Brad Smith Motorsports Press Release
February 9, 2019
Brad Finishes 19th After Problem Plaqued Daytona Weekend To Kick Off New Season!
Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL (February 9th, 2019)
The 2019 ARCA Menards Series kicked off Saturday afternoon at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida in the Lucas Oil 200 driven by General Tire and was won by 18-year-old Harrison Burton.
However, Brad Smith would've preferred a better result to begin his 30th year behind the wheel. But it wasn't for a lack of trying by the #48 Copraya.com Chevy team.
"Hey, great job by everyone this weekend," said Smith. "As we were saying earlier in the week, with our bunch, its more about passion than money!" With a new Chevy composite body (which teams are required to run on ARCA tracks a mile or longer) the group picked up the car after having it finished in North Carolina...but not before experiencing trailer issues on the way out of Brad's Motor City home base!
After some shop time in the Queen City, the team was on the road and were at the gates when the track opened for business Wednesday morning. After some issues getting thru technical inspection (it's not uncommon at the very first event of the season for most teams to face the inspector's "wrath") , the sleek red Impala was finally cleared to take to the track.
During practice, speed was hard to find. The crew continually searched for miles per hour and methodically messaged the suspension geometry to perhaps get the car to handle better. On Thursday, the ride only took Brad to last on the practice list but Friday they did find another two miles an hour heading into General Tire Pole Qualifying. Brad was in the second group to go out and when he let off the gas to try and get to the back of the drafting line, the motor stalled (more on that later). Now out of the draft, it was up too the Shelby, Twp., MI resident to just do his best and salvage a good run. It would eventually place him 34th.
On race day, Brad dropped back to just try and get a feel for the new chassis he had purchased over the winter. But at times, he would lose almost 300 RPM then gain it back and was unsure if it was the strong winds or an engine issue.
Past midrace in the 80 lap event, there was a caution. Brad had just been lapped but could now afford to get pit service on the slow down without losing many positions. The team dumped two cans of Sunoco gas but when he was leaving the car stalled again. After consulting with Brad, he explained that the clutch was now as high as the dash board. Finally, the pedal dropped to the floor and was unusable so Brad put the car in fourth gear where it would remain for the rest of the race.
With a handful of laps remaining, there was a multi-car wreck and Brad received the free pass and was able to regain one of the two he lost, now being the only car one lap down. It would be how he finished completing 79 of 80 laps in 19th.
"Typical new car problems. But everyone worked so hard and the team gets along great so it makes for a fun time at the track! We'll get these issues worked out and head on to Pensacola (Florida) on March 9th!" This was Brad's 10th Daytona appearance. It also tied his second best showing at the "World Center of Racing", his best being a 17th in 2017.
You can visit Brad Smith at his website, created by Copraya.com/Website Builders at bradsmithmotorsports.com . br>Also, receive up to the minute Brad Smith updates on just about any social media platform at @DriverBradSmith.
He also uses the hashtags #DriverBradSmith #BradAt300 #HyltonMotorsports2018 #4DecadesOfARCARacing #ARCARacing #BradFansBESTFans
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About Brad Smith: Brad is closing in on his milestone 300th career ARCA start and has been a consistent top-20 driver throughout his career. In 2016 he finished 6th in ARCA Driver Points and also won the inaugural ARCA General Tire "Spirit Award". He also was the winner of the ARCA "Sportsman of the Year" award in 2006. He is currently 8th in Driver Points for the 2017 season.
About James Hylton Motorsports: A full-time ARCA team fielded by legendary NASCAR driver James Hylton, Sr., Hylton Motorsports is the longest-running consistent stock car racing team in the United States. Formed in the early-60’s, Hylton Motorsports continues to field competitive cars even after James Hylton recently retired from driving. James was the 1966 NASCAR Rookie-of-the-Year and three-time runner-up in NASCAR Driver Championship points. Hylton Motorsports is running full-time in ARCA for a 25th season.
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