SALEM, Indiana (May 3, 2011) – – Hoping to ride the momentum of a stellar fourth place finish two weeks ago at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, Brett Hudson and his Brett Hudson Motorsports (BHM) team charged into Salem (Ind.) Speedway this past weekend hoping for a similar performance in the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200.
Armed with crew chief John Hayden, a former winner at Salem (Ind.) Speedway, the BHM team unloaded their No. 94 Hudson Performance Drivelines Chevrolet focused on the lone practice session of the weekend on Saturday afternoon.
By the conclusion of practice, Hudson had maneuvered his Chevrolet bow-tie to the eighth fastest lap overall, a little over four-tenths of a second slower than session leader Tom Hessert. The Owensboro, Kentucky native consulted with Hayden and the two put a conservative setup underneath their machine – hoping to start near the front in the first short track race of the season.
In Menards Pole qualifying presented by Ansell, Hudson’s lap of 17.915 seconds or 111.527 miles per hour ranked the team 10th fastest overall and the outside of row number five.
Mother Nature drenched the track Sunday morning forcing ARCA officials to tediously dry the race track right up until race time. The field would rev their engines at 2:15 p.m. and assist in the track drying process by running 20 green flag laps at caution speed.
By lap 21 the field was under normal racing conditions with Hudson quickly moving forward and sitting comfortably inside the top-10.
When the second caution flag of the event occurred on lap 52, Hudson brought his automobile to the attention of his team where Hayden made an adjustment to counteract a tight No. 94 Hudson Performance Drivelines Chevrolet.
Restarting 12th, Hudson once again quickly charged back into the top-10 but when Dakoda Armstrong lost control of his No. 22 Dodge Charger on lap 69, Armstrong’s machine landed directly in the path of Hudson. The two connected with Hudson able to leave the accident scene with significant damage to their race car.
Damage control by the BHM team found a broken a-frame which would keep the Salem Speedway ace from continuing on in the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200. Hudson would retire from the event and settle for 20th completing 75 of the race’s 206 laps.
Hudson would have to shake off the bad luck and prepare to drive his No. 00 Hudson Performance Drivelines street stock immediately following the ARCA event. After winning his heat race on Saturday, Hudson started second in the 50-lap event.
Despite a gallant effort to capture another win at the half-mile oval, Hudson would have to settle for third closing another weekend of racing at the Southern Indiana race track. Hayden also participated in the Frank Kimmel street stock event and finished fifth after starting 10th.
“Our car was pretty good in the ARCA race,” Hudson explained. “We just made a change to the car and it was responding well to the change and then the No. 22 lost it and I had nowhere to go. It stinks, because I think we could have had another top-five easily. We’ll pick up the pieces and see if we can make it to Toledo.”
For the second consecutive race, the Hudson Motorsports team brought awareness to a big fan of theirs, Harlie Bryant. Recently diagnosed with brain cancer, Bryant is scheduled for surgery on May 12th and attended Sunday’s Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 as a special guest of the BHM team.
Bryant participated in the driver autograph session, received a special goody package from Salem Speedway and even gave the command to fire engines on Sunday afternoon.
“I wish we could have done more but it was such a joy to see Harlie enjoying herself,” offered Hudson. “Everyone ate her up. She was so cute. We were hoping to take her to victory lane but we’ll try again down the road. We’re continuing to offer our thoughts and prayers to the family and absolutely hoping for the best.”
In addition to Hudson Performance Drivelines, Double H Hydraulics, Race Engines Plus (REP), G&A Trucking, Gene Patient Fabrication (GPF) and Warricktubing.com all joined the team as associate marketing partners in the third of 19 ARCA races this season.
In 24 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 11 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.
For more on “Hope for Harlie”, please click here to visit their official Facebook page.