TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 18, 2011) – – Undoubtedly, Bryan Silas strutted his stuff in the postponed 3 Amigos 250 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway Saturday morning. Unfortunately, a blown tire while running and essentially “riding” in the top-10 on lap 57 erased any chance for a victory lane celebration in his Eddie Sharp Racing (ESR) debut.
In a deal announced last week, Silas would vacate his familiar No. 11 Ford Fusion with Fast Track Racing in an opportunity to drive a second-car for the potent ESR team. With support from the Vietnam Veterans of America and Rockingham Speedway, Silas had high hopes for his sixth ARCA start at the 2.66-mile superspeedway.
A three hour practice session on Thursday delivered a solid 13th place position overall giving the Stuart, Florida native some confidence heading into Menards pole qualifying presented by Ansell. In time trials, Silas whipped his No. 98 Vietnam Veterans of America / Rockingham Speedway Toyota Camry to the ninth fastest lap overall netting a career-best qualifying run at the restrictor plate track.
Knowing he had a good car, the team elected to skip Happy Hour on Friday morning and shift their focus towards the race. Ultimately though, heavy rain shortly before the start of the second race of the season would force officials to postpone the race until Saturday morning.
Well rested, Silas nestled himself into his No. 98 Vietnam Veterans of America / Rockingham Speedway Toyota Camry on Saturday morning with a smile on his face and ready to race. Immediately from the drop of the green flag, Silas was fast.
Hovering between seventh and 12th during the event’s first quarter, Silas, one of the most popular drivers on the ARCA tour showed that he had an automobile that would do anything at his command.
Preparing to make his presence known at the front near half-way, Silas had once again drafted his way back into the top-10 and was holding seventh on lap 57 when the right front tire exploded going into turn three shooting his machine hard into the outside wall. Silas would be able to leave the scene of the accident under his own power but the damage would be too devastating to continue.
“It’s disappointing that we didn’t get the finish we deserved but I had the opportunity to drive one of the best cars in my ARCA career and I’m thankful for that,” said Silas. “I want to thank Eddie (Sharp) and his ESR crew for making me feel so welcome. I was extremely honored to carry the Vietnam Veterans of America colors at Talladega and glad to have a few of them on the sidelines for support – I’m just sorry we couldn’t deliver them a better result.
I also want to thank my mentor Andy Hillenburg for helping me this past week. It wasn’t easy to climb out of the No. 11 – but his support and belief in me made this whole opportunity with ESR a lot easier.”
Round three for the ARCA Racing Series takes the competitor to one of Silas’s favorite tracks of Salem (Ind.) Speedway for the running of the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 on Sunday May 1. Silas is entered for the race behind the wheel of the No. 11 Rockingham Speedway Ford Fusion for Fast Track Racing.
For more on Bryan Silas please visit, BryanSilasRacing.com http://www.bryansilasracing.com/ .