Bryan Silas Leaves Palm Beach Seventh In Points
Topics: Bryan Silas, Tire Kingdom 150
JUPITER, Florida (March 1, 2010) - - Stuart, Florida native Bryan Silas made his Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway debut Saturday and while the 22 year old wasn’t able to notch a second consecutive top-10 finish this season, the ARCA Racing Series driver left the Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace seventh in the championship standings.
Working with new crew chief Dennis Conner, the duo set their sights on practice hoping to dial in their No. 11 Rockingham Speedway-Palm Beach Grading Ford Fusion. During the lengthy practice, the team was able to mount the 17th fastest lap.
With qualified assigned by groups in 10 minute increments, Silas was the 15th car to make a qualifying attempt around the PBIR race course. During his run, he muscled his Andy Hillenburg-owned machine around the track in 81.749 seconds at 89.087 miles per hour good enough to line up 16th. “We’re heading in the right direction and the car is real stable,” offered Silas.
When the green flag dropped Saturday afternoon, Silas quickly moved up into the top-15 where he stayed during much of the race’s first quarter. The goal leaning into the event was to stay on track, gather more experience and leave in one-piece.
Early on, the goals were being exceeded with Silas hovering between the 13th and 16th positions. Soon though, the question of whether the ARCA competitors could compete in the rain would be answered inside the event’s first 20 laps when rain began to fall around the 2.034-mile road course.
The yellow flag would waive over the field a short time later allowing teams to switch their Hoosier slicks for Hoosier wets and prepare to return to racing in damp conditions. Silas had never competed in any type of race in the rain before so the challenge was one that he wanted to conquer.
Silas handled the rain well. While the Fast Track Racing driver was unable to turn some of the laps of some of the more experienced road-course ringers who had previously competed in the rain – Silas was achieving his goals while grasping an opportunity that he had never had the chance to obtain before.
A heavy rainfall would begin to pour six laps from the finish immediately throwing out a caution with the field being told that the race would be rain-shortened to 70 laps instead of the event’s scheduled 75 circuits.
With limited vision, Silas would have to rely on coaching and guidance from several spotters around the course to guide him to the checkered flag. He landed in 16th, finishing exactly where he started.
“Overall, it was an eventful race but we made it,” sounded Silas. “I’m proud of the Fast Track Racing team. They worked hard all weekend and they kept me confident behind the wheel.”
When asked about racing in the rain, Silas said, “It was interesting. It wasn’t bad at some points but it was something that you have to get used to doing. There at the end of the race, I couldn’t see anything. They (ARCA) did the right thing by calling it when they did.”
The effort on Saturday moved Silas from ninth to seventh in the championship standings just 30 points from the fifth position and 85 credits from the lead held by race-winner Justin Marks.
Nason, Yeager, Gerson, White & Lioce P.A., American Custom Yachts, Inc., Palm Beach Grading (PBG) and Rockingham Speedway all sponsored Silas’s Ford Fusion for his 73rd career ARCA start.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is a stop at Salem (Ind.) Speedway for the running of the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 on Sunday, April 11 for round three on the 2010 schedule.
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