teams will then have to prepare for a three-day test at Daytona International Speedway from December 18-20 to prepare for the 2010 season opener in February.
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